Nokia Open Fronthaul for Open RAN
October 12, 2023

Nokia goes further into this OpenRAN game by opening its fronthaul interface with three 3rd party vendors now.

Nokia has already integrated third-party TDD RRH from three suppliers with its Baseband, and the solution is available today. Nokia AirScale Baseband is qualified for commercial Open RAN deployments for both TDD RRH (FR1) and mmWave (FR2) as per Nokia’s white paper.

Nokia is currently integrating third-party FDD RRH with its Baseband; pre-commercial later this year and Commercial in 1H 2024. Once these initial integrations are complete, it will be possible to support commercial Open RAN deployments with third-party FR1 TDD RRH or FDD RRH across any frequency bands.

Nokia Open RAN Solution

Nokia baseband solutions (initially purpose-built RAN and later Cloud RAN) are combined with both Nokia radios and third-party radios (for example, 4T4R RRHs, TDD, or FDD) using Open RAN-compliant eCPRI 7.2x interfaces. Support for third-party TDD radios is available in 2023 and for third-party FDD radios in 1H 2024.

The 100-million-dollar question now is, Is the Nokia AirScale Baseband proven to be fully Open RAN capable and available today?

As per Nokia, Yes. However I see some points between the lines, Nokia mentioned that they already have a mutual agreement between 3 RU’s suppliers which means maybe Airscale is not 100% fully opened! I am not sure (Hope anyone from Nokia confirms this info ^^). I understand the testing and integration is not an easy mission, however, when I see fully Open, I should mean really open with any RU or at least with some condition.

The conclusion:

Ericsson and Nokia started to develop Cloud RAN and Open Fronthaul to shift their solution to take the promising name OPENRAN 🙂 

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