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China Mobile and Mobily work with Nokia on industry firsts

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Nokia has confirmed two technological firsts in recent days following collaborations with China Mobile (CMCC) and Saudi Arabia's Mobily.

In China, Nokia and CMCC successfully complete live trials of an AI-powered RAN over China Mobile's live 4G and 5G networks to forecast bandwidth and detect anomalies.

The bandwidth forecast trial was conducted in Shanghai, while the anomaly detection trial took place in Taiyuan, the capital city of China’s Shanxi province.

During the trial, China Mobile introduced its ‘i-wireless-intelligent and simplicity 5G network’ concept, based a series of technologies designed to create "a greener, smarter and more efficient 5G network", such as Nokia's near-real time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).

In the trial, the RIC was included in the edge cloud using Nokia’s AirFrame Open Edge server platform. The RIC platform enables increased network optimisation capabilities through policy-guided, closed loop automation. Nokia said these are fundamental to further advance the 5G RAN architecture, enabling a wide range of intelligent, real-time data driven, network automation and optimisation applications.

The trials confirmed that "AI-based real-time user equipment traffic prediction accuracy" exceeded 90% in live 5G network tests, achieved by estimating the user equipment radio quality and related throughput for 100 milliseconds. With the real-time RAN data exposure capability, Nokia’s 5G AirScale base station was able to send user equipment radio quality information to the RIC in real-time, which it said was "critical for the accuracy of the predictions".

Nokia said the results could see operators making "significant cost savings of over 70% due to lack of human intervention required to process issues".

Pasi Toivanen, head of the edge cloud platforms unit at Nokia, said: “We are excited to have worked with China Mobile on this project to advance RAN network intelligence. We believe it will a be a key asset in improving the wireless network efficiency and the experience of its subscribers. This is an example of Nokia’s commitment to supporting our customers in the delivery of world-class network performance.” 

Saudi Arabia

The second project saw Nokia successfully execute the world's first sliced FWA deployment in collaboration with Saudi Arabia's Mobily.

The ongoing pilot in Riyadh occurred in a multi-vendor environment and included sliced access, transport and core networks with management and assurance capabilities. The solution allows Mobily to offer new FWA services to "priority consumer and enterprise customers". It also enables slicing per application including voice, data, online gaming or home office applications.

Ari Kynäslahti, head of technology and strategy at Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “For early pioneering operators it’s important to get practical real-life experience of the new slicing technology and its business opportunities. Nokia was the first vendor to offer a slicing solution and we are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Mobily to offer 4G and 5G network slicing services to their customers.”

During the pilot, Mobily utilized Nokia’s AirScale 4G/5G base stations with its NetAct solution with management, control and assurance, as well as Nokia’s routers, Network Services Platform (NSP) and Digital Operations software. Mobily also used existing third-party core as well as Nokia’s FastMile 4G/5G FWA gateway and third-party CPE products. The slicing capabilities are implemented with software upgrades and configurations into Mobily’s existing network. 

Alaa Malki, CTO, Mobily said: “Mobily continuously works in partnership with global vendors to try new innovative technologies. Network slicing will enable mobile operators to rapidly provide, manage and assure services within minutes. Each slice can have a different network performance, quality, routing and security capabilities as well as Key Performance Indicators for service assurance.” 

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