SoftBank and KDDI select Nokia for 5G RAN network in Japan

SoftBank and KDDI select Nokia for 5G RAN network in Japan

14 October 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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SoftBank and KDDI have chosen Nokia as one of the vendors to deploy Japan’s shared radio access network (RAN).

Nokia will install a Multi-Operator Radio Access Network (MORAN), which will allow both companies to share the RAN while keeping core networks separate, enabling the delivery of 5G services to both SoftBank and KDDI customers across the country.

“Nokia has been at the forefront of network sharing around the world since the deployment of the world’s first commercial shared network," said Tommi Uitto (pictured), president of mobile networks at Nokia.

"We have a long-standing partnership with both SoftBank and KDDI and are excited to work collaboratively with them on this project. Our latest AirScale solutions will be utilized, including the new baseband plug-in cards to add capacity where it is needed and deliver best-in-class 5G connectivity to their customers.”

Under the terms of the deal, Nokia will provide its latest AirScale products including baseband and radio platforms. Nokia’s MORAN is triple mode and covers LTE, 5G as well as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing.

In addition, Nokia will provide its latest generation of ReefShark System-on-Chip based plug-in cards to increase the capacity of the AirScale baseband. The new ReefShark-powered plug-in cards are easily installed and simplify the upgrade and extended operation of all AirScale deployments. They also deliver up to eight times more throughput compared to previous generations.

“In order to deliver the best 5G experience to customers nationwide as quickly as possible, SoftBank is working with KDDI to develop a shared 5G network," said Tomohiro Sekiwa, senior vice president and CNO at SoftBank.

"In this effort, a Multi-Operator Radio Access Network is a key technology that will bring various efficiencies and we look forward to the high performance of Nokia’s products in this regard.”

MORAN enables mobile operators to share radio access network infrastructure, reduce their costs, expand the coverage of their networks. The solution can also be uses by mobile operators and enterprises for private networks, as well as public networks or industrial campuses.

The RAN uses dedicated radio frequencies assigned to each service provider ensuring they maintain independent control of their resources.

“We are pleased to work closely with both Nokia and SoftBank to accelerate 5G network deployment across Japan. With this Multi-Operator Radio Access Network, we anticipate delivering the superior unique experiences of 5G to customers faster,” said Tatsuo Sato, vice president and managing officer of technology planning at KDDI.