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As mobile broadband traffic continues to grow, operators want to enhance network performance where they see the greatest demand – with first deployments traditionally in busy city centers. More capacity, higher speeds and varying network latency are needed to meet the needs of individuals, businesses and IoT, as well as to ensure a smooth transition to 5G. As such, Nokia has defined a sustainable network evolution path that will allow operators to leverage existing investments and maximize assets such as spectrum, to implement higher performance where and when it is needed in the network.

To do this, Nokia is adding to the Nokia AirScale Remote Radio Head portfolio, enabling operators to increase peak performance and cell capacity while reducing space requirements at cell sites via new dual- and single-band FDD-LTE and TD-LTE radios. These leverage carrier aggregation techniques, 4×4 MIMO and 8×4 Beamforming, while addressing demand for higher output power, extending frequency band support and simplifying network rollouts.

To augment heterogeneous network deployments and boost coverage and capacity in the busiest hotspots – especially in dense urban environments – operators will need to deploy the next wave of small cells. The Nokia Ultra Dense self-organizing network features on Flexi Zone small cells will simplify these deployments, solving issues caused by reducing the distance between new and existing small cells and ensuring continuous optimization even as further densification occurs. Nokia has extended the self-organizing network features on its Femtocell portfolio to ensure smoother integration and higher performance in heterogeneous networks as traffic is offloaded from the macro network.

New features on the industry-first Nokia Flexi Zone Citizen Band Radio Service small cells, supporting Spectrum Access Server and Citizen Broadband Radio Service Device Proxy connectivity, will offer operators new options for boosting coverage and capacity, particularly inside buildings. CBRS Flexi Zone small cells can be used to deploy neutral host capabilities, allowing operators to lease capacity to other providers inside malls, hotels and office blocks, where space is at a premium. In compliance with FCC requirements, small cells will be able to efficiently communicate with the Spectrum Access Server to ensure the network uses only available shared CBRS* spectrum.

To provide backhaul flexibility for ultra-dense heterogeneous city networks – where microwave transport is used to link small cells to fiber access points – Nokia Wavence microwave now supports Carrier SDN. Operators will benefit from new intelligence and automation, including rapid power-up of virtual network functions and adaptable parameters to support changes on the radio access network, such as when people move from work to home.

Anchoring this multi-technology access is the Nokia Cloud Packet Core. Its cloud-native capabilities and operations deliver the performance to support increasing capacity, massive scalability required for densification, and deployment flexibility necessary to deliver low latency, in order to realize the economics of delivering diverse and demanding services and applications.

Nokia continues to help operators plan and optimize their path to 5G using its 5G Acceleration Services and is now expanding the portfolio to include the operator ‘anyhaul’ end-to-end transport network. Nokia will work with operators to assess the readiness of the network and design and implement their 5G strategies and services.

Stéphane Téral, IHS Markit Executive Director of Research and Analysis, Mobile Infrastructure & Carrier Economics, said: “Nokia continues to deliver a sustainable path to 5G that allows operators to implement new capabilities in their network where and when they need them, ensuring the most efficient use of resources. A challenge for operators is to meet the ever-growing demands in busy cities and Nokia is providing a comprehensive approach to solving this.”

Harold Graham, head of the 5G business line at Nokia, said: “Nokia is committed to providing the most effective and cost-efficient path to 5G for our customers through evolutionary enhancements to their networks. We truly understand how changes in each area of a network will affect the network as a whole, and as we evolve our end-to-end portfolio of technologies and services we are working closely with customers to ensure they are always ahead of their customers’ needs and expectations.”

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