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Nokia, NTT Successfully Demonstrate All-Photonics Network Tech to Mobile Fronthaul in RAN Domain


Nokia and NTT Corporation have successfully completed a joint proof of concept using Nokia’s mobile fronthaul solution over an All-Photonic Network (APN), aligned with the objectives of the Innovative Optical and Wireless Network (IOWN) Global Forum. The PoC addresses the growing need for high-speed connections driven by the virtualisation and cloudification of key mobile core components in 5G and upcoming 6G mobile communications networks.

As a participant in IOWN, Nokia aims to provide advanced capabilities, including low-power consumption, ultra-wide bandwidth, large-scale simulations, and ultra-realistic UI/UX for future services with cutting-edge solutions such as next-generation photonics-based technologies. In order to solve various social issues and realise a smarter world by 2030, IOWN technology will seek to lower power consumption by 100x, increase transmission capacity by 125x, and lower end-to-end latency by 200x, compared to traditional networks.

A Significant Milestones in Connectivity

Nokia’s high-performance optical solution used for the lab tests includes the 1830 Time-sensitive Packet Switch (TPS) optimised for mobile xHaul applications, and the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) for WDM optical transport. The PoC demonstrated dynamic distribution of RAN resources to 5G radios using optical routing to better respond to evolving traffic demands while also ensuring optimal energy consumption compared to traditional fronthaul solutions that provide fixed and inefficient links. The test measurements met key requirements for latency, synchronization, and mobile functionality associated with mobile fronthaul in 5G networks.

Katsuhiko Kawazoe, Representative Member of the Board, Senior Executive Vice President (CTO/ CIO/ CDO), at NTT, said: “I believe this is a significant achievement proving the effectiveness of the IOWN Global Forum All Photonics Network for the mobile fronthaul. The result clearly illustrates technical feasibilities for a robust and flexible commercial mobile network with low power consumption. NTT will continue to collaborate with Nokia and other IOWN Global Forum members to develop the next generation of ICT infrastructures.”

James Watt, Vice President and General Manager for the Optical Networks Division at Nokia, added: “Nokia is proud to contribute to the IOWN GF and we are looking forward to our continued journey with NTT and other IOWN GF members. As an innovative and trusted global optical leader, Nokia is deeply aware of the growing need for high-speed and low-latency connections because of the virtualisation of key mobile core components. This test showcases that our high-performance optical solutions are designed to effectively address this need.”