Nokia has announced a new partnership with Brazil’s Telecommunications Research and Development Center (CPQD), an independent government affiliated research body, to develop 5G use cases based on the Open RAN (O-RAN) compliant near-real time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).
Near real-time RAN Intelligent Controllers (RIC) are a new function for 5G networking, introduced by the O-RAN Alliance, to support per-UE (user equipment) controlled load-balancing, interference detection, RB management and mitigation.
The RIC is a virtualized 5G optimization technology, which adds programmability to the Radio Access Network (RAN) and enables artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as well as new services. And the near-real time RIC platform provides functions and interfaces that boost optimization, automation and service deployments.
“This important partnership will explore the potential for innovative 5G use cases that will have real-world value in Brazil across a range of different areas, such as smart cities and fixed wireless access,” said Ari Kynäslahti, head of technology and strategy at Nokia Mobile Networks. “Our RAN Intelligent Controller will play a critical role in this research, helping to explore and trial new cutting-edge use cases that will put Brazil at the forefront in the 5G era.”
Defining 5G services at the UE level
Essentially, what this does is shift the management of the RAN from minutes and hours, to a 100ms time scale, which means, by taking advantage of development of AI and ML technologies, that RAN behaviour can be controlled by policies affecting the whole network, all the way down to a per-user setting. So, rather than being able to set perimeters for, say, a group of first responders attending a fire, you could actually identify a single individual, and provide them with a unique set of services.
“This is an important collaboration that will help to shape the future of 5G networks in Brazil,” said Frederico Nava, director of solutions and consulting at CPQD. “We look forward to a fruitful and successful partnership with Nokia and look forward to introducing a range of innovative 5G-based use cases to the market.”
The partnership will use Nokia’s Service Enablement Platform (SEP), which combines the capabilities of the RIC and multi-access edge computing (MEC), via Nokia’s AirFrame open edge server. Nokia’s SEP enables use cases to be pushed to the edge of the RAN.