Nokia and Japanese carrier KDDI have completed a 5G core standalone (SA) network trial, Nokia said in a release.
The 5G standalone trial, using Nokia’s 5G AirGile cloud-native core solution, was conducted entirely independently of previous generations’ mobile network architecture.
The Finnish vendor said that the completion of this trial will put the Japanese telco in a position to analyze early deployment of 5G core SA services, like network slicing in which service providers virtually partition network capacity to subscribers based on customized use case needs.
Nokia highlighted that its 5G AirGile cloud-native core can be rolled out in a traditional network environment or a cloud environment and is fully compliant with 3GPP Release 15 5G core functions.
In this trial, Nokia applied a service-based architecture to the 5G control plane, moving control functions completely into a cloud-based environment which provides operators with improved scalability, velocity and flexibility. The trial allows KDDI to highlight how a 5G control plane can utilize the communication model of today’s web services to create multiple software instances in a cloud environment, Nokia said.
As KDDI plans to evolve from a non-standalone (NSA) 5G core network to a full 5G SA core, the trial ensures both parties understand the key requirements, roadmap and performance of a 5G core SA deployment, Nokia said.
With a 5G core SA network, consumers can experience the true benefits of 5G by fully leveraging enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Connectivity (URLLC), the European vendor added.
“For Nokia, 5G is much more than radio. It’s an end-to-end network transformation. We are pleased to have successfully completed this 5G core SA network trial together with KDDI, as it marks a crucial milestone for KDDI’s 5G SA deployment as well as for Japan’s 5G,” said John Harrington, head of Nokia Japan. “Nokia will continue to contribute to the best of 5G and the cloud to enhance business processes and bring new applications and benefits to more markets and consumers.”
In September 2019, KDDI selected Nokia as a primary partner to upgrade its 4G network to 5G. Under the terms of this agreement, Nokia deployed its Airscale radio access solution, which supports both 4G and 5G operations.
Nokia is an existing supplier to KDDI across multiple technologies, including radio, fixed networks, mobile core network and multiple software solutions. The 5G network will support KDDI across both centimeter-wave and millimeter-wave 5G frequency bands and can be deployed in both distributed and centralized architectures, the vendor said.
Nokia reached a total of 63 commercial 5G contracts worldwide as of mid-January. The company said that some of the customers include AT&T, KDDI, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, NTT DOCOMO, O2, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Sprint, STC, T-Mobile US, Verizon, Vodafone Italy and Zain Saudi Arabia.
Nokia has highlighted that these 5G commercial contracts exclude any other type of 5G agreements, such as paid network trials, pilots or demonstrations. Including these agreements, the total number of 5G agreements would reach over 100.