Nokia and NTT demonstrate applicability of all-photonics technology to mobile fronthaul

Via Nokia

Jan 18, 2024

  • Proof of Concept (PoC) marks first successful testing validating the IOWN Global Forum vision to realize a smarter world by 2030 by dramatically lowering power consumption by 100x, increasing transmission capacity by 125x, and lowering end-to-end latency by 200x
  • Test uses the Nokia optical network solution to successfully demonstrate low latency and extension of transmission distance over mobile fronthaul network between the 5G Distributed Unit (DU) and Radio Unit (RU) over an All Photonic Network (APN)

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced that Nokia and NTT Corporation successfully completed a joint PoC 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 virtualization 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 realize 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.

Nokia’s high-performance optical solution used for the lab tests includes the 1830 Time-sensitive Packet Switch (TPS) optimized 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.

James Watt, Vice President and General Manager, Optical Networks Division at Nokia, said: “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 virtualization of key mobile core components. This test showcases that our high-performance optical solutions are designed to effectively address this need.”

Katsuhiko Kawazoe, Representative Member of the Board, Senior Executive Vice President(CTO/ CIO/ CDO), 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.”

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