Nokia’s latest 5G blitz: ReefShark chipsets and “Future X” architecture

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Nokia has launched AI-powered ReefShark chipsets for 5G networks, as well as provided a preview of its Future X architecture for 5G.

The new ReefShark chipsets leverage in-house silicon expertise to dramatically reduce the size, cost and power consumption of operators’ networks and meet the massive compute and radio requirements of 5G.

Incorporating Nokia Bell Labs AI technology, the ReefShark chipsets for RF units sport improved performance that can effectively halve the size of massive MIMO antennas and reduce power consumption in baseband units by 64%, compared to units in use today.

The ReefShark chipsets for compute capacity are delivered as plug-in units for Nokia’s AirScale baseband module that can triple the module’s throughput from 28 Gbps today to up to 84 Gbps per module. Additionally, baseband module chaining supports base station throughputs of up to 6 Tbps, which will allow operators to meet the huge growing densification demands and support the massive enhanced mobile broadband needs of people and devices in megacities, Nokia says.

AI in 5G networks enables real-time radio monitoring and optimization and the ability to apply techniques such as network slicing to meet the service level demands of new business cases. Nokia is developing technology with common interfaces and toolkits allowing service providers to implement machine learning applications in their networks.

Nokia says it is working with 30 operators using ReefShark and will ramp up field deployments during the third quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, Nokia also outlined the scope of its Future X architecture for 5G, the basis for its new reference silicon design and the foundation of its 5G technology and services portfolio.

This portfolio – to be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month – comprises a full, end-to-end network that delivers up to three times more data capacity per cell site and 30% lower TCO through AI-based automation.

The architecture incorporates 5G NR radio software and Nokia’s modular AirScale Radio Access. In 2018 Nokia will introduce over 20 new products and features with software-upgradeable radios, including ReefShark-based products, and the smallest-ever outdoor AirScale system module, all to make the rollout of 5G services quicker and easier while reducing the total cost of ownership.

Also included: 5G AirScale active antennas, small cells, SDN-based “Anyhaul”, 5G core, Massive Scale Access (complementary fiber, DSL, cable and Wireless PON solutions) and Nokia’s 5G Acceleration Services to help customers plan a coherent 5G business strategy through techno-economic modelling developed with Bell Labs Consulting.

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