Nokia touts machine learning to handle 5G complexity via Intelligent RAN

Nokia introduced a new product that boasts machine learning capabilities to handle increasingly complex operations of a 5G network, promising time savings along with reduced energy consumption.

Dubbed Intelligent RAN Operations, Nokia promises savings on time and operational costs, along with lower base station energy consumption without dings to the end-user experience.

The Finnish vendor is already trialing the solution on live networks, where operators have seen promising results – those include operational efficiency gains of up to 80% with zero-touch optimization and 70% fewer issues to solve, which it said decreases workloads for teams and contributes to more consistent network quality.

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A key feature is automation, specifically for routine network management tasks. The vendor said ML techniques provide better ability to detect, categorize and fix network issues in real-time. With new 5G use cases that could rely on a wide variety of service requirements, Nokia says its no longer possible to operate cost-effective RAN networks using manual tools or automation alone.

James Crawshaw, principal analyst at Omdia, was quoted in the release pointing to increasing performance and sophistication in mobile networks as they evolve to 5G.

“To optimize operational, capital, and energy efficiency in the 5G era requires a paradigm shift. Manual configuration of the thousands of parameters available in network nodes, a ten-fold increase on 4G, is no longer feasible,” Crawshaw stated. “Operators need automated solutions that leverage artificial intelligence to augment and relieve human intelligence which can then be brought to bear on the manifold RAN operational challenges that computers are not yet able to solve.”

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Energy efficiency also has become a bigger priority for 5G and future networks, and the Intelligent RAN Operations tool involves energy-saving features that cut base station power consumption up to 15%.

Nokia is among companies that have made their own environmental commitments, including reducing its emissions by 50% across both the vendor’s own operations and products used, by 2030.

Last week competitor Ericsson introduced new additions to its 5G RAN portfolio, with lower power consumption a key highlight of the gear.

Nokia and Ericsson are each showcasing their latest products next week at Mobile World Congress 2022 in Barcelona.