Nokia unveils 'Mobile Anyhaul' concept and upgraded optical transport capabilities

Ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress, Nokia has launched upgrades of its optical, microwave, and switch portfolios to better address emerging mobile fronthaul and backhaul requirements. The new options, which include the company's previously announced PON upgrades as well as extensions to the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) family and a new routing platform, are meant to address the greater flexibility operators will require as they move toward cloud-based architectures. They create what Nokia terms a "Mobile Anyhaul" capability.

Ahead of next week's Mobile World Congress, Nokia has launched upgrades of its optical, microwave, and switch portfolios to better address emerging mobile fronthaul and backhaul requirements. The new options, which include the company's previously announced PON upgrades (see "Nokia enhances FTTH systems for 5G mobile network support") as well as extensions to the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) family and a new routing platform, are meant to address the greater flexibility operators will require as they move toward cloud-based architectures. They create what Nokia terms a "Mobile Anyhaul" capability.

Mobile network operators currently are evolving their support networks in anticipation of 5G capabilities. For example, centralized radio access network (RAN) architectures are under construction that leverage CPRI/OBSAI protocols for fronthaul. Such architectures provide static connectivity with strict latency requirements, which means that WDM-based approaches are about the only option that meet fronthaul needs, according to Nokia sources. Microwave, PON, metro optical, and xDSL are among the approaches used for the backhaul portion of such networks.

However, as operators look to enable dynamic connectivity through the deployment of cloud RANs that use latency-sensitive Ethernet (based on IEEE 802.1CM "Packet TSN") and apply cloud principles to other parts of their mobile support network, flexibility will become both more in demand and, potentially, easier to enable. For example, the use of Ethernet in the fronthaul will enable at least some of the backhaul technologies currently being deployed to find use in fronthaul links as well, the sources say.

Nokia's recently announced mobile-friendly PON upgrades play into this scenario. The company now says it also will roll out a variety of new systems to enable the dynamic connectivity and scalability the Mobile Anyhaul environment will require, as well as offer a wider choice of transmission approaches. This includes optimization for 10-Gbps cell site connections.

In the wired realm, Nokia has introduced Integrated Packet Transport cards for the Nokia 1830 PSS to support Ethernet-based transmission requirements, including packet aggregation up to 100 Gbps and low-latency coherent DWDM transmission with time synchronization. The cards come in multiple variants to support a mix of backhaul, midhaul, and fronthaul traffic.

The company also has announced the Nokia 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) for optical protection switching requirements.

On the wireless end, Nokia will offer a new family of multi-gigabit, low latency ultra-broadband transceivers, an evolution of its 9500 Microwave Packet Radio family that will be dubbed Nokia Wavence. To complement both wired and wireless transmission, Nokia also will offer the 7250 Interconnect Router R6 (IXR-R6), an IP/MPLS router with terabit scale, low latency operation, and improved port densities.

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