Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) have successfully completed a live trial of RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) software platform over AT&T’s 5G mmWave network in New York City. The new platform will allow increased optimization capabilities through automated policy-guide and a closed loop.
The two companies announced their collaboration to co-develop the RIC platform last year. The new platform will be built in line with the O-RAN Alliance target architecture to speed up the creation of open-source software for the 5G RAN. Nokia and AT&T are working on creating an open ecosystem of interoperable components, and open interfaces that will support rapid, flexible service deployments and programmability within RAN.
The trial involved testing several external applications on live 5G network
The recent trial involved a series of external applications referred to “xApps” on AT&T’s live 5G mmWave network. The test was conducted on an Akraino-based Open Cloud Platform. The applications used in the trial helped to improve spectrum efficiency and offer customization and rapid feature onboarding based on geographical data and user case studies.
The trial allowed both companies to test the RAN E2 interface and xApp management and control. They also used the Measurement Campaign xApp to collect live data. The two companies also used the Automated Neighbor Relation (ANR) xApp to improve neighbor relation management and to test RAN control via the Admission Control xApp. All this was achieved without any interruption to the live commercial network.
The partnership is testament to corporate openness and collaboration can achieve
In a statement, AT&T VP of Technology and Innovation Mazin Gilbert said the successful trial is clear confirmation of what the two companies can achieve through open and transparent collaboration. “Together with the O-RAN Alliance, AT&T and Nokia will continue to develop and contribute to the E2 interface and the RIC platform to help enable an intelligent and flexible 5G network,” said Mazin.
The successful trial represents a major milestone in advancing the RAN network intelligence as well as improving openness and programmability. The ultimate objective is to improve end-user experience and to boost wireless network efficiency.