Nokia to add open interfaces to its telecom equipment

Reuters

Posted at Jul 07 2020 03:43 PM

The logo of Nokia is seen at the Nokia Paris-Saclay campus as employees of Nokia demonstrate during a strike called by unions in Nozay, near Paris, France, June 30, 2020. Benoit Tessier, Reuters

Finland's Nokia on Tuesday became the first major telecom equipment maker to commit to adding open interfaces in its products that will allow mobile operators to build networks that are not tied to a vendor.

The new technology, dubbed Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN), aims to reduce reliance on any one vendor by making every part of a telecom network interoperable and allowing operators to choose different suppliers for different components.

Currently, Nokia along with Ericsson and Huawei supplies most of the equipment for building telecom networks and mobile operators can only pick one for each part of their network.

As part of the implementation plan, Nokia plans to deploy Open RAN interfaces in its baseband and radio units, a spokesman said. 

An initial set of Open RAN functionalities will become available this year, while the full suite of interfaces is expected to be available in 2021, the company said.

Nokia, unlike other vendors, had been promising to participate in the development of open RAN technology and have joined several industry alliances.