Elisa and Nokia virtualise base stations in Cloud RAN trial

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Finnish operator Elisa has tested technology with Nokia that allows cellular base stations to be moved to and managed in the cloud.

The two partners tested Cloud RAN technology, which allows base stations to be remotely managed and for capacity to be transferred from one base station to another without base stations needing to be moved. It also makes it easier to implement updates.

The test was carried out at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo, Finland.

The first telecoms operator in Finland to test the technology on a commercial network, Elisa plans to deploy the technology allowing base stations to be virtualised more widely this year.

The technology is expected to be used in building 5G networks. However, Elisa said it would also help with managing the growing traffic on existing networks.

Sami Komulainen, Elisa's Vice President with responsibility for mobile networks, said: “In the future, it will be possible to shift capacity at the end of a working day from office districts to shopping centres and residential areas, and networks will not get congested."

Pekka Sundström, Account Director at Nokia, said that Elisa’s customers consume an average of 15GB per month, which it said made it an ideal partner for trialing this kind of technology.

In November, Elisa launched Finland's first cloud-based VoLTE and voice over Wi-Fi services in a roll-out with Nokia.