KDDI completes 5G standalone network trial with Nokia

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Nokia claimed this move brings the Japanese operator closer to being able to offer new, 5G-enabled services based on network slicing and ultra-reliable low latency.

The companies say the trial involved a 3GPP Release 15-compliant, containerised standalone 5G core.

The standalone trial, using Nokia’s 5G AirGile cloud-native core solution, was conducted independently of previous generations’ mobile network architecture.

The 5G AirGile cloud-native core can be rolled out in a traditional network environment or cloud environment and complies with 3GPP Release 15 5G core functions.

Decoupling functions

Evolution of the core network is key to 5G, which so far has almost exclusively been deployed in the radio access network. The aim is to decouple the data plane and control plane functions to achieve more efficient, automated management of increasingly complex networks.

In the trial, Nokia applied a service-based architecture to the 5G control plane, moving control functions completely into a cloud-based environment to provide better scalability, speed and flexibility.

The trial highlighted how a 5G control plane can replicate the model of web services for communications to create multiple software instances in a cloud environment.

As KDDI plans to evolve from a non-standalone (NSA) 5G core network to a full 5G SA core, “the trial ensures both parties understand the key requirements, roadmap and performance of a 5G core SA deployment,” a press statement said.

With a 5G core SA network, operators can provide the benefits of enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC) and Ultra Reliable Low Latency Connectivity (URLLC) to users.