SK Telecom and Nokia have implemented what they say is the world's first cloud-based software-defined RAN (SDRAN) in a commercial network.
The two companies have successfully implemented a cloud-based virtual base station on SK Telecom's live network.
SDRAN is designed to allow traditional base station functions to be implemented on a general purpose IT server via virtual machines. By relegating part of the digital unit functions into the remote radio unit, real time and non real time processing functions are functionally split.
Data transmission between these two units is handled by an Ethernet-based interface optimized for the communication environment, Nokia said.
This allows traffic to be scaled more effectively and additional connectivity scenarios to be efficiently deployed without additional investments in capacity.
SK Telecom SVP and head of network R&D Park Jin-hyo said SDRAN and related technologies are helping to pave the way towards the development of 5G technology.
“Network innovation through convergence of telecommunication and IT is an urgent task to deal with explosive growth of data traffic. SK Telecom will continue to develop innovative technologies like SDRAN to lead the evolution toward next-generation network," he said.
SK Telecom and Nokia demonstrated the first virtualized RAN functions in 2013 and have been closely working together on SDRAN development.