Open Ecosystem RAN

Nokia and VMware: Driving 5G Cloud RAN Transformation through Joint Innovation 

In October, Nokia and VMware joined forces to drive 5G Cloud RAN transformation through their joint innovation. The two companies announced their catalyst for RAN innovation, as Nokia 5G Cloud RAN was demonstrated in a proof of concept ready solution on the VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN. This partnership embraced the evolution and cloudification of the RAN, providing a flexible and scalable solution to accelerate CSPs modernization. 

As CSPs look to deploy a flexible and disaggregated RAN, partnerships such as Nokia and VMware are crucial. With RAN functions implemented in software and deployed on a cloud platform, CSPs can take advantage of the cloud-computing model, and network functions built with a cloud-native design. 

RAN Performance and Optimization 

VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN is optimized for running virtualized baseband functions, virtualized Distributed Units (vDUs) and virtualized Central Units (vCUs), while meeting the stringent performance, latency, and jitter requirements inherent to the RAN. Nokia and VMware have continued their validation work with Nokia’s latest software releases for vDU and vCU, ensuring optimized RAN operations. 

Nokia has also expanded its reach to layer 1 of the RAN, demonstrating improved performance in the uplink/downlink of the network. This extension has optimized the overall RAN operations, providing CSPs with an innovative solution for their network needs. 

Figure 1: Nokia 5G Cloud RAN on VMware TCP-RAN Solution Architecture 

Simplified RAN Management and Automation 

The Nokia & VMware joint Cloud RAN TCA provides a single tool for multi-layer automation and streamlines the deployment, management, and operation of distributed RAN sites, minimizing complexity for CSPs. VMware Telco Cloud Automation solution offers CSPs ready-to-use automation at scale, regardless of the number of RAN sites they manage. Whether it’s a single site or a large cluster, the VMware automation simplifies RAN operations. This combination of management tools empowers CSPs with more flexibility and control of their RAN. 

Evolution of our Partnership 

The partnership between Nokia and VMware will continue to evolve, with the next step being the integration of Nokia’s Cloud RAN SmartNIC with VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN. This integration will be particularly beneficial in Cloud RAN environments where virtual machines need to perform many low-level processing tasks. Nokia Cloud RAN SmartNIC for L1 acceleration can offload these tasks, providing features performance consistency between traditional and Cloud-based networks, better CPU performance and superior capacity/power ratio. This results in savings of server energy consumption and site cooling, lowering overall TCO. The validation of Nokia’s Cloud RAN SmartNIC and VMware’s TCP-RAN will provide a flexible and scalable solution for mobile network operators. 


The planned joint solution from Nokia and VMware is driving the 5G Cloud RAN transformation with innovation at the forefront. The partnership has enabled CSPs to take advantage of improved performance and the continued validation work has ensured optimized RAN operations. The partnership between Nokia and VMware will facilitate faster 5G cloud network deployments and simplify operations for our customers, enabling telcos to focus on boosting innovation in their networks.  


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