Nokia launches a bunch of baseband cards

Finnish kit vendor Nokia is positioning its big summer launches as further proof of its return to technological form.

Using its own ReefShark chips, Nokia’s new baseband capacity cards – Levante and Lodos – and its Ponente baseband control card, are being positioned as a major addition to its AirScale portfolio. They are apparently optimised for 5G SA and 5G-Advanced, as you would hope for new 5G products at this stage in the cycle. Furthermore they’re Cloud RAN compatible and ‘O-RAN compliant’.

“We are excited to introduce our enhanced portfolio of next-generation Radio Access Network solutions,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “Our new baseband delivers twice the performance with just half the energy, helping our customers meet their ESG targets. Enabling ultra-high capacity, our future-ready AirScale baseband portfolio helps manage exponential increases in traffic growth.”

As if Nokia wasn’t already doing enough for the ESG industry, it’s also launching Manta Ray, which is described as a new ‘network management and optimization solutions portfolio’, which inevitably uses AI to make everything as efficient as possible. “With our MantaRay solutions portfolio, our customers can leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence in their mobile networks. All of these solutions are O-RAN ready, and Cloud RAN compatible, supporting the long-term network evolution to 5G-Advanced and beyond.”

Rounding off the launch-fest is Nokia’s latest generation of FDD remote radio heads, called Pandion, and a new small cell portfolio called Shikra.

The company invited Analyst Rémy Pascal of Omdia to comment on the new products. “These new additions to Nokia’s modular AirScale baseband portfolio will help mobile operators manage traffic growth and future-proof their networks by adding capacity and performance where and when it is needed,” he said. “Nokia has also significantly raised energy efficiency of the products thanks to new ReefShark baseband SoC and other hardware design improvements helping mobile operators to meet their sustainability commitments.”

In detailing these launches to journalists, Nokia was keen to stress how these products further enhance its already industry-leading AirScale portfolio. We’ll leave it to Nokia’s potential customers to be the judge of that, but it’s certainly a more plausible claim than it would have been a few years ago.

When Nokia made a similar set of launches two years ago, the message was that it’s back in the game. This time it’s more about evolution and maintaining technological momentum. For a deeper dive into these launches, especially from a chip perspective, check out this Light Reading interview.


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