The Podcast: Nokia, X2 and Big Tech

The middle of quarterlies season gives the lads plenty of corporate arcana to bang on about in this week’s pod. They start by reviewing Nokia’s numbers and what they say about the progress the Finnish kit vendor is making in its strategic turnaround. Iain then takes things even deeper into the weeds by introducing a technology Scott had never heard of that could have a major impact on the OpenRAN movement, before they conclude with a look at the fortunes of US Big Tech companies and what they mean for the broader economy.


  1. Avatar Michael Ferris 09/02/2022 @ 4:52 pm

    Another enjoyable pod, thanks boys. There’s some hot air being expelled about this X2 issue but it’s causing misinformation in the process. Firstly it’s not true that handover is liable to fail or cause dropped calls if S1 interface is used instead of X2. The vast majority of inter-site handovers the world over are performed over S1 and I don’t see anyone complaining. Sure there can be data loss but this is generally imperceptible to users if real time data and retransmitted anyway if not. X2 is not widely implemented between cell sites because a) it’s not economical to deploy direct transmission links between sites in addition to backhaul links and b) IPSec is difficult to manage between cell sites where there is no security gateway to take on the job.

    Inter-operability between vendors for X2, however, is a definite problem. But if X2 is not widely in use then is it really required anyway? It’s advantageous, because it’s a faster handover than S1, less liable to data loss and it also has many other purposes for some of the LTE-A RAN optimisation features which rely on inter-eNodeB coordination.

    Secondly it’s not true that X2 is only needed on vendor boundaries. It’s relevant everywhere and indeed more likely to yield performance benefits within vendor areas because of the way operators deploy their networks with single vendor islands in urban centres. The noise about licensing and interoperability is valid because open RAN solutions need ultimately to make headway in high capacity urban environments, but let’s not jump to conclusions that it’s only a vendor boundary issue or that it causes dropped calls.

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 10/02/2022 @ 9:06 am

      Thanks Michael – very informative.

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