Nokia's new Pop-Up Network offers big cost savings over installing RAN

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is selling its new Pop-Up Network as a service that can deliver up to four times the uplink capacity while reducing cost of ownership by 80 percent.

Those savings are based on the costs Nokia estimated to be involved with deploying its Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) technology on a permanent basis along with the costs over three years (at an average of three events per year) associated with owning and operating, including hardware, software and installation.

For now, Pop-Up Networks are targeted specifically for outdoor events including concerts and sporting events, where Nokia predicts network usage patterns can inverse and uplink traffic can outnumber downlink on a 3:1 ratio.

C-RAN uses various remote radio heads linked back via optic cable to a base band unit. The technology calms device interference by dispersing transmissions across six cells and 12 receivers, dynamically shifting to accommodate changing network conditions.

Andy Burrell, the head of marketing for network planning and optimization services at Nokia Networks, says C-RAN also uses scheduling to avoid interference.

"You reduce the noise in the network and it means the signals have a better chance of getting through and being heard," Burrell said in an interview with FierceInstaller.

The Pop-Up Network service sounds a lot like a Cell on Wheels (COW) that a mobile operator would typically prop up to handle temporarily increased mobile traffic confined within a certain area.

Burrell said the primary differences between the Pop-Up Network and a COW is the business case and the inclusion of Nokia's C-RAN technology. He admits that there will be some operators that would prefer to add capacity on their own and forgo the Pop-Up Network service. But he says there's a subset of operators that don't have those capabilities and for them, a lower-cost service solution makes more sense that putting capex on the books to own their COW.

Nokia said that a Pop-Up Network is pre-configured and ready so a couple weeks is an acceptable timeframe for delivery.

Nokia will be demoing the new service this month at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

For more:
- read this Nokia press release

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