Flexi from Nokia Siemens Networks opens evolution from 2G and 3G to LTE

Nokia Siemens Networks has today made the evolution path from 2G and 3G to LTE faster, greener and more cost effective than ever with the launch of Flexi Multiradio Base Station. Building on the company’s Flexi Base Station platform, the new Multiradio Flexi expands its supported technologies to cover GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE, all running concurrently in a single unit.

Flexi Multiradio Base Station meets the needs of new and existing 2G and 3G operators who can use their existing infrastructure to deploy new network-wide technologies via simple software upgrade to 3G or LTE. The flexibility of a true multiradio base station removes the risk from balancing investments made in 2G, 3G and LTE, providing operators with future proof options. The new Multiradio Flexi is also backward compatible with current Flexi Base Station, enabling capacity upgrades to existing base station sites.The product additionally fits CDMA operators who intend to migrate to WCDMA/HSPA or LTE.

Marc Rouanne, head of the company’s radio access business, stated: “Flexi Multiradio Base Station makes network evolution faster, greener and more cost efficient than ever, and this launch makes Nokia Siemens Networks the only vendor which enables future technology evolution steps exactly with the same hardware without radio technology specific boards. Thanks to the industry’s highest degree of integration, Flexi Multiradio Base Station is able to provide three technologies in one compact three sector base station of less than 75 litres.“

For operators coping with cost challenges, running multiple radio technologies in a single base station means reduced OPEX from fewer site visits, simplified logistics, reduced maintenance and a smaller requirement for trained staff. The possibility to reuse GSM sites for WCDMA and HSPA also delivers savings from reduced rental costs and maximised reuse of existing infrastructure.

Rouanne added: “The vision Nokia Siemens Networks shared with the market a couple of years ago, the business view that wireless data traffic would increase one hundred times from the end of 2007 to 2015, is right. We have deployed 143 3G networks; 110 of those have high speed data in commercial use. From the beginning of 2008 to the end of the year we measured taffic in a high number of those 110 networks, and found an increase of traffic at 4.7-fold through the year. On the four top networks in that group, traffic increased 1000% in the same period.“

Superior energy efficiency, a key feature of Flexi Base Stations, is further improved in Flexi Multiradio. The new base station has the lowest energy consumption in the market. An average three sector base station site running simultaneously GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA consumes as little as 790W, whilst pushing an impressive 60W output per sector for maximum capacity and coverage. The small and lightweight product is also rugged enough for outdoor use without shelters or air conditioning, further minimising their environmental impact.

Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, director of corporate relations at WWF International, commented: “We are very pleased to see Nokia Siemens Networks take concrete steps towards fulfilment of the targets agreed in the context of WWF’s Climate Savers programme. This is a good example of how technological innovation can contribute to improved energy efficiency and profitability, while reducing a company’s ecological footprint. The fight against climate change requires all the ingenuity and commitment that the corporate sector has to offer.“

Flexi Multiradio Base Station features built-in IP/Ethernet connectivity for a unified transport network for the Single RAN. Operators can also benefit from using the common NetAct network management system for planning, optimising and operating the Single RAN. For example, NetAct Optimizer enables easy and high quality refarming of WCDMA or LTE in current GSM 900 MHz frequency band.

Deployments of this new Flexi Multiradio Base Station will start from the beginning of 2010 onwards.

Also launched today is Nokia Siemens Networks new Multicontroller platform, which will be the basis for its future radio network controller products, including GSM and WCDMA. The new product enables operators to cope with fast changes of the network, caused by huge subscriber and data traffic growth. The Nokia Siemens Networks Multicontroller is fully adaptable to various traffic mixes and is extremely scalable with growing capacity up to 35 Gbps. First deployments of Multicontroller are starting from the second half of 2010 onwards.