Orange signed-up with Nokia to roll out the vendor’s 5G optimisation platform across its markets, a move the operator hailed as allowing it to maintain service quality at a time of increasing network complexity.

The deal covers deployment of Nokia’s self-organising networks (SON) platform, which provides optimisation across RAN equipment from any vendor.

Orange plans to eventually use the technology in all its global divisions, starting with France and Spain.

Nokia noted the platform would allow Orange to automate RAN configuration and optimisation processes, and ultimately improve network performance.

Orange SVP of radio networks and 5G Arnaud Vamparys said: “The complexity of radio optimisation is growing with 5G beamforming,” adding a platform able to deal with all equipment from any vendor would allow it to maintain network quality and customer satisfaction in the next-generation era.

Mark Atkinson, head of RAN at Nokia, explained deployment of the technology appears “much simpler on paper” than “in the real world”.

“We appreciate and understand that our CSP customers have a technology stack that spans multiple vendors, which can lead to inefficiencies and complexity.”