Nokia set out a timescale for the addition of open RAN compatibility to existing products, with the company aiming to steal a march on rivals by offering a full suite of interfaces for the technology in 2021.

The vendor plans to launch a range of open RAN interfaces and capabilities for its current AirScale software by the end of this year, before expanding to cover the full range of open interfaces.

By adding the capability into its existing range, Nokia said it was “helping to prepare for the network architecture of the future, regardless if CSPs choose to pursue an open RAN path or not.”

The vendor claimed to be the only global RAN provider to commit to the new, open technology, pointing to R&D investments and ambitions of “leading the open mobile future”.

“Nokia’s accelerated investment in and firm commitment to open RAN provides CSPs as well as regulators and political decision makers with greater assurance that they can embrace openness to secure their telecom supply chain, without concerns about the competitiveness and/or security of their 5G infrastructure,” it added.

In May, Nokia became the sole traditional RAN vendor to join US-focused lobby group the Open RAN Policy Coalition, a move long-time rival Ericsson dismissed any prospect of replicating despite also having ambitions to be first to market with open RAN supportive kit.

Last month Nokia announced forthcoming availability of a cloud RAN platform, a system it said had been “architected” for open RAN with release following a similar timescales to its latest revelation.