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Nokia Sees the Hololight Using L4S

Nokia Sees the Hololight Using L4S

The News: Nokia announced a collaboration with Hololight to explore how low-latency, low-loss scalable throughput (L4S), a Nokia-invented protocol, can enable applications and networks to simultaneously achieve high throughput and low latency in a scalable way. Read the full press release on the Nokia website.

Nokia Sees the Hololight Using L4S

Analyst Take: Nokia is working with Hololight to boost the performance of real-time applications, especially cloud-rendered extended reality (XR) services, which depend on ultra-low levels of latency to create convincing immersive experiences. Specifically, Nokia and Hololight conducted a proof of concept (PoC) in a demonstration at the Brooklyn 6G Summit. The PoC tested the performance of L4S for the first time with a scalable number of XR users simultaneously connected to the same infrastructure.

L4S is an ecosystem approach that requires support from both the applications and the network; the collaboration between Nokia and Hololight is a critical step toward ensuring that L4S implementations are properly optimized for key use cases such as XR. Notably, L4S was originally developed by Nokia Bell Labs to support massive-scale rollout of real-time applications. Of key importance, L4S is ready to play a crucial role in 5G-Advanced, bolstered by Nokia’s ongoing commitment to advance L4S standardization in 3GPP Release 18.

XR Ecosystem Percolating

From my view, the full range XR offerings today, from fully immersive virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) blending VR and augmented reality (AR) to the digital layering of AR and the thin functionality of smart devices such as smart glasses and headsets, the trend is the formation of deeper XR segments. As such, I anticipate that this segmentation is providing OEMs and developers the opportunity to focus on expanding the range of segment-specific designs, capabilities, and experiences based on market needs.

From a product development angle, the bonus effect of this maturing segmentation is that different product teams are working on solving very specific engineering and user experience (UX) challenges. I believe this trend in the overall XR space aligns with the mission of Nokia and Hololight to vastly improve the performance of cloud-rendered XR services underpinned by L4S properties. Now the duo can provide solutions that can aid communications service providers (CSPs) in dynamically matching XR services to the specific capabilities of XR devices such as smart headsets and glasses.

I find that Hololight is a well-suited partner for enabling and accelerating the application of L4S across 5G/5G-Advanced networks, particularly in the remote rendering of high-quality XR experiences. Through remote rendering, users can stream entire AR or VR applications, visualize high polygon content, and interact with it through local/on-premises servers or the distributed cloud. Accordingly, developers can accelerate their workflow with streaming as they can use the original source data without having to modify it and only need to create a single, device-agnostic version of the application. As such, I see the Hololight Stream XR Streaming solution gaining broader influence among developers in creating breakthrough immersive experiences.

Hololight is working with key device partners such as Microsoft, Meta, Magic Leap, Lenovo, and Qualcomm to optimize XR device capabilities. Qualcomm, for instance, has been at the forefront of XR innovations for years, already powering more than 80 devices that have been announced or have already launched, with more to come. Specifically, Qualcomm incorporates a dedicated AI block to its AR1 Gen 1 system-on-chip (SOC). The block includes its Spectra ISP and hexagon graphics processing unit (GPU), a sensing hub, and engine for visual analytics. Meta’s overlapping hardware, alliance, and platform ecosystems are powerful channels for Hololight to reach a wider array of user segments and scale rapidly.

Also, I found the Lenovo ThinkReality VRX all-in-one headset demo at the Lenovo GIAC most compelling. The immersive, slim profile six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) VR device is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR chipset that provides full-color, high-resolution passthrough capabilities for MR applications aimed at enterprise and industrial environments. The headset can connect to a PC or workstation for wireless or tethered streaming.

Moreover, Ericsson championed L4S in the launch of its new software toolkit aimed at strengthening 5G Standalone (SA) network capabilities and enabled premium services with differentiated connectivity, particularly in relation to assuring time-critical communication and 5G core capabilities. Ericsson’s 5G SA-centric software toolkit is designed for CSPs to deliver use cases with high requirements on throughput, reliability, and latency at agreed performance levels including evolving XR applications.

Looking Ahead

Overall, I believe the Nokia Hololight alliance will play an instrumental role in expanding ecosystem collaboration to confirm that the L4S protocol can transform communications, especially across XR and 5G-Advanced environments. Plus, the alliance benefits from Hololight’s portfolio dedicated to enabling the remote rendering of high-quality XR experiences that can help power breakthrough UX for evolving applications, particularly in accord with L4S enhanced network capabilities.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

MWC23 LV: Nokia Debuts Network as Code To Spur App Innovation

5G Factor: 5G Growth Underpins PW, IoT Moves and New Use Cases

Nokia Fiscal Q3 2023: Adjusting to Macro Uncertainties

Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.


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