I have experience in both Nokia RNC and Huawei RNC platforms.
Based on this I can say that from configuration perspective Nokia is the most versatile one. You don’t need anything else than a TELNET client to configure it. MML database is embedded in the RNC.
Nokia MML is much more complex compared to Huawei, because Huawei has simplified commands for main (bulk) parameters like 3G Cell creation etc. Also Nokia uses this for some command groups, but in my opinion Huawei is easier to operate.
Disadvantage on Huawei’s RNC is that it does not use a built-in MML database, so a large MML client application is always needed (commands are built in client, not in server).
On hardware part, there’s less units in Huawei RNC than there is on Nokia RNC. Cabinets are easier to install and much better for maintenance. Only fibers are used for data distribution to the subracks. Subracks are always exact copies of eachother and use very same configurations. Subracks have their own sealed backplane.
Nokia uses backplane cabling, and I find the (E1) connections on those backplanes particularly dodgy. The Nokia RNC cabinet is much more compact compared to the rather bulky Huawei RNC.
Nokia RNC uses an embedded PC for maintenance purposes, while Huawei uses a master-slave IBM server platform. This is a main advantage because there is allways a complete windows-based workstation you can use in the rack itself. Laptops are basically not needed to commission or integrate the RNC.
Overall, I can’t really tell anything about the reliability figures because since I worked with these equipment neither suffered a major brakedown, but my preferred system would be the Huawei RNC, because it can be operated and configured by a child really. Furthermore, Huawei systems have the very same MML system in use for all their equipment, making it very transparant. Nokia uses GUI’s that are different most of the times and are very, very slow to operate.
No offence to Nokia, but they just make configuration (and therefore maintenance) unnecessary complicated. Also cabinets installation is better in Huawei, even though it’s size is much larger per cabinet.