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Nokia announced multiple partnerships with leading public cloud providers. The collaboration of Nokia between Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Amazon, will lead to the development of solutions and use cases to solve key 5G scenarios for businesses worldwide.

Nokia and Google Cloud

Nokia and Google Cloud will collaborate on joint solutions combining Nokia’s Radio Access Network (RAN), Open RAN, Cloud RAN (vRAN), and edge cloud technologies, with Google’s edge computing platform and applications ecosystem.

The initial collaboration, which is already underway at Nokia’s Espoo headquarters, will pursue a number of different workstreams. The first, which will focus on Cloud RAN, will integrate Nokia’s 5G vDU (virtualized distributed unit) and 5G vCU (virtualized centralized unit) with Google’s edge computing platform, running on Anthos. Nokia’s 5G standalone network with vCU and 5G core will also be tested on Google Cloud Anthos platform as a cloud-native deployment.

Bikash Koley, VP, Google Global Network and Head of Technology for Telecom Products at Google Cloud, said: “This partnership with Nokia will combine both of our decades of mobile communications expertise to deliver new solutions that help CSPs enable business transformation at the network edge.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “We are excited to develop new 5G solutions at the network edge with Google Cloud. Our service provider customers will benefit greatly from this collaboration with more choice and flexibility to efficiently deploy and orchestrate 5G networks. This will ultimately help our customers deliver 5G services on the network edge providing multiple options of cloud-based solutions paving the way forward.”

Nokia and Microsoft

Moreover, Nokia announced an agreement with Microsoft to develop new market-ready 4G and 5G private wireless use cases designed for enterprises. The collaboration will combine Nokia’s Cloud RAN (vRAN) technologies with Microsoft Azure cloud-based services and developer ecosystem to drive end-user functionality via new business cases. The initiative supports Nokia’s strategy of partnering with best-in-class public cloud providers to drive end-user business outcomes essential for monetizing 4G/5G deployments.

The project, which will run in three stages, will see Nokia combine its mobile network solutions including Cloud RAN, Open RAN, Radio Access Controller (RIC), and multi-access edge cloud (MEC) with the Azure Private Edge Zone. Azure Private Edge Zone enables data processing close to the end-user, addressing ultra-low latency, high throughout 5G-based applications such as real-time robotics, mixed reality, or immersive gaming. The initiative aims to achieve better performance and end-user experiences for third-party app developers via the Azure ecosystem when exposed to the network. 

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “We are enthusiastic to work closely with Microsoft on this project that will harness Azure with our 5G radio network technology. Open collaboration is key to the development of new and innovative high-value 5G use cases that will equip our customers with the tools they need for digital transformation. This is part of Nokia’s continued commitment to leading an open mobile future, making it simple for our customers to take advantage of the 5G world helping to drive it forward.”

Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure for Operators at Microsoft Corp. added: “Our collaboration with Nokia across multiple potential use cases, based on specific customer demand, will provide operators with choices on how the best adopt cloud technology in concert with their 5G updates to drive new revenue streams, reduce cost, and future proof their network investment.”

Nokia and Amazon

Nokia also signed an agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to research and enable Cloud RAN (vRAN) and Open RAN technologies to support the development of new customer-focused 5G solutions. The collaboration, which will be conducted at Nokia’s facilities, aims to develop innovative proof of concepts (PoC) to explore and enable Cloud RAN and related technologies.

Nokia is pursuing a strategy of collaborating with AWS to extend the reach of its Cloud-RAN technologies in support of 5G deployments and the development of new use cases.

The initiative will see engineering teams from both companies research how the combination of Nokia’s RAN (Radio Access Network), Open RAN, Cloud-RAN, and edge solutions can operate seamlessly with AWS Outposts. This collaboration will enable communications service providers (CSPs) and enterprises with 5G connectivity to utilize AWS across the topology of the mobile network. Operators will be able to simplify the network virtualization and platform layers for the Core and RAN network functions by leveraging the agility and scalability of the cloud. This will also enable enterprises to achieve their desired business outcomes for new 5G use cases developed by AWS ISV Partners.

The collaboration will cover three distinct areas. First, the project will focus on onboarding and validating Nokia’s 5G vDU (virtualized distributed unit) on AWS Outposts using Amazon EKS for far edge cloud or on-premises deployments. The second area will examine the implementation of Nokia’s 5G vCU (virtualized centralized unit) with AWS Outposts, AWS Local Zones, using Amazon EKS as a cloud-native deployment. The third part of the collaboration will build a proof of concept for an end-to-end solution with Nokia’s 5G Cloud RAN and 5G standalone Core network running on AWS, where end enterprise users can leverage 5G for use cases such as an industrial application.

Dave Brown, Vice President, Amazon EC2, AWS, said: “This collaboration with Nokia will extend the reach of our industry-leading cloud technology to support our Telco and enterprise customers. We look forward to working closely on this collaboration and offer multiple deployment choices for customers to build 5G Cloud RAN and Open RAN solutions. Our customers will benefit from different options to run 5G RAN using AWS Outposts with either Intel or ARM-based CPU choices or third-party bare metal servers while using Amazon EKS and EKS Anywhere. This will solve for the challenge of CI/CD, automation, and network orchestration by using a common framework of tools across Core and RAN.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “This is a critically important collaboration and the continuation of Nokia’s Cloud RAN leadership. At Nokia we are committed to supporting our customers and giving them the flexibility and elasticity they need on the network edge. We are building an ecosystem of public cloud partners that will ultimately support our customers and help them to build compelling 5G use cases.”

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