Nokia agrees 5G cloud deals with AWS, Azure and Google

The partnerships will pave the way for better 5G services as Nokia integrates its networking tech with the biggest cloud platforms

Nokia has struck partnerships with the three biggest public cloud providers to combine their respective technologies to develop packages suited to addressing 5G use cases for its customers. 

Partnering with Microsoft, Nokia hopes to integrate its mobile network technologies with Microsoft Azure cloud-based services and its developer ecosystem to build 4G and 5G private wireless use cases for enterprises. 

The firm will offer its cloud radio access network (Cloud RAN), Open RAN, Radio Access Controller (RIC) and multi-access edge cloud (MEC) with the Azure Private Edge Zone, which allows for data processing close to the user.  Nokia will also integrate its 5G RAN with Azure 4G/5G core to showcase how blending these technologies can support Microsoft’s enterprise customers.

An agreement with AWS will see Nokia research and enable its Cloud RAN and Open RAN to support the development of 5G products, with this partnership centred on developing proof of concepts to explore how the networking technologies can be deployed. 

The programme will see engineering teams from both firms delve into how Nokia’s RAN (Radio Access Network), Open RAN, Cloud RAN and edge computing systems can work seamlessly with AWS Outposts. This partnership will allow service providers and 5G-ready businesses to use AWS across the entirety of their mobile network. 

In working together with Google Cloud, meanwhile, Nokia hopes to develop new, cloud-based 5G radio systems. The two companies will collaborate on a joint product combining Nokia’s networking tech with Google’s edge computing platform and appliances ecosystem. The aim, ultimately, would be to develop use cases to solve 5G scenarios for businesses across the world. 

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Work is already underway to focus on Cloud RAN, integrating Nokia’s 5G technologies with Google’s edge computing platform, which runs on Anthos. The 5G standalone network will also be tested on the Anthos platform as a cloud-native deployment.

With these partnerships, Nokia is aiming to move away from traditional infrastructure and towards the cloud, with network operators able to launch new services much more quickly by taking advantage of virtualisation and edge computing. 

The deals were announced shortly before Nokia revealed it would be cutting up to 10,000 jobs over the course of the next two years as part of wider efforts to restructure its business groups and make cost savings. The firm intends to invest heavily in R&D and future capabilities, including 5G, cloud and digital infrastructure as part of a wider package of long-term investments.  

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