Tuesday, 16 March 2021 18:05

Nokia strikes deals with big cloud providers for 5G solutions

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Nokia strikes deals with big cloud providers for 5G solutions Pixabay

Finnish telecommunications equipment provider Nokia has struck deals with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google to pair its radio access network technologies for 5G with the cloud services of the three companies.

The company issued statements about the agreements with the three cloud providers on Monday. The AWS deal is to research and enable Cloud RAN and Open RAN technologies to support development of new customer-focused 5G solutions.

The collaboration will allow Nokia to use AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, AWS Outposts, AWS Local Zones, and related services for automating network functionality, or end customer application deployment, scaling, and management.

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."

The deal with Microsoft will run in three stages and see Nokia combine its mobile network solutions including Cloud RAN, Open RAN, Radio Access Controller and multi-access edge cloud with the Azure Private Edge Zone which allows for 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.

Nokia also aims to integrate its 5G RAN with Azure 4G/5G core to demonstrate interworking to support enterprise use cases required by Microsoft's customers. Nokia's LTE/5G RAN in enterprise premises provides high-performing and reliable connectivity to 5G enterprise use cases from the Azure 5G core and application ecosystem.

Apart from these, Microsoft and Nokia will look at incorporating Nokia Airframe Open Edge server as part of its telco edge strategy. Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server distributes computing capacity into the edge of the network and drives the implementation of Cloud RAN, Multi-access Edge Computing as well as 5G.

Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice-president, Azure for Operators at Microsoft, added: "Microsoft believes in the importance of an open and inter-operable ecosystem of solutions on the Azure carrier grade platform. 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."

Initial collaboration with Google Cloud, which is underway at Nokia's Espoo headquarters, will focus on Cloud RAN and integrate Nokia's 5G vDU (virtualised distributed unit) and 5G vCU (virtualised centralised 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.

George Nazi, global vice-president, Telco, Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions at Google Cloud, said: "In the 5G era, we're committed to delivering solutions underpinned by world-class engineering that support our customers' requirements and help them to take advantage of 5G."


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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