“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,” Nokia president of mobile networks Tomi Uitto said.
In this article, we take a look at the details of each partnership.
Nokia forges partnership with Google Cloud to develop new, cloud-based 5G radio solutions
In Nokia’s partnership with Google Cloud, the two companies 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 collaboration will lead to the development of solutions and use cases to solve key 5G scenarios for businesses worldwide.
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 (virtualised distributed unit) and 5G vCU (virtualised centralised unit) with Google’s edge computing platform, running on Anthos. Nokia’s 5G stand-alone network with vCU and 5G core will also be tested on Google Cloud Anthos platform as a cloud-native deployment.
Today, global CSPs can unlock new monetisation opportunities by driving 5G connectivity and advanced services to enterprise customers at the network edge, to deliver new, digital experiences for consumers. By leveraging its Open RAN and Cloud RAN leadership and combining it with best-in-class public cloud infrastructure from Google Cloud, Nokia is expanding its ecosystem of partners and helping CSPs lower deployment and operational costs, which is essential for monetising 5G deployments. Both Nokia and Google Cloud will continue to develop the scope of these initial collaborations by exploring new technologies and solutions that will enhance their joint 5G Cloud RAN and edge cloud solutions.
Recognising the performance demands of a 5G network, Nokia will also work to certify its Nokia AirFrame Open Edge hardware with Anthos. Nokia AirFrame Open Edge distributes computing capacity into the edge of the network and drives the implementation of Cloud RAN, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), as well as 5G.
Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft focuses on cloud solutions for enterprises
Nokia also 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 monetising 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 a better performance and end user experiences for third-party app developers via the Azure ecosystem when exposed to the network.
Nokia will also 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. Additionally, Microsoft and Nokia will explore further opportunities to incorporate 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 (MEC) as well as 5G.
The project highlights Nokia’s strategy of partnering with public cloud providers. By leveraging its Open RAN and Cloud RAN leadership and combining it with best-in-class public cloud partners, Nokia is expanding its ecosystem of partners and driving end user business outcomes essential for monetising 5G deployments. Both parties plan to explore additional areas in the future such as network slicing.
Nokia and AWS to drive development of new customer-focused 5G solutions
Last but not least, Nokia announced that it has 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 utilise AWS across the topology of the mobile network. Operators will be able to simplify the network virtualisation and platform layers for the Core and RAN network functions by leveraging the agility and scalability of cloud. This will also enable enterprises to achieve their desired business outcomes for new 5G use cases developed by AWS ISV Partners.
AWS offers its customers a comprehensive suite of on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs on a pay-as-you-go basis. This collaboration will allow Nokia to leverage AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS Outposts, AWS Local Zones, and other related services for automating network functionality, or end customer application deployment, scaling, and management.
The collaboration will cover three distinct areas. First, the project will focus on onboarding and validating Nokia’s 5G vDU (virtualised 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 (virtualised centralised 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 stand-alone Core network running on AWS, where end enterprise users can leverage 5G for use cases such as an industrial application.
As part of this collaboration, Nokia will run AWS EKS Anywhere on the Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server. Nokia AirFrame Open Edge distributes computing capacity into the edge of the network and drives the implementation of Cloud RAN, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) as well as 5G.
Nokia is accelerating its Open RAN and Cloud RAN leadership by leveraging its advanced equipment portfolio and combining it with the cloud. By collaborating with AWS, Nokia aims to expand the ecosystem of partners and drive end user business outcomes essential for monetising 5G deployments.