Nokia partners with AWS, Microsoft, Google for 5G and cloud

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Nokia is pairing its 5G RAN technologies with cloud services from big public clouds. (Getty Images)

Nokia issued a flurry of announcements today, marking all of its involvements with big cloud providers related to 5G. It is pairing its radio access network (RAN) technologies for 5G along with cloud services from Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud.

The timing of Nokia’s announcements is interesting. Just last week, Nokia said it would not attend Mobile World Congress 2021, scheduled to happen as a live event in Barcelona in late June. Ericsson has also pulled out of the in-person event, citing health concerns about Covid. But in a surprise move, consultant Danielle Royston, purchased the entire space that Ericsson vacated, and she plans to invite the big cloud providers to exhibit as part of a “cloud city.”

RELATED: Consultant buys Ericsson’s MWC floorspace to host ‘cloud city’

If Royston’s plan is successful, Nokia and Ericsson will be left out of the world’s largest telecommunications conference. Or, things could go the other way. If Covid concerns cause the live MWC 2021 show to be a bust, Ericsson and Nokia will once again be perceived as forward thinkers.

Nokia’s work with cloud providers

Today’s announcements from Nokia are highlighting its relationships with the big cloud providers.

Nokia signed an agreement with AWS to collaborate on making Nokia’s 5G virtual RAN and open RAN technologies work with AWS Outposts. Their joint trials will be conducted at Nokia’s facilities in Finland.

AWS Outposts extends AWS infrastructure to virtually any datacenter, co-location space or on-premises facility.

Their joint work will also enable service providers and enterprises to use Nokia RAN technologies with other AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) and AWS Local Zones.

Nokia, Microsoft

In a second announcement, Nokia said it was partnering with Microsoft Azure to develop 4G and 5G private wireless solutions for enterprises.

Nokia will combine its mobile network technologies including open RAN, Radio Access Controller (RIC) and multi-access edge cloud with the Microsoft Azure Private Edge Zone.

Azure Private Edge Zones are local extensions of the Microsoft Azure cloud. They bring data processing close to the end user, which is helpful for 5G-based applications that have heavy computing needs such as robotics and mixed reality. 

RELATED: Microsoft, AT&T create edge compute zones

Nokia will also integrate its LTE/5G RAN technologies with Azure 4G/5G core to support enterprise use cases.
  
Nokia, Google 

Finally, Nokia also announced today a partnership with Google Cloud to develop new, cloud-based 5G radio solutions. The two companies will marry Nokia’s RAN edge cloud technologies with Google Cloud’s edge computing platform and applications ecosystem.
 
The initial collaboration, which is already underway at Nokia’s headquarters, will integrate Nokia’s 5G virtualized distributed unit (vDU) and 5G virtualized centralized unit (vCU) with Google’s edge computing platform, running on Anthos. Nokia’s 5G standalone network with vCU and 5G core will also be tested on the Google Cloud Anthos platform.