Nokia Networks, Telecom Italia scout for NFV, SDN, RAN and SON start-ups

Nokia Networks said it has struck a pioneering agreement with Telecom Italia to scout for potential start-up partners covering technologies including NFV, SDN, RAN Evolution and next generation SON.

The Finland-based infrastructure provider said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Telecom Italia aims to inject innovation into the telecommunications ecosystem, and that start up technology companies could help both companies to implement external solutions to create new business and market opportunities.

In addition to seeking out start-ups covering network technologies, the two-year MoU will see Nokia Networks and Telecom Italia collaborate on deploying proof of concepts of systems solutions and services, enter into partnerships with compatible start-up companies, and invest in the technologies.

Sandro Dionisi, EVP and director of Global Advisory Services at Telecom Italia, said the collaboration with Nokia Networks would "open up the opportunity to introduce new network technologies in strategic areas, faster than before". Dionisi noted the agreement also guarantees "the support of a leading OEM like Nokia Networks" to start-ups identified as suitable for the programme.

A key aspect of the MoU is that it will provide the two companies with "access to innovators, mainly but not only in Silicon Valley," Dionisi added.

Hossein Moiin, EVP and CTO at Nokia Networks, explained that start-up companies are "a rich source of innovation that can provide building blocks for various telecom and digital services," and that the company sees "immense potential in areas such as NFV, SDN, RAN Evolution and SON."

The infrastructure company will work with Telecom Italia to "further engage with the wider ecosystem of technology companies, identifying disruptive innovators and developing new solutions in these domains," Moiin added.

Nokia Networks explained that the MoU boosts both companies' chances of seeking out relevant start-ups amid an explosion of innovative new companies.

The agreement builds on a near 20-year relationship between the companies, Nokia Networks added in the statement announcing the move.

For more:
- see this Nokia Networks statement

Related articles:
Nokia Networks and Polkomtel partner for Wi-Fi calling in Poland
Nokia Networks executive says company remains confident of Africa sales growth
Telecom Italia earnings drop fails to spook analysts
Argentina blocks Telecom Italia sale, Fintech to appeal
Report: NFV and SDN spending to reach almost $157B by 2020