Nokia and Microsoft have formed a new partnership that will see Nokia integrate its Cloud RAN technology with Microsoft’s Azure to boost end-user functionality in business scenarios. The partnership is one part of Nokia’s strategy to partner with cloud providers to deliver for end-user businesses looking to monetise their 4G and 5G deployments.
Commenting on the partnership, Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure for Operators at Microsoft said:
“Microsoft believes in the importance of an open and interoperable 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.”
Under the agreement, Nokia will combine its mobile networks solutions such as Cloud RAN, Open RAN, Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) and multi-access edge cloud (MEC) with the Azure Private Edge Zone which enables data processing near to the end-users which solves any latency issues. Additionally, Nokia’s 5G RAN will be integrated with Azure 4G/5G core and the two firms will investigate how the Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server can be deployed as part of a telco edge strategy.
Today’s announcement marks just the first steps of collaboration between the two companies; according to Nokia, they will also look into additional areas where they can work together including network slicing.