There was a rumour in October 2020 that Microsoft was looking to purchase network technology provider Nokia (not the handset brand this time), but it turns out in the end the companies decided to merely partner instead.
Nokia today 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 ( Radio Access Network) (vRAN) technologies with Microsoft Azure cloud-based services and developer ecosystem.
Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: “We are enthusiastic to work closely with Microsoft on this project that will harness Azure with our 5G radio network technology. 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.”
The project, which will run in three stages, will see Nokia combine its mobile network solutions 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.
Yousef Khalidi, Corporate Vice President, Azure for Operators at Microsoft Corp. added: “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.”
Nokia says their LTE/5G Radio Access Network 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.
Read more at Nokia here.