Google Cloud, Nokia forge alliance to accelerate cloud-native 5G core, cloud and edge readiness

Google Cloud and Nokia announced they have teamed up to jointly build cloud-native 5G core solutions for service providers and their enterprise customers.

The partnership is a shot in the arm for Nokia, which replaced its CEO in August, as well as further evidence of Google Cloud's attempts to cozy up to telcos. The plan includes combining Nokia's 5G operation services and networking capabilities with Google Cloud's artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics prowess that have been honed over the years on Google's own networks.

From Google Cloud's side, the capstone of the alliance is its Anthos for Telecom solution, which is a platform that was built for delivering workloads to the network edge on Google Cloud.

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Anthos is an open hybrid and multi-cloud application platform that offers telecommunications companies the flexibility to modernize existing applications, build new ones and securely run them on-premises and across multiple clouds.

Google Cloud has combined Anthos, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) with its global edge network and its telco partners’ networks to tie 5G into the cloud.

Nokia is kicking in its voice core, cloud packet core, network exposure function, data management, signaling, and 5G core technologies to the partnership.

With 5G enabling new applications and services across various business verticals at the edge, service providers are building out their own ecosystems in order to deploy low-latency services across public and private clouds and their own networks. Due to telcos' millions of last mile connections and central offices, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have been forming partnerships with telcos.

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In December, Google Cloud announced an ecosystem of over 30 partners that will serve more than 200 partner applications at the edge. Google Cloud has more than 2,000 locations globally where it can help service providers monetize their infrastructures.

Adding Nokia into the mix will help Google Cloud modernize telcos' infrastructures by tapping into 5G connectivity as well as cloud-native applications and capabilities from the 5G network core to the edge. With supporting quotes by both Deutsche Telekom and BT in Thursday's press release, it appears as though the partnership is off to a good start.

"It’s the early days of our partnership, but I can say that we’re in discussions with multiple customers and will begin rolling out solutions to customers this year," a Google Cloud spokesperson said. "I can say that customers’ responses to our partnership with Nokia have been very positive and we’re excited to work with leaders like BT and Deutsche Telekom."

While the Nokia/Google Cloud tie-up is a solid play for both companies, there's no reason not to think that Google Cloud won't develop similar partnerships with other vendors, such as Ericsson, going forward.