Finnish kit vendor Nokia has signed a strategic partnership with Google Cloud to bundle its stuff into enterprise 5G solutions.
“Under this partnership, Google Cloud and Nokia will work closely to validate, optimize and evolve cloud-native network functions, and the two companies will also co-innovate new solutions that will help CSPs deliver 5G connectivity and services at scale,” says the press release. So it sounds like Nokia has effectively conceded it can’t beat the internet giants when it comes to cloud stuff, so has decided to join them.
“In the past five years, the telecom industry has evolved from physical appliances to virtual network functions and now cloud-native solutions,” said Ron Haberman, CTO of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia. “Nokia is excited to work with Google Cloud in service of our customers, both CSPs and enterprise, to provide choice and freedom to run workloads on premise and in the public cloud. Cloud-native network functions and automation will enable new agility and use-cases in the 5G era.”
“Communications service providers have a tremendous opportunity ahead of them to support businesses’ digital transformations at the network edge through both 5G connectivity and cloud-native applications and capabilities,” said George Nazi, VP of Telco, Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions at Google Cloud. “Doing so requires modernized infrastructure, built for a cloud-native 5G core, and we’re proud to partner with Nokia to help the telecommunications industry expand and support these customers.”
On one level this is a smart move. Google is one of the few global public cloud giants and is presumably desperate to gain ground on the dominant player, AWS. As Light Reading observes, telcos seem to have already thrown in the towel when it comes to the cloud and the edge, so it could be argued that Nokia is simply looking facts in the face with this deal.
On the other hand it also serves to entrench Nokia’s umbilical dependence on Google Cloud. While everything’s going well that relationship will pay dividends but, as we saw earlier this week, there are major downsides to placing all of your eggs in a basket that can be taken away from you at any moment.