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Microsoft and Nokia team up to support ‘telco transformation’


The companies announced a strategic collaboration to jointly develop AI and IoT solutions to help operators and other enterprises with digital transformation.

Microsoft will combine its Azure, Azure IoT, Azure AI and machine learning solutions with Nokia’s LTE/5G-ready private wireless solutions, IP, SD-WAN and IoT connectivity offerings.

BT is the first telco customers, and will offer its enterprise customers a managed service which integrates Microsoft Azure cloud and Nokia SD-WAN solutions using Cloud Connect Azure.

BT’s customers can access this service through an automated delegated rights service, which enables the operator to manage both the customer’s Azure vWAN and the Agile Connect SD-WAN, which is based on Nokia’s Nuage SD-WAN 2.0.

New scenarios

“Bringing together Microsoft’s expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia’s strength in building business and mission-critical networks will unlock new connectivity and automation scenarios,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president, Microsoft Azure.

He added, “We’re excited about the opportunities this will create for our joint customers across industries.”

“We are thrilled to unite Nokia’s mission-critical networks with Microsoft’s cloud solutions,” said Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer. “Together, we will accelerate the digital transformation journey towards Industry 4.0, driving economic growth and productivity for both enterprises and service providers.”

5G preparation

Another example of potential benefit for network operators is through the companies’ integration of Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING) with Azure IoT Central to make the onboarding, deployment, management and servicing of IoT solutions simpler.

This gives CSPs the opportunity to offer their enterprises a single platform including vertical solutions to enable secure connected IoT services, such as asset tracking and machine monitoring on a national or global scale.

Microsoft and Nokia are also collaborating to host Nokia’s Analytics, Virtualization and Automation (AVA) cognitive services solutions on Azure. These AI solutions could enable CSPs to move out of private data centres and into the Azure cloud to save costs and get their operations 5G-ready.

The partners say that performance and customer experience will be improved through their combined solutions: for example, services such as Nokia’s Predictive Video Analytics will improve video experience and reliability by up to 60%.