Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Google, Nokia Partnering to Create Cloud-Native 5G Wireless Services for the Edge 

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Google Cloud and Nokia will collaborate to help telecom carriers upgrade core network infrastructure with cloud-native 5G wireless services. The capabilities could be used to extend 5G bandwidth to the network edge.

The partners said Thursday (Jan. 14) the cloud-native 5G edge services would be built around Google’s Anthos cloud services platform along with the cloud provider’s AI, machine learning and analytics tools. Anthos combines Kubernetes, the Istio service mesh and related open-source components into a framework aimed at achieving interoperability between the Google cloud and on-premise infrastructure.

Along with its 5G core network, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) will supply its voice and cloud packet cores along with network functions, data management and signaling. The package includes Nokia’s device management platform for remote control of Internet of Things devices.

Nokia previously announced a partnership with IBM (NYSE: IBM) to deploy a cloud-based 5G network to deliver next-generation wireless services to enterprise customers, including emerging private 5G networks.

Those and other partnerships among cloud vendors and network infrastructure providers underscore how low-latency, high-bandwidth 5G connections will be leveraged to connect, collect and analyze huge data volumes gathered by IoT sensors and other devices.

“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, Nokia’s CTO of cloud and network services. The partnership with Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) would enable cloud-native network functions and automation, Haberman added.

Cloud-native 5G proponents assert the technology is moving in tandem with disruptive AI technologies in a virtuous cycle that could deliver fully autonomous 5G networks by the end of the decade. Equipment vendors have been touting the advantages to AI-enabled 5G networks as a way to boost network performance while recouping investments via new revenue streams as they transition to 5G.

Swedish network Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) said it expected more than half of service providers to integrate AI into their networks by the end of 2020.

The Google-Nokia partnership is the latest in a steady stream of cloud-native 5G efforts that also includes IBM’s Red Hat unit and Samsung Electronics, IBM and AT&T, Intel and others

For example, Red Hat and Samsung are collaborating to deploy 5G applications ranging from core network to machine learning via Red Hat’s enterprise Kubernetes distribution running on its OpenShift platform.

Google Cloud said this week its partnership with Nokia includes its Anthos for Telecom platform for deploying applications. The framework would allow 5G telecom carriers to deploy services from the network edge to public and private clouds.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).