Nokia and STC use Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus for Open RAN trial

  • Underscores stc’s commitment to providing advanced end-to-end cloud-native 5G technology with O-RAN-based solutions to enterprise customers.
  • Successful trial, validated at stc’s Lab and in the field, demonstrates the flexibility of Nokia’s anyRAN approach that offers more strategic options for operators building O-RAN-based cloud-native 5G networks

Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Nokia and stc today announced that they have achieved a significant milestone by successfully testing 5G private wireless network based on cloud-native O-RAN technology. The trial was hosted on Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus, Microsoft’s carrier-grade cloud platform. The accomplishment reinforces stc's position as a leading technology provider in the region and also empowers businesses to accelerate their digital transformation efforts to take advantage of new 5G growth opportunities. Moreover, it marks a significant milestone in stc's journey to realize its 'dare strategy' by offering unparalleled digital services fostering new ways of working, accelerating performance, and expanding scale and scope.

The collaboration aims to dramatically change the way enterprises in various sectors deploy and manage their private wireless networks. Utilizing O-RAN stc intends to bring the benefits of openness, virtualization, flexible, and interoperable networks to various industries and organizations. It involves leveraging the O-RAN architecture and its principles to enhance the connectivity, performance, and agility of enterprise networks.

The trial was performed in an over-the-air environment using Nokia's O-RAN 7-2x Compliant Radios and virtual Distributed/Centralized Units (vDU/vCU) running on Azure Operator Nexus hosted on the HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen11 server with In-Line L1 acceleration. The trial demonstrated an Augmented Reality use case for industrial applications, showing the potential and versatility of the jointly developed solution.

The combination of stc's telecommunications expertise, Nokia's leading solutions, and Microsoft's hybrid cloud infrastructure and developer ecosystem form a powerful alliance that sets the stage for the future of private wireless networks.

Haithem M. Alfaraj, GCTO at stc, said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation in the telecommunications industry. Our collaboration with Nokia and Microsoft underscores our commitment to driving digital transformation and enabling our customers to leverage the full potential of advanced technologies as part of our R&D development with our partners and hyperscalers. By harnessing the capabilities of O-RAN and cloud computing, stc can drive innovation, enable advanced Industry 4.0 applications, and unlock new business opportunities.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, said: “We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative that brings together the best of our technologies and expertise. The successful trial of the O-RAN-based 5G Private Wireless Network over Microsoft Azure showcases the potential of open and scalable networks combined with cloud capabilities. This achievement is a significant step forward in enabling enterprises to unlock the benefits of private wireless networks and embrace digital transformation.”

Shawn Hakl, VP, 5G Strategy, Azure for Operators at Microsoft, said: “We are pleased to be working with stc and Nokia to deliver the O-RAN based 5G Private Wireless Network using Microsoft Azure Operator Nexus. This milestone demonstrates the power of combining cloud computing and advanced wireless technologies to drive innovation and empower businesses. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with stc and Nokia to help enterprises across various sectors harness the full potential of 5G and the cloud.”

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