NOC Portugal has signed a deal with kit vendor Nokia that includes a 5G Standalone Core and a memorandum of understanding to work on APIs.

The 5G SA core will give the operator a ‘fully automated and scalable software model, with near zero touch automation and ultra-low latency capabilities, for delivering new innovative 5G customer offerings’ claims the release.

APIs have been touted as an example industry-wide of what these elusive customer offerings might look like, which 5G SA, or ‘proper 5G’, can facilitate. This deal also includes an MoU that will see NOC use Nokia’s Network as Code platform and work with the kit vendor to create some APIs for various industrial, enterprise, and consumer use cases.

Nokia will also provide NOS with its MantaRay Network Management solution, previously known as NetAct. The cloud fabric/networking infrastructure for this project will be provided with the Nokia 7220 IXR interconnect routers which are managed and automated by the Nokia Fabric Services System, we’re told.

“The advanced capabilities of NOS’s 5G network, in conjunction with the Nokia Network as Code platform with developer portal, will give developers another important pathway for devising software solutions for their customers and driving value creation,” said Shkumbin Hamiti, Head of Network Monetization Platform, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia. “I am very pleased Nokia is expanding its ecosystem with another important European operator to enhance our strategic collaborative approach for enterprises and consumers in Portugal.”

Jorge Graça, Chief Technology Officer at NOS added: “Innovation is a core tenet of our market leadership in 5G and the collaboration with Nokia has proven to be key in that continued success. With the introduction of Nokia’s 5G SA Core we can further monetize our assets by exposing our network functions and exploring new growth opportunities.”

There was a lot of chatter at last year’s MWC about how APIs will unlock new revenue streams for telcos – however its clearly not as simple as turning on a money tap. Ericsson made its big play in the space by betting if not the farm, then more than a couple of sheep, on acquiring API specialist Vonage. However a year on, half the value of the unit has been written off and last week CEO Rory Reid was out the door.

Nokia meanwhile has signed collaboration agreements with 10 network operators and ecosystem partners to use its Network as Code platform, we’re told, which was launched in September last year.

Maybe Nokia’s approach is more slow and steady – with a home grown unit as opposed to buying into the market with a great big acquisition. But at least you don’t have to take a $3 billion punch to the gut that way.

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