IBM spin-off Kyndryl signs ‘beachhead’ networking deal with Nokia

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Kyndryl, IBM’s former infrastructure services business, has signed a deal with Nokia to help automate factories by integrating cloud computing and artificial intelligence into wireless networks.

After parting ways with IBM in November, Kyndryl began building its wireless networking business and has already signed pacts with cloud providers such as Google and Alphabet’s Microsoft.

The separation from IBM was important because it was difficult to go and announce big partnerships with companies that would be seen as competitors to IBM, Paul Savill, Kyndryl’s Global Practice Leader, said in an interview.

“The announcement we’re making with Nokia is important for us because it’s kind of our flagship announcement, and it’s where we’re going to start building our (private network) business,” he said. .

Private 5G networks, in particular, bring high-speed connections to businesses because they do not share bandwidth with others, making them ideal for applying technologies such as machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The global 5G private network market is expected to reach $14.28 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research.

Nokia, which has its own set of partnerships and is working on providing private 5G equipment, has more than 400 customers and is looking to jointly target Kyndryl’s 4,000 business customers.

“Manufacturing is by far the biggest market…we estimate there are around 10 million factory sites,” Chris Johnson, Nokia’s head of corporate operations, said in an interview.

Nokia has worked with several automakers, including Volkswagen, as well as automated mines, container ports and wind farms, Johnson said.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, European tech and telecommunications correspondent, based in Stockholm; editing by David Gregorio)

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