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PARIS: Finnish telecoms equipment maker Nokia on Wednesday unveiled a five-year strategic tie-up with Google for the US giant to run its data centres and servers as well as numerous software applications through the latter’s Google Cloud.

The partnership, which comes as 5G services are being rolled out across Europe, is designed to “transform Nokia’s digital infrastructure” and mark an operational shift to a cloud-first IT strategy, the Finnish group said in a statement.

“The agreement is expected to drive meaningful operational efficiencies and cost savings over time due to a reduction in real estate footprint, hardware energy consumption, and hardware capacity purchasing needs,” Nokia said.

The accord — the financial terms of which were not revealed — is the latest in a swathe of such large scale cloud computing tie-ups between European operators and US giants.

Google Cloud already has inked agreements with French automaker Renault and telecoms provider Orange, Amazon Web Services has one with Volkswagen, as does Microsoft with the French health ministry.

Those arrangements have come with the governments of France and Germany having last June announced their “Gaia X” project designed to create a bespoke European infrastructure to enable the continent to cover its own needs for data security should the United States and China engage in a full-blown trade war.

Nokia and its main rivals Ericsson and Huawei between them account for some 80 percent commercial 5G global networks.

China’s Huawei is considered as well out in front in terms of the technology’s roll-out for next-generation connections although it is subject to a raft of US-imposed restrictions in Europe and in the United States over alleged security reservations amid fears the Chinese can spy on mobile data.—AFP