Nokia unveiled plans to open an innovation lab in the UAE as part of wider ambitions to deepen its cloud RAN push in the Middle East and Africa while boosting the adoption of AI and other technologies across the region.

The Finnish vendor stated the laboratory will complement existing collaborations with Dell Technologies and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to develop new innovations around cloud RAN and strengthen its own portfolio, pointing to its anyRAN software which is compatible with any cloud server or hardware.

There is a further plan to combine Nokia’s software with Dell’s cloud platform to improve the performance of open network architectures, as well as to deploy HPE’s hardware for Nokia’s accelerator cards.

Tibor Fabry-Asztalos, SVP for product development engineering and telecom system business at Dell said the partnership will aid “network operators digitally transform and quickly bring innovative and revenue-generating solutions to the market”.

Nokia added it will work with other market-leading hyperscalers to encourage the “flexibility of choice of technology suppliers and operating environments”.

The Dubai facility will also target new use cases around smart and connected industry, and Nokia stated its MX Industrial Edge platform can aid local enterprises accelerate the shift to Industry 4.0.

Network optimisation through the use of AI and machine learning will also be a key focus at the laboratory.