Nokia enters Software-as-a-Service for communication service providers

(Image credit: Nokia)

Nokia has announced it is introducing multiple Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services for communication service providers (CSPs), which will be available early next year. This will be an important first step to giving operators a less expensive, more flexible, and more customer-centric pathway for operating their 5G networks and delivering new services.

Offering SaaS for CSPs is a natural evolution of Everything-as-a-Service, which is a key element to Nokia’s overall strategy. It reflects a culmination of steps Nokia has taken in recent years to enhance CSP network operations, including rearchitecting its software applications to make them fully cloud-native and deployable in any cloud environment, edge, public or private. To seize the opportunity 5G technology brings CSPs need to shift away from the legacy practice of deploying customised software for analytics, security, network management, and other functions, that run on costly, complex, on-premise infrastructure.  

SaaS for CSPs

Nokia’s approach to SaaS for CSPs is about improving value and reducing complexity by providing innovative software consumed purely on demand through a subscription, eliminating large up front capital expenditure; by avoiding the need to perform on-site software maintenance and updates; and by accelerating CSPs’ ability to launch new services faster and achieve “time to value” quicker.  

“This will position Nokia well to serve operators that need to accelerate the adoption of new cloud-based technologies at scale.”

Caroline Chappell, Analysys Mason.

“SaaS is the software consumption model of the future. It is nascent in the telco market today but our research shows that leading operators understand its benefits and are waiting for vendors to respond. It is good to see a mainstream vendor like Nokia making an early move into SaaS-based delivery. This will position Nokia well to serve operators that need to accelerate the adoption of new cloud-based technologies at scale, such as 5G, IoT, edge computing and AI. CSPs must transform themselves to capitalize on these technologies, and the switch to SaaS delivery models is a critical component of their digital transformation strategies,” said Caroline Chappell, Research Director at Analysys Mason.  

As part of the line-up of SaaS services, Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM) is now commercially available through a SaaS framework to give CSPs an easy and secure way to share and access data. NDM was launched “as a service” earlier this year. The new SaaS version of NDM offers enhanced automation, efficiency and scalability to CSPs and enterprises in a variety of industry verticals, including energy, public sector, transportation, and smart cities. 

$3.1 billion market value 

For the 2021-2025 period, Nokia is targeting a SaaS addressable market, comprised of CSPs and enterprises, with a value of $3.1 billion and an annual growth rate of approximately 25-30%. Nokia is in discussions with several CSPs around the world about using its SaaS services, including security.

“Our SaaS delivery framework is in a very strong competitive position.”

Raghav Sahgal, Nokia.

“The convergence of 5G, cloud native software and SaaS creates a great and fast-growing opportunity for Nokia. With the groundwork we’ve already been laying, our SaaS delivery framework is in a very strong competitive position. It enables a combination of rapid time to value with on-demand access for Nokia SaaS applications and low cost of ownership, based on a pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-grow commercial model. This is a multi-year journey and we are going at it aggressively,” said Raghav Sahgal, President of Cloud and Network Services at Nokia. 

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at