Kyndryl Earns Advanced Accreditation With Nokia For Private 5G, Networking

‘I’m most excited about this partnership and what we bring to our clients because the business challenges are being solved and will continue to be solved even more so by digitalization and IoT,’ Kyndryl’s vice president, U.S. network and edge practice leader, told CRN.


Solution provider giant Kyndryl has expanded its two-year-old partnership with Nokia as private wireless and edge computing become increasingly interesting to enterprises looking to solve their complex connectivity issues.

Kyndryl, the former managed infrastructure business that spun out of IBM in 2021 and is now weighs in at No. 6 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, sees 2023 as the year of enterprises accelerating their digital transformation and IoT plans. Private LTE and 5G, a connectivity option that works in harmony with existing enterprise wireless infrastructure, is a critical part of that transformation, said Gretchen Tinnerman, vice president, U.S. network and edge practice leader, for Kyndryl.

Kyndryl today has more than 100 successful private networking customer engagements under its belt with Nokia. As a result, the company has gained Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) advanced accreditation status, the New York City-based company announced on Tuesday.

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Kyndryl believes that Nokia right now has the best-in-class private wireless products and services to support its customers, Tinnerman told CRN. The partnership brings together expert resources and practitioners that can deliver and support secure LTE and 5G private wireless networking solutions worldwide across a variety of industries.

Tinnerman described Kyndryl’s private networking strategy with Nokia to be both vertical and horizontal. “We’re working with Nokia [to help] our clients in specific vertical use cases. For example, the connected worker use case for energy and oil is specific to energy and oil, but there’s still a connected worker use case in healthcare—it just looks a little different,” she said. “I’m most excited about this partnership and what we bring to our clients because the business challenges are being solved and will continue to be solved even more so by digitalization and IoT.”

Since the start of the partnership, Kyndryl has been working with Nokia to understand business challenges in specific verticals like manufacturing, health care, energy or oil and gas, and devising private wireless strategies for some of the biggest brands, including Dow, one of the largest chemical producers in the world. The two companies are currently working on 5G and private wireless deployments with one of the largest energy companies in the U.S., a large U.S. health care provider, a multinational petrochemical company, and a leading aluminum and copper manufacturing company in Asia, the company said.

Kyndryl is providing private wireless services in about 24 countries. As spectrum becomes available, the firm is expanding its reach, Tinnerman said.

Nokia isn’t the only partner that Kyndryl is working with to power private networking and connect IoT deployments. Intel is another critical partner to the company as more connected devices containing Intel chips enter clients’ environments, Tinnerman said. Down the road, the firm also plans on working with other private networking suppliers.

“For the client, we are truly a system integrator bringing different providers together and integrating all of us together,” she said. “The carriers were once really the only ones providing the services and the value to the clients … but now as an SI, we’re able to utilize our security, resilience and hyperscaler practices as an all-inclusive solution to our customers.”

Kyndryl also on Tuesday announced the launch of a partner innovation lab in Raleigh, N.C. with Palo Alto Networks joining as a security partner to test and bring advanced and secure wireless connectivity to industrial enterprises.

“Along with our partners, we can grow by bringing our practitioners and engineers into that lab so that we know we’ve got a skilled workforce who can provide consulting services, design services and architecture services for solutions to support our clients moving forward,” Tinnerman said. “That’s a big investment for Kyndryl.”

The two companies will meet onstage at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona later this month to discuss how they are working together to advance 5G private network adoption.