Verizon announced the availability of an on-premises, private edge compute service with Microsoft Azure, building on their collaboration formed last year. Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge is a cloud computing platform that brings compute and storage services to the edge of the network at the customer premises. This should provide enterprises with increased efficiencies, higher levels of security, and the low lag and high bandwidth needed for applications involving computer vision, augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning, Verizon said. Here are the highlights:
- Through its relationship with Microsoft, Verizon is now offering businesses an on-premises, private edge compute solution that enables the ultra-low latency needed to deploy real-time enterprise applications.
- Solution leverages Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge to bring compute and storage services to the edge of the network at the customer premises, providing increased efficiencies, higher levels of security, and the low lag and high bandwidth needed for applications involving computer vision, augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning.
- Ice Mobility has used Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure to help with computer vision-assisted product packing to improve on-site quality assurance. The company is now exploring additional 5G Edge applications that provide tangible, material automation enhancements to its business, such as near real-time activity-based costing.
Some of the applications possible with the on-site 5G and edge computing include in-shop information processing in near real time to help retailers manage inventory, or factory data processing and analytics to minimize downtime and gain visibility across manufacturing processes.
Logistics company Ice Mobility has used Verizon 5G Edge with Azure Stack Edge to help with computer vision-assisted product packing to improve on-site quality assurance. The company is exploring additional 5G applications that leverage initial computer vision and 5G edge investments to provide automation enhancements, such as near real-time activity-based costing. This would allow the company to assign overhead and indirect costs to specific customer accounts, pick and pack lines, and warehouse activities to enhance efficiencies and improve competitiveness.
“This announcement aligns with IDC’s view that an on-premises, private 5G edge compute deployment model will spur the growth of compelling 4th generation industrial use cases,” said Ghassan Abdo, Research VP at IDC. “This partnership is a positive development as it leverages the technology and communications leadership of both companies.”
“Our partnership with Microsoft brings 5G Edge to enterprises, dropping latency at the edge, helping critical, performance-impacting applications respond more quickly and efficiently,” said Sampath Sowmyanarayan, Chief Revenue Officer of Verizon Business. “5G is ushering in next-generation business applications, from core connectivity to real-time edge compute and new applications and solutions that take advantage of AI transforming nearly every industry.”
“Business innovation demands powerful technology solutions and central to this is the intersection between the network and edge” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president Azure for Operators at Microsoft. “Through our partnership with Verizon, we are providing customers with powerful compute and storage service capabilities at the edge of customers’ networks, enabling robust application experiences with increased security.”
Verizon offers a similar service with Amazon Web Services (AWS which provides private multi-access edge computing (Private MEC) for enterprises. Private MEC integrates edge computing infrastructure with private networks deployed on or near the customer’s premises.
Dell’Oro Group has published an update to its Multi-Access Edge Computer (MEC) 5-year forecast report. According to Dave Bolan, Research Director, Dell’Oro has lowered their expectations from the previous forecast, because of the slower start than anticipated for 5G SA buildouts, especially for federated MEC capability.
I. Digital Realty, the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, announced today the deployment of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect 100Gbps capability at the company’s Westin Building Exchange in Seattle, Washington and on its Interxion Dublin Campus in Ireland, bringing one of the fastest AWS Direct Connect [1.] capabilities to PlatformDIGITAL®. Digital Realty’s platform connects 290 centers of data exchange with over 4,000 participants around the world, enabling enterprise customers to scale digital business and interconnect distributed workflows on a first of its kind global data center platform.
Note 1. AWS Direct Connect is a cloud service solution that makes it easy to establish a dedicated network connection from your premises to AWS. This can increase bandwidth throughput and provide a more consistent network experience than internet-based connections.
As organizations bring on new technologies and solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT at scale, the explosive growth of digital business is posing new challenges, as data takes on its own gravity, becoming heavier, denser, and more expensive to move.
The new AWS Direct Connect 100Gbps is tailored to providing easy access to larger data sets, enabling high availability, reliability and lower latency. As a result, customers will be able to move bandwidth-heavy workloads seamlessly – and break through the barriers posed by data gravity. Customers gain access to strategic IT infrastructure that can aggregate and maintain data with less design time and spend, enabling access to AWS with one of the fastest and highest quality AWS network connections available.
As an AWS Outposts Ready Partner, Digital Realty’s global platform is optimized to support the needs of data-intensive, secure hybrid IT deployments. Digital Realty supports AWS Outposts deployments by enabling access to more than 40 AWS Direct Connect locations globally to address local processing, compliance, and storage requirements, while optimizing cost and performance. When coupled with the availability of AWS Direct Connect 100Gbps connections, the Westin Building Exchange and Interxion Dublin campuses become ideal meeting places for customers to tackle data gravity challenges and unlock new opportunities with their AWS Outposts deployments.
“As emerging technologies such as AI, VR and blockchain move from the margins to the mainstream, enterprises need new levels of performance from their hybrid solutions,” said Tom Sly, General Manager, AWS Direct Connect. “Deploying AWS Direct Connect at 100Gbps at Digital Realty facilities in Seattle and Dublin is critical to our strategy of helping customers build more sophisticated applications with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability. We’re excited to see the value Digital Realty’s PlatformDIGITAL® delivers for our mutual customers.”
The Westin Building Exchange serves as a primary interconnection hub for the Pacific Northwest, linking Canada, Alaska and Asia along the Pacific Rim. The building is one of the most densely interconnected facilities in North America, and is home to leading global cloud, content and interconnection providers, housing over 150 carriers and more than 10,000 cross-connects, giving Amazon customers low-latency access to the largest companies and services representing the digital economy. The 34-story tower is adjacent to Amazon’s existing 4.1 million square foot campus in Seattle.
Digital Realty offers six colocation data centers in the Irish capital, which forms a strategic bridge between Europe and the U.S. Ireland has particular significance as a global trading hub and provides the headquarters location for several global multinationals within the software, finance and life science industries. Multiple transatlantic cables also land in Ireland before continuing to the UK or continental Europe, making Interxion Dublin a prime location for the new AWS Direct Connect 100Gbps at the heart of a vibrant connected data community.
“Today’s announcement of the opening of AWS Direct Connect 100Gbps on-ramps significantly expands opportunities for customers to scale their digital transformation through our global PlatformDIGITAL®,” added Digital Realty Chief Technology Officer Chris Sharp. “AWS serves some of the world’s most innovative and demanding customers, from start-up to enterprise, that are looking to drive the digital economy forward. Our platform expands the coverage, capacity, and next-generation connectivity that AWS customers need to extend workloads to the cloud rapidly. We are honored to open up next-generation access in collaboration with AWS and specifically at the heart of the rich digital communities at the Westin Building Exchange and on our Interxion Dublin campus.”
The new deployments create centers of data exchange in Network Hubs deployed on PlatformDIGITAL®, enabling distributed workflows to be rapidly scaled and securely interconnected – reducing operating costs, enhancing visibility, saving time and improving compliance. The new capability also gives AWS customers instant access to a growing list of powerful AWS services such as Blockchain, Machine Learning, IoT and countless others – all over a direct, private connection optimized for high performance and security.
AIB, Inc., a leading data exchange and management firm with a software as a service platform deployed at over 1,600 automotive industry customers, recognized the value of deploying a physical Network Hub on PlatformDIGITAL® coupled with a virtual direct interconnection to AWS to enable flexibility in its hybrid IT environment.
“Our Texas-based operations required new cloud zone diversity solutions for our cloud native national vision. Digital Realty provided an innovative and comprehensive solution for AWS cloud access through PlatformDIGITAL®,” said Kellen Dunham, CTO, AIB, Inc.
Digital Realty’s global platform enables low-latency access to both the nearest AWS Region as well as a wide array of options to connect edge deployments or devices. Customers can securely connect to their desired AWS Region using both physical and virtual connectivity options. Globally, PlatformDIGITAL® offers access to more than 40 AWS Direct Connect locations, including 11 in EMEA, providing secure, high-performance access to numerous AWS Outposts-Ready data centers around the world. In addition, the Digital Realty Internet Exchange (DRIX) supports AWS Direct Peering capabilities and dedicated access to multiple third-party Internet Exchanges on PlatformDIGITAL®, providing a direct path from on-premise networks to AWS. The solution is part of PlatformDIGITAL®’s robust and expanding partner community that solves hybrid IT challenges for the enterprise.
About Digital Realty:
Digital Realty supports the world’s leading enterprises and service providers by delivering the full spectrum of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions. PlatformDIGITAL®, the company’s global data center platform, provides customers a trusted foundation and proven Pervasive Datacenter Architecture (PDx™) solution methodology for scaling digital business and efficiently managing data gravity challenges. Digital Realty’s global data center footprint gives customers access to the connected communities that matter to them with 290 facilities in 47 metros across 24 countries on six continents. To learn more about Digital Realty, please visit digitalrealty.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- For more information on locations and availability please visit www.digitalrealty.com/cloud/aws-direct-connect
- Learn about Digital Realty’s Data Hub featuring AWS Outposts solution for data localization and compliance on PlatformDIGITAL
- Explore global coverage options on PlatformDIGITAL®
- Read the AIB case study on deploying hybrid IT flexibly with Digital Realty and AWS
II. Bell Canada today announced it has entered into an agreement with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) to modernize the digital experience for Bell customers and support 5G innovation across Canada. Bell will use the breadth and depth of AWS technologies to create and scale new consumer and business applications faster, as well as enhance how its voice, wireless, television and internet subscribers engage with Bell services and content such as streaming video. In addition, AWS and Bell are teaming up to bring AWS Wavelength to Canada, deploying it at the edge of Bell’s 5G network to allow developers to build ultra-low-latency applications for mobile devices and users. With this rollout, Bell will become the first Canadian communications company to offer AWS-powered multi-access edge computing (MEC) to business and government users.
“Bell’s partnership with AWS further heightens both our 5G network leadership and the Bell customer experience with greater automation, enhanced agility and streamlined service options. Together, we’ll provide the next-generation service innovations for consumers and business customers that will support Canada’s growth and prosperity in the years ahead,” said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “With this first in Canada partnership to deploy AWS Wavelength at the network edge, where 5G’s high capacity, unprecedented speed and ultra low latency are crucial for next-generation applications, Bell and AWS are opening up all-new opportunities for developers to enhance our customers’ digital experiences. As Canada recovers from COVID-19 and looks forward to the economic, social and sustainability advantages of 5G, Bell is moving rapidly to expand the country’s next-generation network infrastructure capabilities. Bell’s accelerated capital investment plan, supported by government and regulatory policies that encourage significant investment and innovation in network facilities, will double our 5G coverage this year while growing the high-capacity fibre connections linking our national network footprint.”
The speed and increased bandwidth capacity of the Bell 5G network support applications that can respond much more quickly and handle greater volumes of data than previous generations of wireless technology. Through its relationship with AWS, Bell will leverage AWS Wavelength to embed AWS compute and storage services at the edge of its 5G telco networks so that applications developers can serve edge computing workloads like machine learning, IoT, and content streaming. Bell and AWS will move 5G data processing to the network edge to minimize latency and power customer-led 5G use cases such as immersive gaming, ultra-high-definition video streaming, self-driving vehicles, smart manufacturing, augmented reality, machine learning inference and distance learning throughout Canada. Developers will also have direct access to AWS’s full portfolio of cloud services to enhance and scale their 5G applications.
Optimized for MEC applications, AWS Wavelength minimizes the latency involved in sending data to and from a mobile device. AWS delivers the service through Wavelength Zones, which are AWS infrastructure deployments that embed AWS compute and storage services within a telecommunications provider’s datacenters at the edge of the 5G network so that data traffic can reach application servers within the zones without leaving the mobile provider’s network. Application data need only travel from the device to a cell tower to an AWS Wavelength Zone running in a metro aggregation site. This results in increased performance by avoiding the multiple hops between regional aggregation sites and across the internet that traditional mobile architectures require.
Outside of the AWS Wavelength deployment, Bell is also continuing to evolve its offerings to enhance its customers’ digital experiences. From streaming media to network performance to customer service, Bell will leverage AWS’s extensive portfolio of cloud capabilities to better serve its tens of millions of customers coast to coast. This work will allow Bell’s product innovation teams to streamline and automate processes as well as adapt more quickly to changing market conditions and customer preferences.
“As the first telecommunications company in Canada to provide access to AWS Wavelength, Bell is opening the door for businesses and organizations throughout the country to combine the speed of its 5G network with the power and versatility of the world’s leading cloud. Together, Bell and AWS are bringing the transformative power of cloud and 5G to users all across Canada,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Cloud and 5G are changing the business models for telecommunications companies worldwide, and AWS’s unmatched infrastructure capabilities in areas like machine learning and IoT will enable leaders like Bell to deliver new digital experiences that will enhance their customers’ lives.”
Launched in June 2020, Bell’s 5G network is now available to approximately 35% of the Canadian population. On February 4, Bell announced it was accelerating its typical annual capital investment of $4 billion by an additional $1 billion to $1.2 billion over the next 2 years to rapidly expand its fibre, rural Wireless Home Internet and 5G networks, followed May 31 by the announcement of a further up to $500 million increase in capital spending. With this accelerated capital investment plan, Bell’s 5G network is on track to reach approximately 70% of the Canadian population by year end.
5G will support a wide range of new consumer and business applications in coming years, including virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and machine learning, connected vehicles, remote workforces, telehealth and Smart Cities, with unprecedented IoT opportunities for business and government. 5G is also accelerating the positive environmental impact of Bell’s networks. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association estimates 5G technology can support 1000x the traffic at half of current energy consumption over the next decade, enhancing the potential of IoT and other next-generation technologies to support sustainable economic growth, and supporting Bell’s own objective to be carbon neutral across its operations in 2025.
About Bell Canada:
The Bell team builds world-leading broadband wireless and fiber networks, provides innovative mobile, TV, Internet and business communications services and delivers the most compelling content with premier television, radio, out of home and digital media brands. With a goal to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world, Bell serves more than 22 million consumer and business customer connections across every province and territory. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE). To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.
Bell supports the social and economic prosperity of our communities with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. We measure our progress in increasing environmental sustainability, achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace, leading data governance and protection, and building stronger and healthier communities. This includes confronting the challenge of mental illness with the Bell Let’s Talk initiative, which drives mental health awareness and action with programs like the annual Bell Let’s Talk Day and Bell funding for community care, research and workplace programs nationwide all year round.
Comment and Analysis:
AWS already has an edge compute footprint that covers parts of Asia, Europe and North America. AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure increasingly (unsurprisingly) look like the real power brokers and empire builders in multi-access/mobile edge computing. Rogers and Telus, Bell’s two main rivals. will likely contract with one of the three big cloud service providers for their 5G edge computing needs.
UK mobile network operator O2 (Telefónica UK) has partnered with Microsoft to test the benefits of on-premise Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) within a Private 5G network, with a focus on low latency and security.
The MEC Proof of Concept (PoC) involves technology running on Microsoft Azure, which will be the first Azure deployment using a UK Private 5G network. It is designed to support secure data management, with all confidential data staying on premises at all times.
O2 (Telefónica UK) will provide Secure 5G Network capabilities and various Industry 4.0 applications. The computing service will be delivered via Azure Private Edge Zones, bringing compute, intelligence and storage to the edge where data is created. O2 and Microsoft will also support start-ups in developing new 5G solutions through the ‘Microsoft for Startups’ program.
O2 recently announced it had launched a Private 5G Network initiative with Leonardo, a global high technology company in the Aerospace, Defence & Security sector. This trial with Microsoft will be similar, however will involve MEC to broaden the use cases and benefits.
Jo Bertram, MD of Business at O2, said, “We’re incredibly proud of our track record of supporting business partners with innovative network solutions. This particular trial with the Microsoft Azure platform will provide secure and superfast capabilities that will maximise productivity and efficiency, as well as peace of mind. We pride ourselves on having a secure 5G network and being champions of coverage and reliability, as recognised in industry awards.”
Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure for Operators at Microsoft, said: “Through our collaboration with O2, we will enable enterprises to leverage 5G to unlock new scenarios that accelerate digital transformation within their own private, on-premises environments. Combining Azure technology with O2 services is critical to bringing MEC to the enterprise edge, and we look forward to seeing customers leverage this platform to drive innovation across a broad range of information and operational technology applications.”
- O2 partners with Microsoft to trial the benefits of on premise Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) within a Private 5G Network, focusing on security and low latency
- The Proof of Concept (PoC) aims to pave the way for secure data management, enabling confidential information to stay on premises at all times
- Technology will be run via the Microsoft Azure platform, its first deployment utilizing a UK Private 5G Network
Verizon today announced a deal with Deloitte to collaborate on 5G mobile edge computing services for manufacturing and retail businesses and ultimately expand to other industry verticals. The companies plan to create transformational solutions to serve client-specific needs using Deloitte’s industry and solution engineering expertise combined with Verizon’s advanced mobile and private enterprise wireless networks, 5G Edge MEC platform, IoT, Software Defined-Wide Area Network (SD-WAN), and VNS Application Edge capabilities.
Verizon and Deloitte are collaborating on innovative solutions to transform manufacturers into “real-time enterprises” with real-time intelligence and business agility by integrating next-gen technologies including 5G, MEC, computer vision and AI with cloud and advanced networking. The companies are co-developing a smart factory solution at Verizon’s Customer Technology Center in Richardson, TX that will utilize computer vision and sensor-based detection coupled with MEC to identify and predict quality defects on the assembly line and automatically alert plant engineering and management in near real-time.
The companies will also introduce an integrated network and application edge compute environment for next generation application functionality and performance that reduces the need for manual quality inspection, avoids lost productivity, reduces production waste, and ultimately lowers the cost of raw materials and improves plant efficiency. The combination of SD-WAN and VNS Application Edge will bring together software defined controls, application awareness, and application lifecycle management to deliver on-demand network transformation and edge application deployment and management.
“By bringing together Verizon’s 5G and MEC prowess with Deloitte’s deep industry expertise and track record in system integration with large enterprises on smart factories, we plan to deliver cutting-edge solutions that will close the gap between digital business operations and legacy manufacturing environments and unlock the value of the end-to-end digital enterprise,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “This collaboration is part of Verizon’s broader strategy to align with enterprises, startups, universities and government to explore how 5G and MEC can disrupt and transform nearly every industry.”
“In our recently published Deloitte Advanced Wireless Adoption study, over 85% of US executives surveyed indicated that advanced wireless is a force multiplier that will unlock the full potential of edge computing, AI, Cloud, IoT, and data analytics. Our collaboration with Verizon combines Deloitte’s business transformation expertise with advanced wireless and MEC technology to deliver game changing solutions,” said Ajit Prabhu, US Ecosystems & Alliances Strategy Officer and 5G/Edge Computing Commercialization leader, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
The #1 U.S. wireless telco still plans to reach an additional two cities with its mobile edge computing (MEC) network, ending the year with availability in 10 cities.
Verizon is also working with Microsoft Azure on private 5G MEC, Amazon Web Services (AWS) on consumer-oriented 5G MEC, IBM on IoT, Samsung and Corning on in-building 5G radios, Apple, major sporting leagues, and other organizations — all in an effort to explore and develop new use cases for 5G.
The MEC activities follows a flurry of announcements last week when Verizon expanded its low-band 5G network to reach up to 230 million people, said its millimeter-wave 5G network is now live in parts of 61 U.S. cities, revealed an on-premises private 4G LTE service for enterprises, expanded a partnership with SAP, inked a multi-year deal with Walgreens Boot Alliance, and launched an IoT services platform.
Separately, Verizon CTO Kyle Malady said that there’s currently no clear reason to move beyond 5G. “I really don’t know what the hell 6G is,” he said. Neither does anyone else- see Opinion below.
“We just put 5G in. And I think there’s a lot of development still to come on that one.”
Verizon, AT&T, Apple, Google and a wide range of other companies have already teamed under ATIS’ “Next G Alliance” that seeks to unite US industry, government and academia around 6G efforts.
Opinion on “6G”:
Talk of “6G” is preposterous at this time, since we don’t even have an approved 5G RAN/ IMT 2020 RIT spec or standard that meets the 5G URLLC performance requirements in ITU M.2410. Despite numerous 3GPP Release 16 specs, we don’t have a standard for 5G core network implementation, 5G security, 5G network management, 5G network slicing, etc.
At its 34th meeting (19-26 February 2020), ITU‑R Working Party (WP) 5D decided to start study on future technology trends for the future evolution of IMT. A preliminary draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS] will be developed and will consider related information from various external organizations and country/regional research programs.
The scope of the new report ITU-R M.[IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS] focuses on the following aspects:
“This Report provides a broad view of future technical aspects of terrestrial IMT systems considering the time frame up to 2030 and beyond. It includes information on technical and operational characteristics of terrestrial IMT systems, including the evolution of IMT through advances in technology and spectrally-efficient techniques, and their deployment.”
In a Sept 27, 2020 ITU-R WP5D contribution, China stated:
IMT technology needs to show sustainable vitality in the perspective of technical development. There are emerging services and applications, and their further development towards 2030 and beyond will impose higher requirements on the IMT system. It motivates the introduction of new IMT technical features, e.g., very high spectrum up to Terahertz, native artificial intelligence (AI), integrated sensing and communications, integrated terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks, block chain and quantum computing for multi-lateral trustworthiness architecture, etc., which were not emphasised in Report ITU-R M.2320-0 considering the time-frame for 2015-2020. IMT technology continues to develop and it is necessary for ITU to provide a broad view of future technical aspects of IMT systems considering 2030 and beyond.
And suggested topics to be covered in this new IMT.FUTURE TECHNOLOGY TRENDS Report:
IMT technology trends and enablers for the time up to 2030 and beyond:
Technologies for further enhanced radio interface, including advanced modulation, coding and multiple access schemes, E-MIMO (Extreme -MIMO), Co-frequency Co-time Full Duplex (CCFD) communications, multiple physical dimension transmission
Technologies for Tera Hertz communication and optical wireless communication
Technologies for native AI based communication
Technologies for integrated sensing and communication
Technologies for integrated terrestrial and non-terrestrial communications
Technologies for integrated access and super sidelink communications
Technologies for high energy efficiency and low energy consumption
Technologies for native security, privacy, and trust
Technologies for efficient spectrum utilization
Editor’s Note: The next meeting of ITU-R WP5D is March 1-to-12, 2021 (e-meeting)
GSMA announced a new initiative to develop a common telco edge cloud platform for network operators. China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica and TIM are participating in the project. It will make local network operator assets made available to developers and software vendors to bring their services closer to enterprise customers.
The inter-operable platform will be developed in 2020. The operators have agreed to work together to develop the edge compute architectural framework and reference platform, and the GSMA has launched an Operator Platform Project to support the initiative. Initially, the platform will be deployed across multiple markets in Europe, before expanding to other parts of the world.
Operators will offer through the platform edge compute, storage and connectivity to their customers. The GSMA said the open platform will ensure data protection and sovereignty mechanisms, while offering carrier-grade reliability, security and trustworthiness. It will leverage existing technology where possible, such as aggregation platforms like MobiledgeX, or the interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.
Telco Edge Cloud will:
- Be open and inclusive
- Provide data protection and sovereignty mechanisms
- Offer carrier-grade reliability, security, trustworthiness
- Leverage existing technology solutions; as appropriate, including, but not limited to, aggregation platform solutions such as MobiledgeX, or the interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.
“Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at GSMA. “It is essential for enterprises to be able to reach all of their customers from the edge of any network. Based on the GSMA Operator Platform Specification, Telco Edge Cloud will provide enterprise developers and aggregators with a consistent way to reach connected customers.”
“Edge cloud will build a unified network edge ecosystem, providing diversified and customised products and services, and multiple platform capabilities. It will also realise more extensive boundary-crossing cooperation to meet the requirements of digital transformation of various vertical industries,” said Xiongyan Tang, the Chief Scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and the Chief Architect of China Unicom Intelligent Network Center, China Unicom.
“Edge Cloud has an exciting potential to enable and enhance many innovative experiences for our customers. I welcome this operator initiative to take ownership of the edge opportunity by joining forces to deliver our capabilities in a federated edge service,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “Leveraging MobiledgeX as platform partner and aggregator in the federation puts operators on the best track to create scale, bring in the developer community and make a market impact.”
“Edge Cloud is a promising opportunity to enable the development of services that need low latency connection and to meet various service demands from enterprise customers. The innovation of telecommunication services will be accelerated by the enhancement of service quality and the customer experience in real-time applications such as cloud XR and cloud gaming,” said Yoshiaki Uchida, Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Executive Director, Technology Sector at KDDI.
“To address the edge-cloud computing market, operators need to work very closely together to create an interoperable platform and to monetise their extremely valuable assets,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology and Global Innovation Officer, Orange. “We, at Orange, believe that it is a must-have to unleash new business opportunities enabled by both edge computing and 5G. That’s why we are proud to support the GSMA Telco Edge Cloud initiative.”
“We believe that a cross-border edge cloud platform which serves bandwidth needs and lower latency requirements, is what’s needed at this time as it allows organisations with multi-market operations to deploy and manage time-critical applications closer to where the data is collected. We look forward to collaborating with GSMA and the other telcos on this exciting initiative,” said Mark Chong, Group CTO of Singtel.
“Edge Cloud is a key enabler to unlock the full potential of emerging applications such as AR/VR, cloud robots, and smart factory with improved QoS, real-time intelligence, security and data privacy. In order to provide a seamless global MEC experience to our customers, it is critical that mobile operators around the world come together and join forces,” says Dr. Kang-Won Lee, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom is excited to collaborate with global partners, bringing our edge cloud experience and tech leadership to the team to realise the vision of mobile edge cloud.”
“The market needs an Edge Cloud that meets the enterprise demands to service their customers. Telecom operators are in an extremely good position to provide a trusted and open Edge Cloud, so enterprises can maximise their service offering and business opportunities being as close as needed to their customers,” said Enrique Blanco, Group CTO, Telefonica.
“Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers,” said Elisabetta Romano, Chief Innovation & Partnership Officer, TIM. “Edge Cloud will be a formidable enabler to transform the network from a “bit pipe” to an effective digital business platform, thanks to flexible computing capacity and low access latency to computing resources.”
Geoff Hollingworth, CMO of MobiledgeX, told RCR Wireless News that he has been very close to the company’s collaboration with the GSMA/operator initiative. He said that the goal of the program is to build an operator edge platform that presents a solution “as homogenous as possible” to the enterprise market, in the same way that the mobile industry has presented global messaging and data solutions.
“They want to fast-track that in the industry, as much as possible into the real world,” he said. Enterprises, Hollingworth went on, need easy access to high-performance, cloud-native computing close to where they need that data processed, whether it’s in a country where their products are manufactured or perhaps where they are used, or both. He said there is more than one model for providing that, such as a form of aggregated networks where local operators are paid for being part of it and running workloads locally, or via something similar to roaming agreements between operators for so-called “east-west interfaces” that allow access to local edge computing resources. He expects both to be explored in the GSMA initiative.
“It’s purely a question of agreeing to roll out in a way that actually meets the needs of the real customers,” he added. MobiledgeX, Hollingworth said, has been in conversations with operators around the world as it seeks to build its own edge computing platform footprint, and he said it has a good handle on just what enterprise customers and application developers need and brings that knowledge to the table as part of its participation in the GSMA Operator Platform Project.
Edge use cases, he went on, always begin with one thing in common: a large volume of data that is very information-rich, that needs to be interpreted in real-time, probably by artificial intelligence; and then resulting insights need to be transmitted both locally to make an immediate change, and to a larger big-data engine for longer-term processing. MobiledgeX sees that such data streams are often coming from video cameras being used as IoT sensors and requiring vast, fast image processing capabilities. Even in the case of lower-data-intensive IoT sensor capabilities, Hollingworth said, those capabilities are increasingly being built into products and solutions that enterprises are buying—but they’re not being turned up, even if the companies would like to use them, because the enterprises can’t cope with the volume of information that would result. Globally available, easily accessed edge computing resources could change that.
The GSMA Operator Platform Project:
The GSMA’s Operator Platform Project intends to develop a framework for operators to expose and monetise their network capabilities. Operators will offer through the Operator Platform edge compute, storage and connectivity to their customers leveraging:
- their existing relationships with enterprises who already have use cases requiring edge,
- their vast local footprint/real estate,
- an inimitable position for stringent security and data privacy, residency, sovereignty and
- the organisational competence from the experience of providing highly reliable (five nines) services over a distributed and capillary network environment.
Cloud capabilities will be treated as a subset of edge.
About the GSMA:
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 750 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.
For the GSMA
GSMA Press Office
SKT Forms Global Alliance with 9 Telcos on 5G Mobile Edge Computing
SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, said Sunday it has formed an international alliance with nine telecommunication firms to develop 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies and services.
SK Telecom said Telecom Edge Cloud TF was established with nine other companies at a GSMA meeting in London last week. Its members include Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany, KDDI Corp. of Japan and EE Ltd. of Britain. The TF aims to have global commercialization of 5G MEC by sharing each member’s technology and service know-how.
MEC is a key technology in delivering ultra-low latency data communication in 5G networks that allows companies to offer better solutions in cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving. It aims to minimize latency by providing a “shortcut” — which can be completed by installing small-scale data centers at 5G base stations — for data transmission.
SK Telecom has been one of the active players in the mobile industry to develop 5G MEC solutions. In January, the company formed Global MEC TF with five Asian telecommunication firms to develop 5G MEC technologies and services.
Note: Copy editing was done to correct grammar errors and delete extraneous words/phrases.
- Our partnership with AWS Amazon on the 5G mobile edge compute, is a totally new way of accessing a market that we have not been into.
- We fulfilled our 5G commitment to deploy in 30 cities. We made 31. We said we’re going to launch 5G Home with the NR standard. We did that, and we said we’re going to launch the first 5G mobile edge compute. We did that in Chicago in December.
- If you think about our priorities for 2020, first of all, continue to grow on the core business. We showed this year we can continue to grow 4G and our core business, and that we’ll continue to do in 2020 as well, including building our network to be the best network in this market. Secondly is leveraging our new assets that we’re building.
- We’re building out fiber. We’re building our 5G and seeing that we can start leveraging that with our customer.
- This year, we’ll continue to have a lot of focus on our 5G build-out and we will come back to that later on how we see the 5G market when we will have an Investor Day later in February.
Verizon claims 5G leadership with 31 mobile cities, 16 NFL stadiums, 4 basketball arenas; launched 5G Edge and NR-based 5G Home
- We’re very excited about the opportunities that Verizon business group has, because that’s why we started building the Verizon Intelligent Edge Network some three, four years ago in order to actually address this market in the best way, and the traction we are seeing with our customers is really good.
- So I think that our technology department have no constraints on what they need to do in 2020. This is what they have plans for in order for us to continue to fortify our 4G network, to continue with strong additions in the 5G as well as continue with our fiber build. And when it comes to the monetization of the fiber build, we’re already starting to do that.
- Many of the fibers right now are going to our cell sites on air because that was a part of it. Then, of course, it has come a little bit later in monetization for our small and medium businesses and enterprise business, etc. But clearly, we’re already now seeing the benefits of doing that. So going into 2020, I think we have a very solid capital allocation for our capex.
- Ronan Dunne (VZ CTO) already said in the beginning of the year that we’re going to have some 20 5G devices coming out in the market this year. So of course, we’re going to see more 5G devices coming out. It’s going to be more build in the markets in 2020 than we had last year. So of course, this is a year that there is going to be even more 5G things coming in. When it comes to any particular phones coming out in the market, we cannot really comment on it because that, we’ll leave to the company to do.
- If this is a market which has a high degree of iOS, that means that when a 5G phone will come out from Apple, that will be important for many consumers to look into what they think is a good change. In our case, I think we’re building a unique 5G experience with our millimeter wave that nobody else is building and have the capability to do. So I think that’s really where the difference will come.
- We already have the best 4G network as you have seen in the latest J.D. Power and RootMetrics. We’re going to continue to have that. So we’re going to give the best experience for customers. And we — and I’m confident that how we are building the network will make a big difference. And that’s why we also feel very confident if — with all these devices coming out, including if the iPhone would come out, that we will have a good chance to actually grab more customers that want to be on our network. When it comes to the spectrum and all of that, I mean, I think that I might have talked about this so many times. We have all the assets to deploy our 5G strategy when it comes to millimeter wave and using dynamic spectrum sharing, be available nationwide when our customers are ready.
- Everything from spectrum to how you densify (wireless) networks and what type of software you put in, and that’s a long-term planning how to do that right. And I think that’s something where you — or people around us go wrong when I look at us because think about how we have been performing, and many actually thought that we would never sustain an unlimited. And the more the network is growing, we’re getting more and more headroom as we’re continuing deploying our software and the engineering capabilities we have in the company.
- We think the C-band (3.7-to-4.2 GHz) is an important spectrum for many reasons. That frequency will be global. So roaming will be done on it, and that’s very important for U.S. market to get into that. And it’s very important for Verizon to get into that. But it’s not hindering our strategy right now to deploy a great 5G network and be able to capture the market for 5G.
- On the CBRS, as you know, we have already started for quite a long time ago to do trials and see how it works, and it works fine. We think it’s a good addition to the portfolio that in order to see that we get good customer expectations. So we think CBRS is an important spectrum, even though it is sort of more share than anything else, but it’s going to be definitely something we’re using as it comes out.
- Secondly, when it comes to the 5G Home, you’re confirming, actually what we have in front of us. The next-generation chipset that goes into the CP for 5G Home will come out. At least, the plan right now is in third quarter, which means that commercial product is probably coming out a little bit later because it takes some time from the chipset to the device. By then, we will have, of course, deployed far more millimeter wave across the country, so we will be able to start launching many more markets when that happens. So that will come back to a little bit more about that when have our Investor Day the 13th of February, talk a little bit more about it. But that’s in the grand scheme, the plans for 5G Home, and that’s no different from what we said half a year ago.
- When it comes to the mix and match, we want to give our (residential) customers options on top of the broadband. If it’s the fiber broadband or if it’s the 5G Home broadband, we want to give them options. Of course, one option is always to have a broadband and having over-the-top services. But another is, of course, giving the mix and match option right now to see that they use the right packages that is more fitted for them. Still, of course, it’s what they can choose whatever channels you have because they come in packages. But the early — or early indication is, of course, that customers that has been on trial for a month, they clearly see what channels they’re using and what package we can suggest for that, that is going to be more optimized. So I think for us, we just think about our customers and where the market is going, and we want to give them the option of actually having different ways they can address the market when it comes to their content consumption. And I think it’s good for our customer experience, but it’s also good for our customers because all of them can do it. So as you said, it’s a little bit early, but I think that our customers are very happy that we’re giving them this option. And I think this is what everyone see where the market is going, meaning more and more over-the-top content is coming in and you want — you need thought, mixing and matching that. And here, we have a great opportunity given our service strategy, and we can work with all the type of option in the content market as we’re not owning any content.
- We always do the trade-off between owning and leasing or sharing fiber with someone, and that is a very prudent or financially disciplined way of looking at our deployment. In many cases, we see it as owning it has really an advantage for us because of the multi-use of our network. Now we’re doing sites all the time. We’re going to create revenue for our business side. So we probably have a couple of years left on doing that. But in general, I feel good about the pace we have right now and the multi-use of the fiber we have. And I think this is one of the most critical assets in a network today — in today’s world, especially as we build Verizon Intelligent Edge Network and you want actually to start delivering the 5G experience that we’re expecting. We need this fiber to be there. So that’s basically where we are with the fiber.
- We have already gotten Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) to work from the software point of view. And the majority of our baseband is ready for taking DSS. So what we have said, I’m not going to give you an exact date, but I’m going to tell you, we’re going to be ready when we feel the market is ready and our customers need to have that coverage. And again, remember, we want to have the best network performance-wise. We don’t want to deploy it because it’s called 5G. We want to see that we actually give a superior performance to our customers. And that’s why we think that the millimeter wave, what we’re doing there is extremely important because we talked about 10 to 20x, at least more throughput and speed than we have on the 4G network, and we still have the best 4G network. So I think that’s what we already assessed. When we meet at the Investor Day, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the technology sector.
- When it comes to the 5G and where we are, I think that you saw last year that we had a strong deployment coming in during ’19, but of course, we have even higher ambitions in ’20. And we will also come back and talk a little bit about — more about that. But it goes in all three directions in our multipurpose network. It’s for the mobility case, for the home case, and it’s also for the 5G mobile edge compute case, not forgetting that, because all three of them are using our multipurpose network. And when it comes to use cases, I can do some of them.
- On the mobile edge compute, we see a lot of optimization in factories. We see private 5G networks in order to keep the data and the security and the throughput in a facility, if that’s a campus, whatever, that use case has come up very early on.
- What we can do with millimeter wave in the stadium, how we can use broadcasting cameras with 5G, a lot of new innovation, both with consumer, but also for the distribution of content. With our spectrum positioning, we basically are limited on the uplink when it comes to stadiums, which is the big blocker today in a stadium. So I think you’re going to see quite a lot next four or five days on consumer cases (at the NFL Superbowl in Miami, FL) as well as we will continue to give you more insights to it the next couple of weeks and when we meet in New York here.
- We have told you where 5G will come in, which is more of 2021. So we work with assets we have right now, but we build also a great foundation on 5G going forward for the years after.
2020 Priorities for Verizon: Executing 2020 from a position of strength
1. Strengthen & Grow Core Business
• Extend our network leadership through continued innovation
• Strengthen and grow core business in Consumer, Business & Media
2. Leverage Assets to Drive New Growth
• Scale 5G / MEC / OneFiber & other assets for new growth
• Differentiate brand through trust & innovation
3. Drive Financial Discipline & Strength in Balance Sheet
• Accelerate revenue and earnings growth to drive strong cash flows
• Disciplined capital and operating spend
4. Infuse a PurposeDriven & CustomerCentric Culture
• Put customers at the center of everything we do
• Drive responsible business as part of our strategy
1. Samsung Acquires Network Services Provider TeleWorld Solutions to Accelerate U.S. 5G Network Expansion
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced the completion of an agreement to acquire TeleWorld Solutions (TWS), a network services provider headquartered in Chantilly, VA.
TWS provides network design, testing and optimization services to mobile service and cable operators, equipment OEMs and other companies across the U.S. With network builds associated with 5G and 4G LTE enhancements advancing in the U.S, the acquisition will address the need for end-to-end support in delivering network solutions.
TWS, a privately owned company, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, Inc. The service offerings and customers of TWS complement Samsung’s growth among networks infrastructure clients. With competencies in radio frequency (RF) and network design service—as well as installation, testing, and optimization services—TWS will continue to serve its existing customers and clients they currently support with Samsung. The TWS leadership team will continue to manage the business and, together with Samsung, address the network upgrade cycle occurring in the US.
With a growing position in the US networks industry, along with its 5G technology leadership, Samsung Networks has collaborated with major U.S. network operators to fulfill 5G’s network expansion. As its growth continues through network operator agreements and enterprises seeking their own cellular networks, the combination of Samsung and TWS will help customers address next-generation demands.
2. SK Telecom Joins Forces with Bridge Alliance Members for Cooperation in 5G MEC
SK Telecom today announced the launch of the ‘Global MEC Task Force’ with Bridge Alliance member operators, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, for cooperation in 5G mobile edge computing (MEC).
SK Telecom will share its lessons-learned in 5G and MEC areas with other members that are preparing to launch 5G, while making joint efforts for the development of MEC technologies and services. The company will also play a leading role in setting international MEC standards to build an interoperable MEC platform.
MEC is being highlighted as a key technology that can improve the performance of ultra-low latency services such as cloud gaming, smart factory and autonomous driving by creating a shortcut for mobile data communications.
Through the task force, SK Telecom expects to lead the expansion of the 5G MEC ecosystem to the Asian countries, and develop valuable overseas market opportunities for its 5G technologies/services including MEC.
As the first chair of the task force, SK Telecom will be hosting the first MEC workshop with Bridge Alliance from January 13 to 15 at its headquarters located in Seoul, Korea. The workshop will identify potential regional MEC-based use cases, and discuss business models and commercialization plans.
The company will introduce its 5G strategies, 5G MEC-based use cases including smart factory, and 5G clusters including ‘LoL Park.’
“As the global 5G pioneer, SK Telecom is committed to contribute to the expansion of the global 5G ecosystem,” said Lee Kang-won, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will work closely with Bridge Alliance Member Operators to help accelerate their progress in 5G and MEC, and create a pan-Asian 5G MEC ecosystem.”
“As the role of telecommunications companies is expanding beyond simply providing mobile connectivity to offering new values based on infrastructure, Bridge Alliance believes that this cooperation will serve as a key driver for realizing win-win business opportunities to all members,” said Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance.Photo: (from left) Ha Min-yong, VP and Head of Global Alliance Group, SK Telecom, Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance, and Lee Kang-won, VP and Head of Cloud Labs, SK Telecom.