Verizon, Vodafone flesh out edge computing opportunity with AWS

Two of the biggest mobile network operators in the world participated in an Amazon AWS virtual event this week designed to highlight the role the cloud computing provider intends to play in the telecom industry. And both Verizon and Vodafone Business offered additional insights into their respective AWS-powered edge computing ambitions.

Executives from both carriers offered one clear takeaway: “We’re just at the beginning with this journey,” said Thierry Sender, director of IoT and real-time enterprise product strategy for Verizon. “There’s so much more to come.”

Sender said Verizon is testing edge computing with AWS in Chicago, and will roll out commercial services in unnamed major markets by the end of this year.

Similarly, Vodafone Business’ Jennifer Gill Didoni said that “we are a few years away from the ubiquitous availability of MEC [multi-access edge computing].”

“I’m probably not the one that’s going to develop the next killer app,” added Didoni, the operator’s head of cloud portfolio management. She noted that Amazon helps to connect developers with Vodafone’s services.

But executives from both Vodafone Business and Verizon did offer further insights into their companies’ edge computing partnerships with Amazon AWS, first announced late last year.

Vodafone’s ambitions
“I see ourselves on the brink of a whole new set of applications,” Didoni said. “It’s about bringing the cloud to devices that have never really had it before.”

Didoni explained that Vodafone is working to develop a network that can be adjusted based on the specific customer, their device, their location and their network needs, with latency speeds ranging from 100 milliseconds to 10ms. For example, some applications like augmented reality might need a certain set of network capabilities while medical imaging services might require a different set.

Vodafone Business sees various options for edge computing. Click here for a larger version of this image. (Source: Vodafone Business)
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