Telco Edge: The Next Big Battleground in Cloud Computing

M. Rogers

Summary Bullets:

• The IBM Satellite Cloud on AT&T MEC announcement is the latest indicating the mobile edge compute market is heating up.

• Telco edge offers advantages for speed, latency, and security and operators should look to build out both use cases and partners to add most value for enterprises.

Earlier this week IBM and AT&T announced a new partnership that will see IBM develop a new set of computing use cases leveraging its newest product for on premises or edge cloud environments, the IBM Satellite Cloud, which will run on AT&T’s Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) network. IBM environments will run on AT&T edge servers with private 5G connectivity to customer sites. The partnership will also involve Red Hat, acquired by IBM in 2019, which will focus on developing containers for the 5G MEC applications, enabling them to be readily moved from cloud to edge to on premises. Red Hat has a long history of developing open software for telcos across use cases like OSS/BSS and network virtualization, and is a strength for IBM when working in the telco edge. Initially the project will launch at IBM’s James T. Watson research center. Here IBM and AT&T hope to collaborate to build a set of 5G edge compute use cases aligned to key vertical industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, construction, energy, and utilities. The aim is to develop solutions that leverage technologies like AI and analytics towards mission critical applications like worker health and safety, industrial automation, or remote control of machines and networks. This IBM partnership is one of many for AT&T’s MEC solution. The carrier is also working with HPE, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure to develop a set of cloud computing solutions that run on the telco edge. Further, AT&T is far from the only carrier in the race to develop enterprise edge use cases alongside the big cloud players. SKT, Verizon, Orange, Telefonica, and more all have partnerships with cloud providers like AWS, Azure, IBM, Google, and HPE with the aim of developing a new market for telco edge compute. Continue reading “Telco Edge: The Next Big Battleground in Cloud Computing”