Google, AT&T Partner On 5G Enablement

The hyperscale cloud provider is striking alliances with telecoms that will be ‘lighting up thousands’ of edge locations, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian says.


As part of a far-reaching strategy to enable the delivery of 5G networking and edge computing services to enterprises, Google Cloud is forging new alliances with telecommunications providers, most notably AT&T.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said Thursday that Google aims to work with those telecom partners to tailor some of its cutting-edge technologies, and jointly develop new solutions, that help those companies digitally transform and better serve their customers.

The vehicle for those alliances is Google’s new Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy. The strategy entails Google working with its telecom partners to bring to market a portfolio of 5G solutions, a cloud platform for developing network-centric applications, and edge computing resources that allow enterprises to deploy those apps in the field.

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Those alliances will be “lighting up thousands” of existing Google edge locations that are already deployed as part of the telecommunications providers’ networks, Kurian said in a Google Cloud blog post.

The industry’s third-largest public cloud provider is looking to help telecoms monetize their 5G infrastructure as a “business services platform,” Kurian blogged, while better engaging their customers using advanced data tools and improving the operational efficiency of their core systems.

“By collaborating closely with leading telecoms, partners and customers, we can transform the industry together and create better overall experiences for our users globally,” he said.

Google and AT&T, who have a longstanding partnership, are now testing 5G edge computing solutions that aim to benefit specific industries, including retail, manufacturing, and transportation. Those solutions combine the 5G network AT&T has been building with advanced Google Cloud technologies: artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Kubernetes container orchestration platform, and edge computing tools.

To support the GMEC strategy, Google is releasing a version of its Anthos Kubernetes platform called Anthos for Telecom, which enables telecoms to deploy workloads at the edge of their networks.

“Much like Android provided an open platform for mobile-centric applications, Anthos for Telecom, based on open-source Kubernetes, will provide a similar open platform for network-centric applications,” Google said in a statement.