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AWS, Verizon Team To Put AWS Services On The Edge Of The 5G Network

Amazon Web Services and Verizon took to re:Invent to unveil Wavelength, a service that puts AWS services at the edge of the 5G network.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Verizon will be offering 5G network edge computing through a brand-new service, the two companies revealed at AWS re:Invent.

"Customers want AWS to be embedded at 5G locations. But you can't go to a telco and ask if I can be at your edge," AWS CEO Andy Jassy said in his keynote in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

To that end, AWS and Verizon revealed WaveLength, a service that puts technology from AWS -- including compute, storage, database, and analytics tools -- at the edge of the 5G network, closer to end user devices, according to Seattle-based AWS.

"You have way fewer hops to get to compute and storage; right at the aggregation site [5G tower] is AWS," Jassy said.

[Related: AWS CEO Andy Jassy’s ‘Very Ambitious Plan’ To Keep AWS On Top]

The result will be single-digit millisecond latencies to users, according to AWS. 5G is expected to greatly improve the performance of business-to-business applications, IoT connectivity, and for both business and consumer users, make for faster streaming on mobile devices.

“The connectivity and the speed is just two things,” Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said on stage at re:Invent. “We can with 5G now bring the processing out to the edge because we have a virtualized network.”

Jassy said there's still a lot of hype and misunderstanding about what 5G technology is. "So, first we have to understand what 5G is and what it does, and then we can leverage it," he said.

Wavelength will help developers build new applications because they can access AWS services at the edge of the Verizon network, AWS said.

AWS and Verizon have been working jointly on AWS Wavelength for the last 18 months, Jassy said. AWS is also working with other global carrier partners to inject Wavelength into their networks, including Vodafone and SK Telecom.

When it comes to 5G, reliability and quality of service, are the most important pieces, said Jonathan Bauer, principal for Deloitte Consulting, an AWS Premier Partner. By embedding AWS technology at the edge of the Verizon network, it's giving users access to "enormous compute power," that they didn't have access to before, Bauer said.

"What [AWS] is saying now is you can actually run compute at the edge," he said. "Now we have to figure out, like everything else with AWS, how to use that capability to the benefit of our clients."

The two companies are piloting AWS Wavelength on Verizon's 5G Edge compute platform in Chicago for a select group of customers, including the NFL. Verizon said that additional deployments will roll out across the U.S. in 2020.

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