Leading operators to create a global Telco Edge Cloud Platform
China Unicom, Deutsche Telekon, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica and TIM have created a shared Telco Edge Cloud Platform with GSMA support.
According to a statement put out by the companies, the shared approach aims to bring applications closer to end users, therefore enabling enterprises to develop innovative services.
Together the operators will develop an Edge Compute architectural framework and reference platform. In addition, the GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, has launched an Operator Platform Project to support the initiative.
Developed this year, the platform will be deployed in Europe, across various markets, and then extended to operators in other geographies. The idea is for the platform to have global reach.
Essentially, according to the statement, the platform will provide enterprise clients with local operator assets and capabilities, including latency, compute and storage.
These offerings can be utilised by application developers and software vendors. Enterprises can also utilise the platform to extend to local or international markets whilst maintaining compliance with local regulatory and data protection laws, the companies state.
Once launched, the Telco Edge Cloud will be open and inclusive, providing data protection and sovereignty mechanisms as well as carrier-grade reliability, security and trustworthiness.
It will 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.
Utilising existing relationships with enterprises who already have use cases requiring edge enables them to extend their local footprint as well as security and data privacy, residency, sovereignty and the organisational competence from the experience of providing highly reliable services over a distributed and capillary network environment, according to GSMA.
GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair says, “Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets. “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.”
In addition to Sinclair, leaders from the various telcos partaking in the initiative offered their comments.
Xiongyan Tang, the chief scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and the chief architect of China Unicom Intelligent Network Center, China Unicom, says, “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.”
Deutsche Telekom board member Technology & Innovation Claudia Nemat says, "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.
"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."
Yoshiaki Uchida, member of the board, executive vice president, executive director Technology Sector at KDDI says, “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.”
Orange deputy chief executive officer, chief technology and global innovation officer Mari-Nolle Jgo-Laveissire says, “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.
“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.”
Singtel group CTO Mark Chong says, “We believe that a cross-border edge cloud platform which serves bandwidth needs and lower latency requirements, is whats 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.”
Dr. Kang-Won Lee, vice president and head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom, says, “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.
“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.”
Telefonica group CTO Enrique Blanco says, "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.”
TIM chief innovation and partnership officer Elisabetta Romano says, "Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers.
“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."
The GSMA brings together nearly 750 operators with almost 300 companies. These companies come from the mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors.