5G is clearly a new revolution that supports many new technologies – autonomous cars, augmented reality and virtual reality – by providing low latency and higher bandwidth on the network. For the first time, with 5G, telecom network workload is shifted to the cloud and becomes a service-based architecture (SBA) where the network will be used to push services to subscribers. In addition, edge clouds are being introduced that help further expand 5G capabilities and provide faster, reliable services by bringing processing and storage capacity closer to end users.
It’s found that carriers and super-premiums like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are looking to make the most of the opportunities that arise with the 5G cloud and the edge cloud. The cloud-based 5G concept is completely new to carriers experienced in demonstrating last mile connectivity anywhere on a continent or a country. Hyperscaler is adept at delivering agile, readily available and innovative applications and has a smooth global operation. To exploit the edge-to-edge opportunities, super-suites have come up with new solutions – Outposts and Wavelength, Azure Edge Zones, Google Anthos – to sustain their hunt for cloud-to-edge service.
In addition, the Open RAN movement, not just the edge, opens the door for carriers and hyperscaler to revenue model strategy as it will involve more vendors participating in RAN innovation.
The telcos and hyperscaler cases will work together
Despite extensive experience in managing the services and operations of giant networks, due to the cloud adoption for 5G, telecom networks cannot explode network requirements as purpose-built software, network equipment, and hardware resources. Telecommunication networks need to build and strengthen cloud-based platforms and coordinate network functionality effectively to provide flexibility in application deployment. Hyperscaler can help in this case to quickly deploy infrastructure and platforms to monitor those components and scale or upgrade as needed.
The main reason for having the edge cloud closer is for the end user to process and deliver the data as quickly as possible. This process also holds data-critical state for edge-deployed applications. Telcos will need hyperscalers in this case in order to be able to manage and distribute data across different edges and towards the end user.
It will continue to take time for carriers to push the NFV infrastructure to an edge cloud that will be deployed in different data center locations and need additional connectivity to manage and coordinate from one single glass frame. Hyperscaler can help in this case to provide services around containers and dispatch platforms like Kubernetes to streamline service operations at the NFV infrastructure level. For example, Wavelength Zone and Azure Zone might help in this case. In this way, hyperscalers gain more control over the applications and services that are part of the network, but it solves deployment problems faster with better control.
Recent innovations in telecom networks are capabilities such as zero-touch operations and network as a service that bring more power to extend operators’ forte to manage large networks. But with this ‘cloudization’, it’s important to take into account the 5G services provided to the customer and the custom services provided through the edge cloud. Different vendors will join the edge cloud to deploy their applications in different regions, such as startups, OTT vendors, and established software vendors.
According to the KPMG (pdf) report, by 2023, with growth in 5G adoption and marginal computing, the five target industries (industrial manufacturing, connected healthcare, smart transportation , gaming and environmental monitoring) is forecast to generate $ 500 billion in annual revenue across the entire ecosystem, including connections, hardware, software and services.
Considering this, it is important for both telcos and hyperscalers to join hands in looking at the proliferation of edge-based services. This will open up new revenue streams for both.
Furthermore, hyperscaler is very financially strong and capable around software applications (automation, reliability, security). But to stay in 5G and edge gaming, hyperscalers lack the penetration in the last mile connection, and want to use the vast and vast networking power of telcos. Telcos are developing in software-based nature at different stages – from cloud to edge and far edge – and hyperscalers will help them deliver the desired application with low latency.
Telcos also have the upper hand in purchasing a spectrum from the local government to deploy their network and purchasing the necessary licenses and approvals to provide telecommunications services. By partnering with carriers, hyperscalers can theoretically bypass the need for those licenses to provide cloud services.
Hyperscaler and telcos have their own strengths and weaknesses for delivering high-performance 5G. Telcos is currently advanced thanks to its ability to automate networks and networks as services, while powerful super-advanced processes with data analysis, AI / ML, component security and lifecycle management, and software services. But both have their own limitations to 5G. On the customer side, after the spike in internet usage caused by Covid-19 last year, the two should undoubtedly cooperate and develop further to overcome the challenges in the future in providing services.