Google Cloud announces Anthos for Telecom, bringing Anthos to the network edge

Google Cloud on Thursday announced Anthos for Telecom, an extension of the Anthos cloud platform to the network edge. The new service is part of Google’s new, broad strategy to help the telecommunications industry harness the potential of 5G and the cloud. G

Google plans to use Anthos, other services and new partnerships to help service providers open up new business models and new revenue opportunities, while reducing their own operational expenses. 

With Anthos, “our goal is to bring the best of cloud services anywhere and as a managed service… and it was perfect timing along with the 5G momentum happening around the world,”  Eyal Manor, VP of Engineering at Google Cloud, said to ZDNet. 

Launched last year, Anthos is a platform for managing applications on premise or in any cloud environment. Bringing Anthos to the network edge should “unlock several new use cases,” Manor said. 

Telecoms are interested in leveraging 5G to move from network-centric business models to the application level, Manor said. Yet “until today, telecoms could not really have agile development, open up to third party applications on the edge. It was very slow-moving infrastructure. The connectivity to new devices and applications was very expensive. By leveraging Anthos, it’s simple to deploy mulitple times a day on the edge similar to how you would on the cloud.”

After securing the stack on the service level, regardless of where it runs, Google can bring the latest development tools to telecoms — such as CI/CD or logging tools — on the edge. That capability, Manor argues, should open the doors for innovation, mirroring the development of the mobile app ecosystem. 

In addition to enabling telecoms to explore new business models and applications, Anthos will let them run machine learning workloads on the edge Manor said. They’ll also be able to reduce their operational costs with automated services. 

Providing the open platform for developing network-centric applications is the first piece of Google’s new Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy. The company also plans to enable a globally-distributed edge for deploying those new applications. Google Cloud plans to leverage the telecom 5G network edge, and it also plans to partner with telecommunications companies to light up the existing Google edge locations that are already deployed in telecom networks. 

“We can achieve substantial global coverage through a combination of mobile edge and the Google edge,” Manor said. “We think that’s a major differentiator in our offering.”

Additionally, Google Cloud is partnering with telecommunications companies to deliver new 5G solutions. The company announced that it’s partnering with AT&T to build out a portfolio of 5G edge computing solutions for industries like retail, manufacturing and transportation. 

Other partners are helping Google tailor its products and services for the telecom industry, so businesses can improve their IT operations. For instance, Google is partnering with Amdocs to enable service providers to run Amdocs’ customer experience platform on Google Cloud, and to deliver new data analytics, site reliability engineering and 5G edge solutions to enterprise customers. Google Cloud is also partnering with Netcracker to deploy its entire Digital OSS (Operations Support Systems) and BSS (Business Support Systems) and Orchestration stack on Google Cloud. 

As part of its broader telecom plan, Google is also highlighting specific tools that can help the industry improve customer experiences, such as BigQuery for data analytics and Google’s Contact Center AI product. 

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