Verizon, Vodafone Group, SK Telecom and KDDI have become the first operators to partner with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop edge computing services on 5G networks. Amazon has introduced a new cloud computing platform, AWS Wavelength, which will be deployed by its operator partners and “provides developers the ability to build applications that serve end-users with single-digit millisecond latencies over the 5G network”. AWS added that Vodafone, SK Telecom and KDDI are working to launch AWS Wavelength across Europe, South Korea and Japan, respectively, in 2020. Microsoft and AT&T announced a similar collaboration earlier in 2019, involving 5G edge computing on the Azure cloud platform.
The partnership announcements highlight the importance of collaboration between operators and other ecosystem players as the industry looks to develop edge applications and services. As well as the cloud players, a range of other companies are looking to aggregate operator edge infrastructure into a cohesive product for developers, including MobiledgeX and Ericsson with its Edge Gravity service. Crucially, operators such as Verizon are already moving to trial commercial services in areas such as online gaming and content distribution as they look to find ways to monetise the significant investment required to support edge deployments.