Shared Approach Aims to Bring Applications Closer to End-Users and Enable the Implementation of Innovative Enterprise Services
London: Leading operators; China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica and TIM have joined forces, with the support of the GSMA, to develop an interoperable platform to make edge compute capabilities widely and easily available.
The platform to be developed in 2020, will make local operator assets and capabilities, such as latency, compute and storage available to application developers and software vendors enabling them to fulfil the needs of enterprise clients.
Operators have agreed to work together to develop an Edge Compute architectural framework and reference platform, and the GSMA has launched an Operator Platform Project to support this exciting operator initiative. Initially, the platform will be deployed across multiple markets in Europe and progressively extended to other operators and geographies to achieve global reach.
Operators can offer enterprises unmatched proximity to their customers and deliver high performance. For enterprises, these capabilities create an opportunity for expansion to local or international markets whilst maintaining compliance with local regulatory and data protection laws.
Telco Edge Cloud will:
- Be open and inclusive
- Provide data protection and sovereignty mechanisms
- Offer carrier-grade reliability, security, trustworthiness
- 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.
“Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets,” said Alex Sinclair, CTO at GSMA. “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.”
“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,” said Xiongyan Tang, the Chief Scientist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute and the Chief Architect of China Unicom Intelligent Network Center, China Unicom.
“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,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “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.”
“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,” said Yoshiaki Uchida, Member of the Board, Executive Vice President, Executive Director, Technology Sector at KDDI.
“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,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology and Global Innovation Officer, Orange. “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.”
“We believe that a cross-border edge cloud platform which serves bandwidth needs and lower latency requirements, is what’s 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,” said Mark Chong, Group CTO of Singtel.
“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,” says Dr. Kang-Won Lee, Vice President and Head of Cloud Labs at SK Telecom. “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.”
“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,” said Enrique Blanco, Group CTO, Telefonica.
“Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers,” said Elisabetta Romano, Chief Innovation & Partnership Officer, TIM. “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 Operator Platform Project
The GSMA’s Operator Platform Project intends to develop a framework for operators to expose and monetise their network capabilities. Operators will offer through the Operator Platform edge compute, storage and connectivity to their customers leveraging:
- their existing relationships with enterprises who already have use cases requiring edge,
- their vast local footprint/real estate,
- an inimitable position for stringent security and data privacy, residency, sovereignty and
- the organisational competence from the experience of providing highly reliable (five nines) services over a distributed and capillary network environment.
Cloud capabilities will be treated as a subset of edge.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 750 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.
For the GSMA
GSMA Press Office