Friday, September 24, 2021

AT&T and Google Cloud Expand Edge Computing Solutions

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and DALLAS — Google Cloud and AT&T are expanding their work together to co-develop a set of edge computing solutions. 

The solutions pull from the companies’ portfolios and include AT&T’s on-premises multi-access edge compute (MEC) solution and network edge capabilities through LTE, 5G, and wireline as well as Google Cloud’s suite, according to the companies last month.

The work builds on the partnership AT&T and Google Cloud initiated in March 2020 to co-develop edge enterprise solutions. 

Latest Co-Developed Offerings

Tapping Google’s Suite

The companies are “taking the next step” to deliver “transformative capabilities” that help businesses drive value and build industry-changing experiences in retail, health care, manufacturing, entertainment, and more: with the ability to use Google Maps, Android, Pixel, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and other solutions across Google for more immersive customer experiences.

  • Enabling video analytics: Services to help businesses across industries with theft prevention, crowd control, and queue prediction and management
  • In retail: Streamlining and automating inventory management, connecting brick and mortar, and e-commerce and back-end systems for near real-time visibility into operations
  • In health care: Scaling access to services like telehealth-based therapy, using AR and VR for remote care 
  • In manufacturing: Accelerating operations with remote support and quality control checks at plant locations and optimizing bandwidth usage by streaming video on the edge rather than on device
  • In entertainment: Enhancing in-venue experiences for concerts and sporting events, with solutions ranging from immersive AR and VR experiences to smart parking and from ticketless entry to contact-less food and souvenir payment

AT&T and Google Cloud are also evaluating how network APIs could optimize applications and user experience at the edge for business outcomes, using near real-time network information at the Google Cloud edge. 

See more: Google Cloud Previewing Data Engine For Health Care

Multi-access edge compute

AT&T’s multi-access edge compute with Google Cloud combines AT&T’s existing 5G and fully managed MEC offering with core Google Cloud capabilities, including Kubernetes, AI, machine learning (ML), data analytics, and an edge ISV ecosystem.

With the solution, enterprises can build and run modern applications close to their end users, with the flexibility to manage data on-premises, in a customer’s data center, or in any cloud. Customers can increase control over data, improve security, lower latency, and provide higher bandwidth.

Network edge

AT&T’s network edge with Google Cloud will enable enterprises to deploy applications at Google edge points of presence (POPs), which will be connected to AT&T’s 5G and fiber networks. In the low-latency compute and storage environment, companies can deliver faster and more seamless customer experiences. 

They’re focusing on a “multi-year strategy” to bring the solution to over 15 zones across major cities, starting with Chicago this year. 

“A New Era”

Jason Leigh, research manager for 5G and mobile services research at IDC, said 5G, cloud services, and edge compute “each have a tremendous amount of promise as stand-alone technologies.”

“But coupling these three as complimentary, enabling technologies both accelerates and extends the promise of digital transformation in many more business settings,” Leigh said.

“Together with AT&T, we are committed to enabling our customers to build and deliver next-generation applications, whether on-premise or on AT&T’s leading mobile network,” said George Nazi, VP of global telecom, media, and entertainment Solutions, Google Cloud. 

Rasesh Patel, chief product and platform officer at AT&T Business, said AT&T is “bringing forth a new era where the latest technological advancements, including 5G and edge computing, make it possible to transform, innovate and prepare for whatever the future holds.”

See more: Public Cloud Computing Providers

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