Google Cloud, Intel target 5G, edge strategies for telcos

Today, Google Cloud made an announcement that indicates it’s advancing its goal to work with telcos on their 5G and edge strategies. It said it was working with Intel to jointly develop telco cloud reference architectures for wireless carriers to deploy 5G across multiple clouds and edge locations.

The companies are working on reference architectures to deploy virtualized RAN and open RAN solutions. Google Cloud and Intel also plan to provide software and hardware to help telcos migrate to containerized environments.

Google Cloud first indicated it wanted to work with telcos in March 2020 when Thomas Kurian,
CEO of Google Cloud, unveiled Google’s Global Mobile Edge Cloud for 5G. And at the same time, Google announced a collaboration with AT&T to work together on 5G and edge.

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Today, Shailesh Shukla, general manager of networking for Google Cloud, said, “We believe that by partnering across the telecommunications stack — with application providers, carriers and communications service providers, hardware providers, and global telecoms — we can decrease the cost and time-to-market needed for the telecommunications industry to shift to cloud-native 5G, and open new lines of business.”

Some of the existing technologies Google and Intel will bring to the table include Google Cloud’s Anthos for Telecom; Intel’s FlexRAN reference software; Intel’s Xeon processors; and the Linux Foundation's Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).

Earlier this month, Google Cloud added another telco to its customer roster with the addition of Canadian service provider Telus. It has signed a 10-year collaboration deal to help fuel Telus' internal digital transformation while also jointly developing new products and services.

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Google Cloud also has deals in place with Orange, AT&T and Telefónica, among others, to develop 5G services and applications using edge compute. Google Cloud is competing for telco customers against Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Oracle.