Verizon says no thanks to using the public cloud for its network core

AT&T made headlines in June when it announced plans move its core network to Microsoft's Azure hybrid cloud, but Verizon’s CFO said it isn’t looking to do anything of the sort.

Speaking during an Oppenheimer investor conference, Verizon’s Matt Ellis explained it has been deploying cloud technologies for the last few years, both “within the network and within the core operations of the business.” He said the cloud can offer “significant efficiencies” when used for the right applications, but noted it's not a one-size-fits-all solution.

“There’s some things that should move and there’s some things that shouldn’t,” he said. While Verizon is in the process of moving several functions to the cloud “there’s some pieces where we don’t think it makes sense because of the scale we have and so on.”

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Though public cloud players have made significant inroads with mobile operators, Ellis specifically pointed to the network core as one piece it doesn’t plan to move to the public cloud. Instead, he stated it is deploying its own cloud product to host its core, adding “we think that’s part of what makes Verizon Verizon.”

“It’s an application-by-application analysis. That analysis is largely done. Where it makes sense to transition to public cloud we have, where it doesn’t we won’t. But it really comes down to finding the most efficient and effective ways of running all parts of the business,” he said.

Ellis also weighed in on a sprawling infrastructure bill being considered by Congress, noting it takes a technology-neutral approach to broadband funding which would allow it to deploy a mix of fiber and fixed wireless access.

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“There’s areas where it could make sense to build more [fixed] broadband. There’s areas where it could make sense to provide a better experience to customers through building out fixed wireless faster than other ways may happen,” he said. “Now we’re looking at geography-by-geography where do we think it would make the most sense to either deploy fiber or fixed wireless as a solution.”

The U.S. infrastructure bill currently includes approximately $65 billion in broadband funding through a variety of provisions. As Ellis noted, the bill must still be passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden to become law.