AT&T and Google Cloud Are Offering New 5G and Edge Network Services

The two tech giants are expanding their enterprise solutions portfolio with new solutions that can create immersive customer experiences.

AT&T and Google Cloud announced in early July that they will be introducing a new set of enterprise services as part of their joint partnership’s extensive 5G and edge computing portfolio. This will feature two end-to-end solutions that allow companies to build new 5G experiences for their customers through either on-premises or network edge technology. According to the two tech giants, these solutions are targeted toward several industries such as retail, health care, manufacturing, and entertainment. AT&T and Google Cloud kicked off their collaboration in March 2020 with their first 5G edge computing solutions portfolio for retail, manufacturing, and transportation.

The new solutions were developed by merging the telecom’s on-premises Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) offering and AT&T Network Edge (ANE) capabilities through LTE, 5G and wireline with Google Cloud’s Edge Compute portfolio. MEC with Google Cloud and ANE were designed to provide improved data analytics services and real-time visibility for business operations.

MEC with Google Cloud features AT&T’s 5G and MEC technology with capabilities such as Kubernetes, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data analytics and Google’s ISV ecosystem, which leverages multiple public clouds and hybrid on-premises/edge models. This means that enterprises can now manage data on premises, in a data center, or in any cloud environment. According to the two companies, MEC with Google Cloud will provide businesses with more control over their data while also improving the security infrastructure of existing IT systems. It is also expected to offer lower latency and access to higher bandwidth for a better customer experience.

Meanwhile, the ANE with Google Cloud solution will enable companies to leverage Google Edge Points of Presence (POPs) by allowing them to deploy their own applications. These will then be linked to AT&T’s fiber and 5G networks. Businesses can expect faster and more efficient customer experiences thanks to the low-latency compute and improved storage environment. According to AT&T, it is currently working with Google Cloud to deliver ANE with Google Cloud to over 15 of Google Cloud’s 76 POP zones by this year. This includes major U.S. cities near core network assets such as Chicago, which will be the first city, followed by Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco.

Those who use the two new services will also gain access to several popular Google applications that can enhance customer experiences such as Google Maps, Android, Pixel, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

“With premises-based 5G and network edge computing, we give our customers even greater control of where their data goes and how they use it—at higher speeds and with lower latency. These capabilities allow businesses to deliver unique experiences to their customers, today and into the future,” shared Rasesh Patel, chief product and platform officer for AT&T Business.

In a press release, Google Cloud highlighted several new immersive customer experiences and business services that enterprises across various industries can leverage such as remote support and quality control for manufacturing, along with the use of AR and VR for remote telehealth applications.

AT&T also announced this month that it will be moving its 5G core network to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The telecommunications company partnered with Microsoft in April 2020 to develop edge compute zones for its customers. AT&T announced a similar deal with IBM in November 2020 to develop hybrid cloud services at the mobile network edge via IBM’s Cloud Satellite platform.