IBM creates cloud platform for the telecoms industry to realise 5G potential

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Laborant)

IBM is launching an open hybrid cloud platform for the telecoms industry, claiming it will help operators modernise their infrastructure and unlock the full potential of 5G networks.

5G will deliver superior consumer services but the real potential is in the business market. Ultrafast speeds, enhanced capacity and ultra-low latency will allow mobile networks to power mission-critical applications for the first time and allow for the creation of entirely new use cases.

However, this requires operators to rearchitect networks away from centralised, legacy core infrastructure and towards the cloud. By virtualising network functions, operators can rollout new services more rapidly, dynamically allocate resources to where they are most needed, and bring processing capabilities closer to the point of collection.

IBM cloud for telcos

This necessity has seen significant convergence between the telecoms and technologies industries in recent years as vendors from both spheres collaborate to create joint-offerings that mix and match various IT and network technologies.

‘IBM for Telecommunications’ comprises a cloud platform and ecosystem of third-party vendors that promise to aid operators achieve this transition by allowing services to be built or deployed wherever they or their clients require – in the cloud, on-premise or at the edge.

The scalability of IBM’s ensures operators can easily meet growing demand for data and voice, while powerful software layers simplify the management of infrastructure, enable automation, and reduce costs. Operators can maximise data assets and rapidly roll out new services that meet customer requirements and drive revenues.

Beyond the core cloud platform, IBM has created an ecosystem of more than 35 partners, including major telecoms network manufacturers, software vendors, and hardware specialists. This includes Cisco, Dell, Intel, HPE, Nokia and Samsung.

As part of the project, Nokia and IBM will create a fully-functioning cloud-based 5G network that will allow operators to quickly provision private 5G services for enterprises, while IBM will work with Samsung and Red Hat to create AI-based services for Industry 4.0 deployments.

“We believe that our service provider customers will benefit greatly from having an additional choice to quickly and efficiently deploy private 5G networks,” said Jane Rygaard, Head of Edge Cloud, Nokia. “The transition to 5G will be a key step for industries to deliver on their digital transformation plans. Having multiple options of cloud-based solutions will help our industry build this path forward.” 

Rivals Microsoft and Google have both made significant investments in their telco capabilities both in terms of creating new services and through acquisitions.  

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.