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Verizon partners with Google Cloud on 5G edge

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Verizon is collaborating with Google Cloud to deliver 5G mobile edge computing (MEC) capabilities to enterprise customers, allowing them to take advantage of some of the most revolutionary use cases promised by next generation networks that rely on guaranteed performance.

5G networks promise faster speeds and greater capacity that will allow for more reliable connectivity. However, it is the promise of lower latency that will enable entirely new use cases such as smart city applications, telemedicine, and mixed reality.

But in order to deliver this lower latency, operators are decentralising their infrastructure and virtualising network functions so they can be moved closer to the customer. Edge computing allows data to processed nearer to the point of collection, even at a base station level, which lowers the time of transmission significantly.

Verizon 5G edge

By bringing Google Cloud’s compute and storage capabilities to the edge of its network, Verizon can deliver the bandwidth and low latency required to power applications that require real time data processing, such as mobile robotics, intelligent logistics and factory automation.

The partnership will initially combine Verizon’s private on-site 5G and its private 5G edge services with Google Distributed Cloud Edge, but the two companies have said they plan to develop capabilities for public networks that will allow enterprises to deploy applications across the US.

Verizon is now the first US operator to offer edge services from all three of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

“By working with partners like Google Cloud and Ericsson, we’re building the 5G edge compute ecosystem that will enable enterprises in many industries to benefit from having a completely dedicated private network and edge compute infrastructure on premise,” said Rima Qureshi, Chief Strategy Officer at Verizon.

“5G Edge with Google Distributed Cloud Edge will give our customers the ability to connect and manage a broad range of devices at scale and speed while also providing highly secure, near real-time connectivity. This will allow companies to unlock greater value from data and enable innovative applications involving computer vision, augmented and virtual reality, and machine learning.”

“Through our planet-scale infrastructure and expertise in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google Cloud is enabling the rapid development and deployment of new services and applications,” said Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO.

“By bringing intelligence from data centres to the network edge, Verizon 5G Edge with Google Distributed Cloud Edge will allow customers to build new cross-industry edge solutions, unlock new revenue models, and transform the next generation of customer experiences – from AI-driven in-store operations to live inventory management on the factory floor, the possibilities span multiple industries.”

The first product of the partnership is a pilot at Ericsson’s 5G factory in the US that will see autonomous robots use sensors and computer vision to maintain inventory and monitor the location of materials in the warehouse, providing the telecoms equipment vendor with a real-time view for its assets.

Steve McCaskill

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.