Over the past 10 years, the telecommunications industry has undergone significant disruption fueled by widespread mobile adoption, emerging technologies, and shifting customer expectations. The next major disruptor is 5G, which will enable organizations to deliver exciting new experiences to their customers while transforming their internal business processes.
After unveiling its Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy in early 2020, Google went to work developing a robust catalog of telecom-specific cloud solutions and cultivating an ecosystem of partners to help telcos bring their applications to the edge. In the process, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has established itself as the cloud of choice for telcos to leverage 5G to optimize internal efficiency, reduce costs, open up new revenue streams, and engage consumers with highly personalized, immersive user experiences.
1. An open cloud platform to develop network-centric apps
Anthos for Telecom utilizes Anthos, Google’s open, cloud-native hybrid and multi-cloud application platform, to deliver workloads to the network edge on GCP while keeping telcos in control of their data. The centerpiece of GCP’s telecom solutions, Anthos for Telecom brings the flexibility and scalability of cloud computing to on-prem workloads, enabling telcos to modernize existing applications in place, build new cloud-native solutions, and securely run apps in the cloud of their choice, whether that’s on-prem, on GCP’s global network, or in other public clouds.
Because Anthos for Telecom is an open platform, built using open-source Kubernetes, it can be thought of as an “Android for network-centric apps.” What the open-source Android OS has done for mobile apps, Anthos for Telecom does for network-centric apps. Using Anthos for Telecom, GCP is partnering with telcos worldwide — including AT&T, Telefónica, Telus, and Telecom Italia Mobile — to rapidly build out a global distributed edge, utilizing thousands of edge locations that are already set up and ready to be lit up.
2. A wide portfolio of 5G solutions and a global distributed edge to deploy them
Many organizations still use on-prem hardware for compute-heavy tasks, such as in-store retail experiences. This requires not only hardware costs but also local processing power, on-site space to store equipment, and security measures to protect the equipment. New 5G capabilities enable companies to ditch this on-prem hardware, deliver applications through 5G edge locations instead, and offer more robust user experiences at faster speeds and at a lower cost.
Telecom companies have a twofold opportunity to develop 5G apps to optimize their own operations, as well as to resell 5G solutions to their own customers.
Google’s collaboration with AT&T uses Anthos for Telecom to combine AT&T’s edge network connectivity, including 5G, with Google Cloud’s technologies and capabilities, such as the most advanced AI, machine learning, and smart data analytics solutions available today. This far-reaching partnership enables organizations to run apps as close to end users as possible, minimizing latency, reducing data storage and processing costs, and clearing the way for the development of next-gen end-user experiences.
In addition to collaborating on new 5G solutions, GCP and AT&T are partnering with independent software vendors (ISVs) and other providers to develop new solutions that use GCP, the AT&T Network Edge, and their own capabilities. The first batch of partnerships, announced last December, consists of over 30 ISVs who have been tasked to develop 200+ applications that can be delivered at the edge directly from 5G-enabled mobile devices. These ISVs hail from a variety of industry verticals, including manufacturing and industrial IoT, retail, and media and entertainment, along with horizontal solutions providers who provide solutions for use cases across multiple industries.
3. AI/ML and smart analytics that transform the customer experience
BigQuery, Google’s serverless, scalable data warehousing solution with built-in machine learning capabilities, enables telecom companies to analyze consumer data consumption and content habits in real-time, then leverage this information to deliver real-time personalization options and product recommendations.
Vodaphone, which has been using BigQuery to offer personalized product messaging to its customers, has just extended its collaboration with GCP to include a six-year strategic partnership to build a new integrated data platform, called Nucleus, that will support the creation of new digital products and services for Vodaphone’s customers. Nucleus, which will be able to move data from multiple systems into the cloud, is enabled by the Neuron big data analytics platform, which itself leverages BigQuery and a number of other GCP solutions, including Dataflow, Dataproc, Cloud Composer, Data Fusion, and Google Kubernetes Engine.
In addition, telecom companies can enhance their customer service with Google Cloud’s Contact Center AI. Contact Center AI enables simple, fast deployment of virtual agent chatbots that provide automated help to customers with simple inquiries and assist human customer service reps in helping customers with more complex problems. When the chatbot is unable to solve a customer’s issue on its own, it seamlessly connects the customer to a human agent. The chatbot then uses natural language recognition to assist the agent in real-time, deriving customer intent and providing step-by-step assistance.
Drive transformation with SADA
Our experts have enabled leading telecom companies to tap into the full power of Anthos and Google Cloud’s business intelligence (BI), smart analytics, and AI/ML solutions–and we’ll do it for you too. We’ll help you glean the insights you need to solve complex problems, better serve your customers, and achieve your organizational goals while reducing risk, cutting costs, and saving time. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you monetize 5G, reimagine the customer journey with data, and boost operational efficiency.