AT&T and Google Cloud have announced new solutions for AT&T’s 5G and Google Cloud’s edge computing portfolio. These include AT&T's on-premises Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) solution, as well as AT&T Network Edge capabilities through LTE, 5G, and wireline.
The two companies have been developing edge solutions for over a year, and are now taking the next step to deliver transformative capabilities, helping businesses to build “industry-changing” experiences in industries such as healthcare, entertainment, and manufacturing. AT&T says that these customer experiences can be enhanced and made more immersive through the use of Google Maps, Android, Pixel, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), as well as other Google solutions.
"By combining the power of AT&T 5G and Google Cloud technologies, we are helping enterprises create new customer experiences and business services that were previously impossible”, said George Nazi, Vice President, Global Telecom, Media and Entertainment Solutions, Google Cloud.
"Together with AT&T, we are committed to enabling our customers to build and deliver next-generation applications, whether on-premise or on AT&T's leading mobile network”, he added.
According to AT&T and Google, the solutions are able to:
- Enable video analytics services to help businesses across industries with theft prevention, crowd control, and queue prediction and management.
- In retail, they can streamline and automate inventory management, connecting brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce, and backend systems for near real-time visibility into operations.
- In healthcare, they can scale access to services like telehealth-based therapy, using AR and VR for remote care either from patients' homes or at an onsite facility.
- In manufacturing, they accelerate operations with remote support and quality control checks at plant locations and optimizing bandwidth usage by streaming video on the edge rather than on-device.
- In entertainment, they enhance in-venue experiences for concerts and sporting events, with solutions ranging from immersive AR and VR experiences, smart parking, and ticketless entry, to contactless food and souvenir payment.
Using network APIs to optimise applications
The companies are also working together to evaluate how network APIs could optimize applications, using near real-time network information at the Google Cloud edge. AT&T says that, if successful, this would allow them to optimise the user experience at the edge.
AT&T Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) with Google Cloud aims to combine AT&T's existing 5G and fully managed MEC offering with core Google Cloud capabilities, including Kubernetes, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data analytics, and a robust edge ISV ecosystem. With the solution, enterprises can build and run modern applications close to their end-users, with the flexibility to manage data on-prem, in a customer's data center, or in any cloud. All this can help customers to increase control over data, improve security, lower latency, and provide higher bandwidth, the companies claim.
“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," said Rasesh Patel, Chief Product and Platform Officer, AT&T Business.
"We're bringing forth a new era where the latest technological advancements, including 5G and edge computing, make it possible to transform, innovate and prepare for whatever the future holds”.