AT&T has been working on developing a network infrastructure that will enable next-generation applications and services. The company is launching a series of “edge zones” across the US to accelerate this development. These edge zones will consist of local standalone network cores, public or private cloud resources, and software-defined capabilities, allowing seamless data movement and optimized performance.
“Today, we have 10 of them up and running across the US, with a goal of getting to an even dozen by the end of 2022. Many more will follow in 2023 and beyond,” stated Jeremy Legg, chief technology officer at AT&T, in a company blog post.
According to AT&T, the edge zones will give startups and other developers access to the company’s 5G network and enable them to create new apps and services. These apps may include those that support emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles, which need low-latency connections. It may also have apps that are more focused on streaming video and other bandwidth-intensive tasks.
AT&T’s edge zones will also offer managed services for customers who need customized network capabilities for their particular needs and applications. The company has already been operating a similar network for first responders, known as FirstNet.
“Applying lessons learned by operating FirstNet over the last several years has given us a unique perspective on how to bring similar capabilities to our commercial network,” explained Legg.
As the rollout of edge zones continues, AT&T plans to explore different avenues for making them accessible to developers, such as through hyperscaler app stores or software development kits. The company sees the edge zones as an essential step in a new age of technological innovation and is looking forward to seeing what new apps and services will emerge as a result.
“There will be lots more to come in this space over the coming months and years,” added Legg. “It’s an exciting time for us. We’re at the dawn of a new age of killer apps almost everywhere you look.”
5G | AT&T | DevOps | edge applications | edge cloud | standalone network