Amazon Web Services introduced a new solution to distribute low latency applications for 5G devices and improve device to device communication, the company announced. Dubbed AWS Wavelength, the solution integrates AWS compute and storage services at the edge of telecommunications providers’ 5G networks. The goal is to help developers design apps that need single-digit millisecond latencies over wireless networks, including machine learning inference at the edge, and augmented and virtual reality applications.
By delivering AWS services, APIs, and tools to the edge of the 5G network, AWS Wavelength reduces the number of network hops encountered in connecting an application to a 5G device. Customers can extend the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to a Wavelength Zone and then create AWS resources like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes.
“AWS Wavelength provides the same AWS environment — APIs, management console and tools — that they’re using today at the edge of the 5G network,” said AWS CEO Andy Jassy onstage at the conference. “Starting with Verizon’s 5G network locations in the U.S., customers will be able to deploy the latency-sensitive portions of an application at the edge to provide single-digit millisecond latency to mobile and connected devices.”
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg joined Jassy onstage to confirm that Verizon will be the first to roll out this technology, following a joint effort to develop it. A test pilot has been deployed in Chicago with the NFL and gaming company Bethesda, with future use cases possibly including smart cars, IoT devices, autonomous industrial equipment and augmented virtual reality.
“The cloud gives you a chance to totally reinvent the customer experience, to totally reinvent your business, and to build things that were never possible before,” Jassy said.
Although there is a growing curiosity about 5G wireless connectivity, there is also a general misunderstanding of the technology, so before any projects roll out, it is important to collectively understand how to leverage it. Compared to 4G and 2G, 5G brings eight new capabilities to the table. Dubbed “currencies,” these are peak data rate, mobile data volume, mobility, connected devices, energy efficiency, service deployment, reliability and E2E latency, Vestberg explained. In terms of speed, for instance, vendors are now talking about terabytes per square kilometer and a million devices connected per square kilometer through 5G, a technology that will “transform consumer behavior, business and society,” Vestberg claims.
Jassy added that by embedding AWS at the edge of 5G networks, there are no more hops in getting to the compute storage, such as a back and forth between device, cell tower, and city and regional aggregation site thus delivering a better experience. Under a partnership with a number of other top global companies, including Verizon, Vodafone, SK Telecom and KDDI, the solution is planned for launch in North America, Europe, Japan and South Korea in 2020.
Meanwhile, AT&T and Microsoft are also working on integrating 5G Network Edge Compute (NEC) technology with Microsoft Azure cloud services to deliver enterprise-grade edge computing solutions. The technology is for only available to a few companies in Dallas, but in 2020 it will be rolled out for customers in Los Angeles and Atlanta. The two are already working on proofs-of-concept such as augmented and VR scenarios and drones, and have a partnership with Vorpal, a startup based in Israel, to develop a product called VigilAir that monitors drones in commercial areas and airports.
5G | Amazon Web Services | AWS Wavelength | Verizon