Bell Canada builds out edge with AWS, but at what cost?
AWS notched up another telco customer win with Canadian incumbent Bell Canada. Under the tie-up, Bell Canada will offer AWS-powered MEC (multi-access edge computing) to business and government users. What does that mean in practice? Bell Canada is going to base its new service on AWS Wavelength, AWS’ cloud-in-a-box for telcos. With Wavelength, carriers can run AWS services from their own data centers using their own network. Customers create a subnet in a Wavelength Zone such as Bell Canada Toronto, and are then able to launch services like EC2.
The idea behind Wavelength, like other edge cloud services, is to reduce latency. By setting up application infrastructure in a Wavelength zone, end-users don’t have to wait for all the network hops it would take to get back to the AWS infrastructure sitting in one of the main regions. Instead, with Wavelength, traffic can stay on the mobile network going from the device to the tower, then directly to the metro aggregation point. This kind of edge infrastructure will basically allow developers to distribute and decentralize application architectures and even split functions to optimize performance. Bell Canada specifically cited streaming video, a ‘bandwidth hog’ application that creates many headaches for carrier network engineers, as an early use case for Wavelength.