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GSMA launches Edge Cloud initiative to build telecom platform for harnessing assets

GSMA launches Edge Cloud initiative to build telecom platform for harnessing assets

The GSMA has launched an initiative with a broad coalition of participants to build an interoperable edge cloud platform for telecoms, enabling application developers and software vendors to leverage local operators assets and capabilities for enterprise client needs.

Participants plan to develop an architectural framework and reference platform this calendar year, and the GSMA has launched the Operator Platform Project to support it. The platform will be deployed to European markets in the first phase of the rollout.

“Operators are very well placed to provide capabilities such as low latency through their network assets,” commented GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair in the press release. “It is essential for enterprises to be able to reach all of their customers from the edge of any network. Based on the GSMA Operator Platform Specification, Telco Edge Cloud will provide enterprise developers and aggregators with a consistent way to reach connected customers.”

The new MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R2.0 is featured in the initiative, providing the aggregation platform solution to empower operators to create scale and engage the developer community for market impact, according to the announcement.

“Edge Cloud has an exciting potential to enable and enhance many innovative experiences for our customers. I welcome this operator initiative to take ownership of the edge opportunity by joining forces to deliver our capabilities in a federated edge service,” said Claudia Nemat, board member and head of the technology and innovation division at Deutsche Telekom in the release. “Leveraging MobiledgeX as a platform partner and aggregator in the federation puts operators on the best track to create scale, bring in the developer community and make a market impact.”

Other participants include China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica, and TIM.

The Telco Edge Cloud is intended to be open and inclusive, providing data protection and mechanisms to enable data sovereignty, along with carrier-grade reliability, security and trustworthiness. It will take advantage of existing solutions as appropriate, including MobiledgeX, or interconnection tools developed under what the trade group calls the “GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.”

“Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers,” stated TIM Chief Innovation and Partnership Officer Elisabetta Romano. “Edge Cloud will be a formidable enabler to transform the network from a ‘bit pipe’ to an effective digital business platform, thanks to flexible computing capacity and low access latency to computing resources.”

The framework for operators to offer and monetize their networks will be developed by the GSMA Operator Platform Project. Operators will be able to provide edge compute, storage and connectivity to customers, building on existing enterprise relationships, local footprints. The idea is to build on each operators’ unique position to provide security and privacy based on local regulations, as well as their experience in operating distributed assets. Under the project, cloud capabilities will be considered a subset of the edge environment.

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