Canadian telecommunications provider BCE Inc., better known as Bell Canada, said today it’s partnering with Amazon Web Services Inc. to bring lower-latency connectivity to its 5G network.
Bell said it’s launching the first public multi-access edge computing platform with AWS Wavelength in Canada. It added that it’s working with Amazon to deploy multiple AWS Wavelength Zones throughout the country at the edge of its 5G network, starting in Toronto.
Bell Public MEC with AWS Wavelength will bring Amazon’s cloud-based compute and storage services to the very edge of Bell’s 5G network, much closer to the mobile and connected “internet of things” devices where much data is generated and consumed. The idea is that this will reduce response times between devices, enabling customers to build low-latency products, services and applications that can benefit from real-time data processing, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and more.
AWS Wavelength is a service that’s deployed on telecoms’ firms 5G networks to provide more seamless access to cloud services hosted in AWS Regions. The idea is that 5G networks can access these services with minimal latency, reducing the number of network hops needed to connect a 5G device to a cloud-hosted application.
Bell said Canadian businesses across the retail, manufacturing, transportation and media and entertainment spaces will be able to unlock new growth opportunities by taking advantage of 5G with MEC.
For instance, Bell said retailers are keen to offer so-called “omni-channel” shopping experiences that allow consumers to access products, offers and support on various different channels, platforms and devices. The idea is to be able to replicate the in-store experience for shoppers online, and doing so requires seamless connectivity.
One retailer that has already benefited from this is the fashion and apparel firm Rudsak Inc., which worked with Bell and AWS to deploy an immersive shopping platform called “Odience.” Customers visiting Rudsak’s apps or website will be able to view products up close with 360-degree cameras at various pop-up locations and launch events, or alternatively browse items on the racks, with live support from sales associates on hand to answer any questions.
“With Bell’s Public MEC and AWS Wavelength we are able to offer new, fully immersive shopping experiences to our customers,” said Rudsak President Evik Asatoorian. “Shoppers can virtually explore our new arrivals and interact in real time with our staff and industry experts during interactive events and pop-ups.”
George Elissaios, director and general manager of EC2 core product management at AWS, said Bell’s Public MEC and AWS Wavelength will allow any developer with an AWS account to build new application experiences that benefit from ultralow latencies, massive bandwidth and high speeds.
International Data Corp. analyst Nigel Wallis said Canada is a promising market for AWS because 85% of businesses in the country have already adopted IoT technologies.
“In order to maximize the benefits of cloud computing, intelligent endpoints and AI, while adding emerging technologies like 5G, we need to modernize our digital infrastructure to embrace multi-access edge computing,” Wallis said. “MEC offers the possibility of deploying modernized, cloudlike resources everywhere to support the ability to extract value from data.”
Bell said its Public MEC with AWS Wavelength service is available now in the Toronto area, with additional Wavelength Zones to be deployed elsewhere across the country in the future.