Interview: Here's how AWS aims to build new bridges for telcos into the cloud-native world

Interview: Here’s how AWS aims to build new bridges for telcos into the cloud-native world

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Amazon Web Services Inc. has opened its cloud network to facilitate greater innovation for the telecommunications industry.

The cloud giant Tuesday announced general availability of AWS Telco Network Builder, a fully managed service to help telcos scale up and run networks on the AWS cloud. The company also unveiled the “Integrated Private Wireless on AWS” program, a new service that leverages AWS in building and managing private wireless networks.

“This allows telcos to really take advantage of cloud,” said Jan Hofmeyr (pictured), vice president of EC2 at AWS. “It puts telcos in a position where they can unlock the same velocity that we’ve seen cloud do for other industries.”

Hofmeyr spoke with John Furrier, industry analyst for theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, in a breaking news segment. They discussed specifics of the most recent announcements and AWS’ interest in bringing the telco industry into a cloud-native model.

Translating network functions

Communications service providers or CSPs can upload network requirements and connection points into AWS and Telco Network Builder will translate this into cloud-based network architecture. Telcos can plan and scale 5G and other networks more rapidly by transforming them into managed services within AWS.

“It allows the telco to deploy their network functions in the AWS cloud,” Hofmeyr said. “Telco Network Builder exposes on the top side the same APIs and language for how they interact with it. Underneath the covers, we deal with the cloud-native components of how to then deploy and operate these functions.”

The service for building and managing private wireless networks capitalizes on AWS’ massive global infrastructure for managing cloud networks. Private wireless networks appeal to enterprise customers because they can offer more cost-effective and more secure connectivity than standard WiFi.

Private networks often integrate network capacity from multiple carriers. Amazon’s regions around the world and extensive customer base can provide network capacity using this approach to build a private solution.

“So many of our telco customers have private wireless solutions that were built and developed on top of AWS,” Hofmeyr said. “This program will enable AWS customers to find the right wireless solution offered by our telco customers and bring those two together.”

From private to platforms

The AWS announcement came less than a week before the opening of this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company’s decision to focus on cloud-native services for telcos is the continuation of a theme surrounding private networks that captured a great deal of interest at last year’s MWC gathering.

“Last year was all about private, that was the big story,” Hofmeyr said. “This year it’s going to be about how telcos develop platforms running in the cloud and offer those as services for their customers. This is the modernization and clarification of their existing infrastructure.”

AWS has named Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Orange, T-Mobile and Telefonica as partners in the rollout of the new telco offerings. Participation by large, recognizable global names in the telco industry reflects an interest in a network interface that is quite similar to the existing IT paradigm.

“The network fabric is truly becoming part of the cloud,” Hofmeyr said. “This brings the network into a cloud-native construct that can be used the same way we use compute and storage. There are so many use cases where we still have compute and storage and network running on-prem that are not in the cloud, and I do see an acceleration of how those workloads can participate in the cloud.”

Here is the complete video interview, one of many editorial interviews from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE ahead of further coverage of Mobile World Congress 2023 next week in Barcelona, Spain:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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