Mobile World Congress

At MWC, AWS trumpets momentum in pursuit of telecom business

LAS VEGAS – #MWC22 – Amazon Web Services (AWS) appears determined to push into the very heart of the telecom industry, and Ishwar Parulkar, the company's chief technologist for telecom and edge cloud, argues that the company is making progress.

Like Microsoft and Google Cloud, AWS wants to convince telecom network operators to increase their use of the cloud. Many telecom providers already run some corporate functions inside the cloud, like their IT services, but that hasn't satisfied the hyperscale players. Now, they're working to convince telecom companies to put their core network functions inside the cloud.

Some have. Dish Network, for example, announced a major agreement last year to run virtually all of its core 5G network functions in the AWS cloud. Others, like Rakuten in Japan, have made similar moves.

But Dish and Rakuten are both "greenfield" operators, meaning they're starting from scratch and have no legacy operations to worry about. That has made embracing the cloud easier.

It's more difficult for established, "brownfield" operators. They have legacy networks that, in some cases, contain equipment dating back to World War II – or even earlier. Moving those systems into the cloud represents a significant challenge.

Nonetheless, Parulkar said he believes that AWS will be successful in convincing both greenfield and brownfield operators to leverage the scale and efficiency the cloud provides. He pointed to AWS' recent announcements around the MWC Las Vegas trade show:

  • LG Uplus, a South Korean mobile operator, recently said it will run some systems in AWS as a backup to its existing operations.
  • Satellite operator Sateliot said it is developing a 5G NB-IoT service inside AWS.
  • Rakuten Symphony said it will run its new Symworld services on AWS.
  • NEC said it successfully tested AWS' Graviton2 processor in some of its equipment.
  • Parallel Wireless announced it will use AWS to manage some of its offerings.

Parulkar, a former Cisco executive, said the announcements demonstrate AWS' progress in the telecom industry.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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