Mobile World Congress

AWS deepens product set for public, private networks

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Tuesday announced the launch of two new offerings that aim to simplify the deployment, management and scaling of public and private networks. The new offerings, AWS Telco Network Builder and Integrated Private Wireless on AWS, aim to give mobile network operators, enterprises and others the ability to more easily run network operations in the AWS cloud.

According to Jan Hofmeyr, VP of Amazon EC2, the two products stem from one main question: "How do we support our telco customers?"

AWS Telco Network Builder is essentially designed to provide cloud services in a language that telecom network operators understand. Specifically, Hofmeyr said the product can run network functions from a variety of participating vendors – like Mavenir – but presents those network functions in the format that telecom network operators have been using for decades. Meaning, network operators that make use of AWS Telco Network Builder won't have to learn to speak "cloud." Instead, they can continue to run their networks in the way they have in the past, even as they shift network functions into the AWS cloud.

"It's really an attempt to make it easier for them," Hofmeyr said of the new product. "It doesn't require them to be cloud experts on day one."

(Source: Unsplash)
(Source: Unsplash)

He added that Telco Network Builder is being sold to both public and private network operators, including those with existing network operations as well as those launching new networks.

AWS' other product, Integrated Private Wireless on AWS, essentially represents an expansion of the company's existing private wireless network offering, which AWS launched last year. Hofmeyr said the company's initial product was aimed at smaller network operations running in unlicensed spectrum, but that Integrated Private Wireless on AWS will offer enterprise customers an opportunity to build bigger operations with licensed spectrum.

Hofmeyr said Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Orange, T-Mobile US and Telefónica in Spain are the first operators to support Integrated Private Wireless on AWS. Meaning, enterprise customers shopping for private wireless services will be able to purchase an installation from one of those participating operators. "The relationship is directly between the customer and the telco," Hofmeyr said, noting that the resulting private wireless network will then run atop the AWS cloud.

"We've worked very closely with the telcos to make sure it is well architected," he added.

The new announcements from AWS arrive amid the buildup to the MWC trade show next week in Barcelona, Spain. AWS, Google, Microsoft and other cloud vendors are scheduled to make a major appearance at the show in their efforts to encourage mobile network operators to shift their network functions into the cloud.

AWS, for its part, has been making some very clear steps into the telecom industry. For example, Dish Network in the US and Swisscom in Switzerland are among the operators that have agreed to put their network functions into the AWS cloud. Other operators are taking similar steps with Microsoft and Google.

However, according to a number of analysts, AWS remains in the forefront of the cloud race into the telecom industry.

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

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