BT has confirmed it is making a multi-million-pound investment to bring 5G and 4G mobile edge computing services to its UK business customers in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The work combines AWS’s cloud expertise with BT’s market-leading 5G and 4G infrastructure. EE’s national mobile network with AWS Wavelength will bring the power of AWS to the network edge for more business and public sector customers across the UK – opening up faster, secure and high-bandwidth connectivity on the move for use cases like policing, crowd management, healthcare and security.
The effort is part of BT’s investment in its existing mobile networks, to enable 5G-connected infrastructure as a service via AWS Wavelength. This includes switching on a new AWS Wavelength Zone in Manchester, which will service trials for eligible businesses and public sector organisations within a 100-kilometre radius (including cities such as Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and Blackpool). BT’s ambition is to roll out AWS Wavelength to business customers across the UK more broadly in the coming years.
AWS Wavelength embeds AWS compute and storage services within 5G and 4G networks, providing mobile edge computing infrastructure for ultra-low-latency applications. Hosting services directly at the edge of EE’s UK network reduces lag, as application traffic can reach application servers running in the AWS Wavelength Zone without leaving BT’s network. This opens up mobile edge computing infrastructure for businesses to develop, deploy, and scale mobile Internet of Things (IoT) applications over BT’s existing 5G network securely.
The collaboration aims to enable high-speed, latency-sensitive and intensive 5G connectivity for BT customers looking to benefit from high-bandwidth IoT use cases in the field. This includes autonomous vehicles, cameras for policing and other public services to help protect communities, live media production for outside broadcast, smart industrial robots, and use in community healthcare (such as in care homes to monitor for falls and accidents).
BT’s Wholesale unit has worked with AWS on the initial trials in Manchester. After the planned national rollout, the service will be available to all BT business customers in the UK – from small businesses to large enterprise and public sector organisations.
Alex Tempest, MD for BT Wholesale, said: “As we continue to build best-in-class 5G infrastructure for the UK, launching the AWS Wavelength service for our business and wholesale customers is a hugely important step on our journey – bringing the power of the cloud to the UK’s best network*. It’s set to unlock use cases like IoT cameras to help first responders keep communities safe: a real-life example of using tech to connect for good.
“By building cloud edge services into our 5G and 4G EE network, we can accelerate innovation across industries, and bring fast, secure data processing closer to where our customers need it most. Ultimately, we want to give businesses and public sector organisations all the power of edge computing, wherever they are.”
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