How Google’s 5G strategy could give it market dominance

Google has shared its vision for enabling telecommunication providers to deliver business services through 5G networks using a Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy. This will allow both Google and telecoms companies to use 5G networks to deliver “unique applications and services running at the edge,” as Janikaram MSV writes at Forbes.

What is 5G/Edge for business?

A 5G network will be able to deliver speed and bandwidth unlike anything we have experienced before, and the entire system is more geared up for business services than consumers. Furthermore, since telco networks provide access to the Cloud, it means they can “introduce an edge computing layer that offers unique advantages to businesses,” Janikaram says.

Google foresees the advantages of this for its own business, because it will enable it to provide some of the best Google Cloud Platform capabilities to the businesses, and this in turn will enable the telecom companies to monetise their 5G networks.

Google has already partnered with AT&T to build a portfolio of 5G edge computing solutions ​for industries like retail, manufacturing and transportation​, and will maximise the use of Google’s AI capabilities to help AT&T to expand its reach in the USA.

Consumers will also have their experience radically offered when through the use of 5G. It will deliver all manner of immersive experiences using augmented and virtual reality, and we can expect the retail sector to be altered beyond recognition with services similar to an Amazon Go shopping experience, and we’ll have ‘smart’ everything: cities, healthcare, buildings.

All of this depends heavily on using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data. Google is well positioned for this as a leader in analytics, as well as AI, and its strategy will help telecom providers to offer a “technology stack to developers and businesses building the next-generation consumer experiences.”

For example, here are some of Google’s assets that will help it to make the most of the edge computing opportunity: Anthos is a Google modular hybrid cloud platform based on containers and Kubernetes for enterprise data that can be revamped for the telecom edge.

And there is TensorFlow, the most popular open source machine learning framework used by researchers, AI engineers and ML developers.

Google has also built custom hardware to accelerate the training and inference of machine learning models, and its Edge TPU is the counterpart of Cloud TPU that can speed up inferencing TensorFlow models running at the edge.

Let’s not forget that Google has 21 cloud regions and 134+ Content Delivery Network (CDN) locations across the globe, and that through its Point of Presence (PoP) and edge locations, Google delivers some of its services such as Search, Gmail, YouTube and more. It is going to capitalise on this global footprint, and as Janikaram says, “If Google manages to deliver on its vision of edge computing, it will become a formidable player in the 5G-based mobile edge computing market.”

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