Google really wants to help telcos get into hybrid cloud

Google Cloud has announced three new products aimed at communication service providers (CSPs) to help them transform their networks with hybrid cloud technologies. 

At MWC 2023, the tech giant revealed Telecom Network Automation, Telecom Data Fabric, and Telecom Subscriber Insights, which it says will provide telcos with an all-in-one cloud solution to build and run a hybrid cloud network. 

The cloud storage provider also promises that the products will help them to “collect and manage network data; and improve customer experiences through artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics.”

Insights and growth

Google Cloud is also updating its Google Distributed Cloud Edge (GDC Edge) to allow CSPs to bring the cloud to more parts of their radio access networks (RANs) and 5G networks, and introducing the Network Function Optimizer for the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), so that CSPs can run their network functions in any Google Cloud region. 

With over 70% of CSPs expected to move to the cloud for network functions by the end of the year, Google believes that  its new Telecom Network Automation will speed up network and edge deployments by using automation tools in the cloud. 

It is a cloud version of the open-source Nephio project, which Google developed in partnership with The Linux Foundation last year. Google claims that the new Telecom Network Automation will help CSPs to “improve time-to-market, multi-vendor interoperability, reduce error-prone configurations, and lower operational costs.” 

It is now available in private preview globally, although Bell Canada has had access to an early release and is currently using it to “automate its implementation of Google Distributed Cloud Edge”.

“Our partnership with Google Cloud advances our goal to fully automate our hybrid 5G core implementation with control functions over Google Kubernetes (GKE) and Google Distributed Cloud Edge”, said Bell Canada VP Petri Lyytikainen.

Also available in private preview globally is the second of Google’s newly announced products, Telecom Data Fabric. This aims to make data collection by CSPs simpler and gain insights quicker. 

BigQuery and DataPlex data mesh architecture is used to unify the data and improve reusability, as well as meeting the requirement for data governance and sovereignty. It also uses Vertex AI so that CSPs can create AI applications “that support cross-domain network operations, energy efficiency, subscriber experiences, and monetization.”

The third and final product that Google is offering, Telecom Subscriber Insights, also utilizes AI and is designed to help telcos realize the best strategies for increasing customer engagement, whilst promising to do so “in a privacy-safe manner.” Google believes that it will help CSPs to “understand subscriber behavior, cross-sell and upsell, manage churn, and acquire new customers more effectively.” Again, this is also now available in private preview globally. 

As network costs continue to rise for telcos, Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud, believes that “by applying cloud-native principles to network architectures, and accelerating subscriber growth through a holistic data management source, CSPs have the opportunity to bridge the gap between connectivity of today and connectivity of the future.” 

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