Verizon partners with AWS to bring more power to its 5G edge

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg made an appearance at AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas to talk about how Verizon plans to incorporate AWS cloud compute and storage at the network edge. (AWS)

Verizon is bringing cloud computing closer to its 5G network edge by teaming with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Verizon will use AWS Wavelength, Amazon’s new cloud platform designed for edge computing, to make it easier for developers to create and deploy low latency applications.

Speaking at the Wells Fargo TMT investor conference, Adam Koeppe, senior vice president of technology and planning at Verizon, explained that Verizon is integrating AWS Wavelength at strategic locations within its 5G network that uses the its 28 MHz mmWave spectrum. Wavelength will basically open up Verizon’s network to AWS developers that want to create low-latency applications that will run on a 5G distributed network. Examples of these types of low-latency applications include smart cars and cities, augmented and virtual reality, Internet of Things and gaming.

Koeppe said that customers are already testing Wavelength technology in Chicago where Verizon has deployed its 5G network. The two companies said they plan to make the 5G edge computing service available in other locations across the U.S. in 2020.

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One customer currently working with Verizon and AWS is video game publisher Bethesda Softworks. Bethesda is incorporating the technology into the game’s engine to optimize performance in the cloud and to reduce latency. The end result, according to Verizon, is a much better experience for gamers and lower costs for publishers, developers, and streaming service providers.

Verizon has been touting its 5G edge network for some time as a way to increase download speeds and reduce network latency to mobile devices.  And the company’s partnership with AWS isn’t surprising. In 2018 the operator announced that AWS was its preferred public cloud provider for its business applications and database systems.

Besides talking about the AWS partnership, Koeppe also touched on Verizon’s 5G network expansion, noting that the company has deployed 5G in 18 markets today and is on track to hit 30 markets by year-end. He also said that Verizon is seeing throughput speeds of 2 Gbps on average on its 5G network.

“We are really creating a differentiated product,” Koeppe said. “You will see market expansion in 2020. We will increase the size of the markets and add new ones as well.”

He also hinted that the company will soon provide more details on its 5G Home product, which is the fixed wireless offering Verizon first deployed in four markets in 2018. 5G Home initially use a proprietary standard Verizon developed with a handful of vendors. The company later relaunched 5G Home is Chicago using the 3GPP standardized equipment.

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