AT&T’s Lab President Believes Cloud & Telecom Compliment Each Other for 5G Networks

A graphic of cloud computing working with 5G.

Andre Fuetsch, President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer, is looking to the future and the importance of cloud computing in 5G networks. Speaking at the virtual TM Forum Digital Transformation event, Fuetsch expressed how AT&T has been looking into improving its IT and network functions utilizing both private, in-house cloud computing as well as public cloud computing. Fuetsch said, “As we’ve watched the public cloud grow, and they’ve been growing leaps and bounds, these clouds are not just scaling, they’re also getting much much more capable.”

The importance of cloud computing to help power 5G cannot be understated. It is a key feature in moving the next generation of wireless forward because it will help provide the framework to make many functions 5G is scheduled to advance work as they are meant to. To achieve the minimal latency needed in wireless and other functions including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and autonomous vehicles, it is important for telecom and cloud computing to collaborate to achieve these goals.

AT&T is finding growing opportunities in moving its workload to public cloud computing over time and believe that the move will help them improve economics through scalability. The collaborative efforts between AT&T and Microsoft is a great step with both parties looking into increasing their capabilities with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the cloud but the telecom pioneer has already shown previous steps within these fields. AT&T and Google have already partnered to increase speeds and with this type of history, it is interesting to see who else partners with the wireless giant to deliver 5G features throughout America.

It’s all collaborative. 5G is working on so many different levels that it only makes sense that this push to bring together telecom and the cloud is happening now. More and more we see different functions that 5G is promising to improve are actually improving 5G networks in the meantime. Edge computing that allows for faster networks, artificial intelligence (AI) that improves network functions, cloud computing taking a lot of the load off of these networks, etc. There are plenty of examples to go around.

Wireless companies would be wise to pursue such avenues as cloud computing if only for one reason and one reason only: costs. Building a 5G network is not a cheap endeavor and even once you are finished building one, maintaining these networks can prove to be a costly mission as well. Using the cloud, software updates can be a far-reaching and effective way to bolster and fix 5G networks which will, again, save wireless companies money. Edge computing and cloud services can also create a revenue stream for companies who lease this power to other companies.

In the end, by working together, telecommunications and cloud computing will improve each other and deliver a better experience for the user. There can be unfortunate gaps in coverage for many users and cloud computing can help wireless companies bridge those gaps and vice versa. If 5G networks are going to have improved latency features, the point of service will need to move closer than ever before. Through collaborating, this and more all becomes possible.

Source: Fierce Wireless