AT&T and Google Cloud have announced new offerings across AT&T's 5G and Google Cloud's edge computing portfolio, including AT&T's on-premises Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) as well as AT&T Network Edge capabilities through LTE, 5G, and wireline.

The two companies said this week they are “taking the next step to deliver transformative capabilities that help businesses drive real value and build industry-changing experiences in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment and more – with the ability to use Google Maps, Android, Pixel, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and other offerings across Google for more immersive customer experiences.”

These include:

  • Enabling video analytics services to help businesses across industries with theft prevention, crowd control, and queue prediction and management.
  • In retail: Streamlining and automating inventory management, connecting brick-and-mortar, and e-commerce and backend systems for near real-time visibility into operations.
  • In healthcare: Scaling access to services like telehealth-based therapy, using AR and VR for remote care either from patients' homes or at an onsite facility.
  • In manufacturing: Accelerating operations with remote support and quality control checks at plant locations, and optimizing bandwidth usage by streaming video on the edge rather than on-device.

The companies said they are also “working together to evaluate how network APIs could optimize applications, using near real-time network information at the Google Cloud edge. If successful, this would allow them to optimize the user experience at the edge and drive meaningful outcomes for businesses.”

AT&T Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) with Google Cloud combines AT&T's existing 5G and MEC offering with core Google Cloud capabilities, including Kubernetes, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data analytics, and a edge ISV ecosystem, the two firms said.

With the offering, a release stated, “enterprises can build and run modern applications close to their end users, with the flexibility to manage data on-prem, in a customer's data centre, or in any cloud. All this can help customers to increase control over data, improve security, lower latency and provide higher bandwidth.”

 AT&T and Google Cloud said they plan to focus on a multi-year strategy to bring the offerings to 15+ zones across major cities, starting with Chicago this year followed by Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and San Francisco.

“5G, cloud services and edge compute each have a tremendous amount of promise as standalone technologies," said Jason Leigh, research manager for 5G and mobile services research at IDC. "But coupling these three as complimentary, enabling technologies both accelerates and extends the promise of digital transformation in many more business settings.”

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