Ericsson and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced overnight at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2016 in Barcelona that they will be partnering on researching and launching telecommunications service provider hybrid cloud centres worldwide, with Telstra to be the first co-host.
Ericsson is aiming to use AWS' industry expertise in an effort to extend its own cloud programs, datacentres, and application migration solutions to accelerate cloud adoption for telcos in preparation of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
As part of the deal, Ericsson will put together a team of cloud experts chosen from its 25,000-strong research and development team, consisting of program directors, solutions architects, and systems engineers, who will be trained in both AWS and Ericsson cloud technologies.
"AWS is the world's leader in cloud computing with a highly reliable, scalable, and secure global infrastructure," explained Anders Lindblad, head of Business Unit Cloud and IP at Ericsson.
"Ericsson has always taken great ideas, industrialised them, and made them available in every country. Building upon AWS' platform, we will drive new growth opportunities across the service provider industry."
For its part, AWS will provide services, training, and solutions architects for the project. Ericsson will use these resources to create and offer cloud-based solutions, such as end-to-end data security across the cloud; data traffic management across AWS cloud, on-premises infrastructure, and mobile networks; cloud and workload management for both AWS cloud services and on-premises infrastructure; and gateway services that maintain localised regulation and compliance requirements for AWS storage services used by telcos.
Ericsson will then begin opening cloud innovation centres worldwide, with Telstra signing on as the first to co-host. The centre will be part of the Australian telecommunications provider's Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne, which was launched in August last year.
Gurrowa provides a co-creation space for Telstra and its associated enterprise customers, vendors, research institutes, and incubators to collaborate on technological projects such as geolocation, robotics, and the IoT via the Pivotal and Cloud Foundry Foundation-provided open-source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud software.
Telstra CTO Vish Nandlall said on Monday that Telstra has been focused on creating a secure hybrid cloud service for enterprise, with Ericsson and AWS now providing the means to achieve this.
"The industry is shifting towards an architecture driven by cloud economics and flexibility. Adoption of hybrid clouds requires a secure transmission network linking on-premises to the cloud to provide a chain of custody for mission critical enterprise data," Nandlall said.
"Telstra's vision is to build a trusted network service for mission-critical cloud data, and we are excited to explore the opportunity of bringing this vision to life with Ericsson and AWS. The Cloud Innovation Centre at Gurrowa intends to bring together cloud experts from Ericsson, AWS, and Telstra to encourage cloud adoption and the development of new business opportunities for Telstra and our customers."
On Sunday night, Telstra and Ericsson also announced at MWC 2016 that they will begin a trial run of Telstra's 5G network during the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast.
Telstra's team of network engineers will be temporarily transferred to Ericsson's Sweden-based research lab for six months in order to collaborate on collecting data and building the mathematical models of radio signals to be used for 5G radio spectrum.
The engineering teams will then use this data to develop radio models for the Australian network environment as part of the international 5G standardisation process.
Telstra has already been undertaking 5G trials using high-frequency "mm-wave" spectrum with Ericsson in real-world environments in the Swedish test lab, achieving speeds of over 11Gbps. Field tests within Australia will take place in late 2016.
"We are pleased to support Telstra's evolution towards 5G with the deployment of advanced radio technology (11Gbps, MIMO, and beam forming) and also providing a ready core network with NFV and SDN technologies," said Emilio Romeo, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand.
"A 5G-ready core network with virtualisation and SDN not only prepares for 5G, but also provides the flexibility, programmability, and agility needed to efficiently serve today's 4G consumer and enterprise customers with tailored network slices, improved access to media, and compelling IoT solutions."
The network is expected to provide speeds of up to 10GB per second.
Ericsson also announced on Sunday evening that it has partnered with Singaporean telco Singtel on enabling Singtel's 4G network for the IoT, including a trial of narrowband technology during the latter half of 2016.
Instead of using cellular networks for the IoT, narrowband low-power, long-range, wide-area networks that use available, unlicensed radio spectrum could allow for extended coverage and less complex devices with higher battery life, meaning more connected devices overall.
According to Ericsson, 28 billion connected devices are expected by 2021. Such devices requiring long battery lives and better coverage include temperature, air quality, and flood water sensors, Sam Saba, regional head of Ericsson South East Asia and Oceania, said.