YOU ARE AT:5GHow is Google approaching MEC monetization?

How is Google approaching MEC monetization?

Google Cloud: “Edge is de facto creating a new set of applications”

At the recent Google Cloud Next event, the company took the wraps off Google Distributed Cloud, a new product portfolio that extends Google infrastructure to the edge and on-premise using qualified hardware. The products can operate on any of Google’s 140 global network edge locations and can also be set up at customer locations, depending on the need. At launch, Google has announced support from vendors including Cisco, Dell, HPE and NetApp.

“Now more than ever, organizations are looking to accelerate their cloud adoption. They want easier development, faster innovation, and efficient scale, all while simultaneously reducing their technology risk. However, some of their workloads cannot move to the public cloud entirely or right away, due to factors such as industry or region-specific compliance and data sovereignty needs, low latency or local data-processing requirements, or because they need to run close to other services,” said Sachin Gupta, Google GM and VP of Product for IaaS, in a blog post.

Google’s distribution for these new cloud products include its own worldwide edge network, on CSP edge networks, on customer-owned edge or remote locations and in customer-owned data centers and colocation facilities.

Google’s “planet-scale infrastructure” can be leveraged for MEC service delivery

“Google Distributed Cloud taps into our planet-scale infrastructure that delivers the highest levels of performance, availability, and security, while Anthos running on Google-managed hardware at the customer or edge location provides a services platform on which to run applications securely and remotely,” said Gupta.

Google Distributed Cloud was made using Anthos, a cornerstone of Google’s Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy. Anthos is Google’s fully managed hybrid cloud platform that works on premises, edge and in multiple public clouds, all through a Google Cloud-backed control plane. Anthos uses the Google-developed Kubernetes engine as the basis for its container orchestration management.

Anthos is built on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE); Anthos Config Management, a policy and security automation engine; Anthos Service Mesh, which manages traffic and telemetry; and Anthos Migrate, which manages Virtual Machine (VM) to GKE migration. Also announced at Google Cloud Next were a preview launch of Anthos for Virtual Machines and Anthos Multi-Cloud API to help its customers manage Kubernetes clusters on AWS and Azure cloud environments.

MEC is about more than latency

In an interview with RCR Wireless News, Google Cloud Director of Product Management for Telecom and Edge Gabriele Di Piazza expanded on the monetization of MEC beyond delivering latency-sensitive apps. “There’s much more to the story than latency. As an example, controlling cost of operations. Edge apps reduce backhaul, transport, network capex spend.” Operators can also leverage localized compute and automation for service differentiation to drive new business models and attendant revenue streams. Data security, compliance, privacy and sovereignty are another benefit enabled by MEC. 

“In order to ensure true monetization,” Di Piazza continued, “we’re actually trying to bring together the best of Google,” including its global network, hybrid/multi-cloud solutions, AI and analytics, commitment to open source, and partner ecosystem. He identified AI-based audio and video processing as a “key common factor” between multiple edge use cases. 

More on the ecosystem point, Di Piazza reiterated that an ecosystem-based approach is central to fully harnessing the power of edge computing. That means contributing to the development of developer communities and working together with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). He laid out a three pillar strategy: an edge solutions portfolio, an open platform, and edge infrastructure spanning Google assets, the telco edge, customer edge, and third-party edge. 

“Edge is de facto creating a new set of applications…But obviously this is not monetization that goes zero to 100. It’s progressive. It’s predicated on enterprise adoption. Our approach is to partner with [operators] in a revenue share approach. I think it will gradually pick up during 2022 and 2023.”

To read more about how mobile edge computing is creating new revenue opportunities for smart manufacturing and other areas, read the report, “Monetizing MEC: What’s the value in the edge?” And check out the companion webinar featuring speakers from Google Cloud, Inseego and VoltDB. 


Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief
Editor-in-Chief Sean focuses on multiple subject areas including 5G, Open RAN, hybrid cloud, edge computing, and Industry 4.0. He also hosts Arden Media's podcast Will 5G Change the World? Prior to his work at RCR, Sean studied journalism and literature at the University of Mississippi then spent six years based in Key West, Florida, working as a reporter for the Miami Herald Media Company. He currently lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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