With video and broadcast clients very much a target, Vodafone has extended its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch multi-access edge compute (MEC) services with ultra-low latency capabilities.
In December 2020, Amazon Web Services and Vodafone Business announced a partnership to further accelerate 5G application development through a new incubation programme, Vodafone Business Edge Innovation Program (EIP).
The new collaboration will see the cloud provider’s Wavelength solution carried on the European operator’s 4G and 5G networks to deliver what Vodafone says is a unique combination of multi-access edge compute (MEC) and 5G to enable the creation of services and use cases that would not be possible otherwise.
AWS Wavelength will brings AWS compute and storage services to the edge of Vodafone’s network, enabling applications that require increased speeds, massive bandwidth, and ultra-low latency, such as video analytics and interactive live video streaming.
The launch follows Vodafone trials with companies in a range of areas, including sports technology firms such as Sportable which provides insight using proprietary technology worn by players and embedded in balls. In a pilot, the distributed MEC proved to be more affordable than LAN with lower latency and faster times than using the internet to transfer packets of data, providing real-time insight for fans, coaches and broadcasters. Latency was lowered to 36.55 milliseconds on average compared to 221.87 milliseconds for the internet.
Vodafone will initially offer low-latency MEC services to customers in London and the surrounding area, as well as towns and cities including Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol and Cardiff. In the MEC coverage zones, in optimum conditions, latency could be as low as 10 milliseconds Round Trip Time (RTT) between the base station and MEC infrastructure. In 2022, Vodafone will deploy AWS Wavelength to serve customers in Scotland and the northern regions of England, with additional locations being added.
“We are taking our business beyond the traditional boundaries of telecoms connectivity services so that we can bring customers amazing new services,” said Anne Sheehan, business director, Vodafone UK commenting on the partnership. “Edge Compute and 5G is a combination no other service provider can deliver in Europe, which means we can offer something unique to our customers. We’ve already seen new services being developed by our trialists – the potential for completely new ideas enabled by this combination is massive.”
“By combining AWS Wavelength and Vodafone 5G, businesses and applications developers can now leverage the full breadth of AWS cloud services right at the edge of 5G networks,” added George Elissaios, general manager of AWS Wavelength and director of product management at AWS. “This enables Wavelength customers to explore new business opportunities, build applications and services that were not possible before, and transform user experiences in the UK.”