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8 June 2021

Bell Canada is latest telco to partner with AWS at the network edge

By Wireless Watch Staff

The latest operator to partner with Amazon AWS at the network edge is Bell Canada, which will add AWS Wavelength Zones to its 5G network.

Bell’s top priority in building out its edge network is to improve customer experience, especially for premium 5G applications and users, in order to boost market share and ARPU, and reduce churn.

The improved quality of experience will not just come from bringing 5G and associated processing and storage closer to the user, but also from using a wide range of AWS tools at the edge. For instance, Bell will adopt AWS analytics and machine learning techologies to “create and scale new consumer and business applications faster”.

Like other operators such as Verizon and Vodafone, Bell will integrate AWS Wavelength Zones into its 5G network. This enables all the AWS edge-based services and tools on Bell’s network, not just for the telco’s internal efficiency, but to support offerings for its customers.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of these AWS deals for operators is access to the vast Amazon developer base. Telcos have repeatedly failed to build their own strong developer ecosystems, but the combination of Wavelength tools and 5G should, Bell hopes, encourage AWS developers to create new services that leverage 5G, and especially the low latency capabilities of a 5G/edge platform. That, in turn, will enhance Bell’s proposition for enterprises to adopt and use 5G.

The telco will embed AWS compute and storage services at the edge of its 5G networks and ticked all the usual 5G boxes in its public explanation. It said that, with the new platform, “applications developers can serve edge computing workloads like machine learning, IoT, and content streaming. Bell and AWS will move 5G data processing to the network edge to minimize latency and power customer-led 5G use cases such as immersive gaming, ultra-high definition video streaming, self-driving vehicles, smart manufacturing, augmented reality, machine learning inference and distance learning throughout Canada. Developers will also have direct access to AWS’s full portfolio of cloud services to enhance and scale their 5G applications.”

Mirko Bibic, CEO of Bell Canada, commented: “Bell and AWS are opening up all-new opportunities for developers to enhance our customers’ digital experiences.” He framed this firmly in the context of telcos’ investment in key network and cloud assets, emphasizing the equal partnership with the hyperscalers that ambitious operators aim to develop. He said: “Bell’s accelerated capital investment plan, supported by government and regulatory policies that encourage significant investment and innovation in network facilities, will double our 5G coverage this year while growing the high capacity fiber connections linking our national network footprint.”