Thales joins Google’s 5G Mobile Edge Cloud initiative

Last updated: 13 January 2021

In March 2020, Google Cloud unveiled its telecom operator strategy called Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC), aimed at helping Communications Service Providers (CSPs) digitally transform and harness the full potential of 5G.

In parallel, Thales has deployed a large portfolio of its solutions onto Google Cloud to leverage cloud at the edge of its MNO customers’ infrastructure.

Thales and Google Cloud have decided to strengthen their relationship further with Thales joining the GMEC program.

Let’s dive deeper into Google’s GMEC strategy and Thales’ participation in it.

What is Google’s 5G Mobile Edge Cloud initiative?

Google’s Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC) strategy relies on three key elements:

  1. A portfolio of 5G/LTE/Edge solutions built together with telcos and partners.
  2. A common open cloud-native platform, Anthos for Telecom, to help telcos build, deploy and securely manage these new network-centric 5G/LTE/Edge applications anywhere.
  3. A global distributed edge infrastructure, leveraging Google Edge, Telco Edge, Customer Edge and other third-party edges.

What exactly is Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)?

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), previously known as mobile edge computing, is an ETSI-defined network architecture concept offering cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the mobile 4G or 5G network.

The goal of MEC technology is to offer an environment characterised by proximity, ultra-low latency, high bandwidth, network congestion reduction and higher application performance. As a matter of fact, it’s designed to be implemented close to the mobile customer – directly at the mobile base stations or other edge nodes.

MEC is a brand new ecosystem which allows mobile operators to open their Radio Access Network (RAN) edge to partners, enabling them to flexibly and rapidly deploy innovative applications and services for mobile subscribers, enterprises and vertical segments.

What is the partnership between Thales and Google?

In December 2020, Google announced it was teaming up with a number of partners to bring over 200 5G-focused edge applications and we’re delighted to be part of this initiative. Thales will bring its market leading solutions on Google Cloud to help Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to deliver new solutions for:

i. eSIM mobile connectivity.

Thales has deployed its eSIM (embedded SIM) management solution on Google Cloud. This enables highly secure, scalable activation of eSIM-compatible devices and provides compliance with data protection and privacy requirements.

The solution enables mobile operators to support a massive global increase in the volume of embedded mobile subscriptions. Indeed, ABI Research expects around 1 billion eSIM-capable devices to be shipped annually by 2024. According to a recent Gartner research, the eSIM is among the 9 technologies to watch for consumer & IoT devices. Feel free to download a complimentary copy of Gartner’s research.

It is the world’s first GSMA-certified eSIM management solution available on Google Cloud. It’s already operational for several mobile operators.

ii. Data analytics.

Guavus, a Thales company, will deploy its AI/ML-based analytics capabilities on Google Cloud. Using the Guavus-IQ solutions, CSPs can benefit from a multi-perspective and an operator-friendly analytics experience. It provides real-time insights on how each subscriber is experiencing their services and network. As a result, CSPs can identify subscriber and network behavioural patterns that can adversely affect service experience. These insights enable them to increase revenue opportunities through data monetization and improved customer experience, as well as reducing costs through automated, closed-loop actions.

The SQLstream technology plays a key role in Guavus-IQ as well, providing real-time, cloud-enabled streaming analytics from network edge to core for 4G and 5G networks. This gives operators a hyper-distributed and massively scalable architecture with better price/performance and total cost of ownership.

iii. Data protection.

With 5G, more applications and data are moving closer to end customers. As a result, Thales is expanding its collaboration with Google Cloud to extend the shared responsibility model to the Edge Cloud, providing customers with the ability to have full control on securing their sensitive data, while helping address compliance requirements. By working together, Thales will give enterprises the foundation of trust they need for a variety of high-throughput and low latency applications delivered via Google Cloud.

“Increasingly, businesses with presences at the edge are relying on connected devices, digital experiences, and cloud capabilities to improve operational efficiency or engage with consumers,” said Tanuj Raja, Global Head, Strategic Partnerships at Google Cloud. “We are proud to partner with Thales to deliver their capabilities in eSIM management, data analytics, and security to the edge with Google Cloud, and to help communications service providers address the growing opportunity of supporting businesses’ digital transformations at the edge.”

“Carrier service providers are embarking on cloud-first transformation journeys to create new digital experiences and revenue streams,” said Fabrice Bourdeix, VP Strategy and Product Policy at Thales. “By making our solutions available in the Mobile Edge Cloud ecosystem thanks to the flexible Google Cloud, we enable and accelerate this journey.”

This partnership perfectly illustrates Thales’ vision for CSPs: building a 5G world we can all trust.

As an MNO/CSP professional, what’s your view here? Are there any other points you consider crucial for developing your business? Let us know your thoughts by tweeting to us at @ThalesDigiSec or leaving a comment below.

Feel free to read our other blogs and resources on eSIM, analytics and data protection here:

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