AWS aims to tackle the telco language barrier

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a new managed service specifically designed to use words that operators can easily understand.

Nick Wood

February 22, 2023

3 Min Read
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a new managed service specifically designed to use words that operators can easily understand.

Called Telco Network Builder, it promises to help CSPs deploy, run and scale their networks on AWS. It is very keen to point out that telcos are able to describe their requirements – such as connection points, networking requirements, compute needs and geographical distribution – in standard telco industry language. The service translates these inputs into a cloud-based network architecture, and then provisions the necessary AWS infrastructure.

“Some of the biggest challenges CSPs face as they look to migrate include manually configuring and then managing these complex networks, which impedes growth and stifles innovation,” said Jan Hofmeyr, VP of Amazon elastic compute cloud (EC2), in a statement on Tuesday. “Groundbreaking in the value it provides to the telecom industry, AWS Telco Network Builder removes the burden of translating a customer’s desired telco network into a cloud architecture, empowering them to easily modernise and quickly scale to meet demand while freeing time and capital to build new offerings, expand coverage, and refocus on invention.”

US operator Dish caused quite a stir when it decided to build its entire nationwide 5G network on AWS, but there hasn’t been anything on that scale since. Granted, Dish is a greenfield operator, and the vast majority of telcos have legacy network assets to sweat. Nonetheless, the adoption of cloud-native networking is taking place, so it does seem a little anti-climactic that there hasn’t been a big sequel to the Dish deal.

AWS’s experience with Dish is highly likely to have informed the development of Telco Network Builder, which should lower the adoption barrier by making migration a little bit less daunting, giving Amazon the confidence to pursue some more major telco tie-ups.

Similarly, in a separate announcement, AWS also launched Integrated Private Wireless. It brings together AWS’s cloud infrastructure with private networking solutions developed by telcos including Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, Orange, T-Mobile, and Telefónica Tech.

“For many enterprises, it’s been too expensive, slow, and complex to build and operate private networks,” said Adolfo Hernandez, VP, global telecoms business unit, AWS,in a blog post on Tuesday. “Today, we are announcing a new program to help address these challenges: Integrated Private Wireless on AWS.”

Designed to simplify the whole process, it lets enterprise customers browse private wireless offerings on the AWS portal, filtering by industry or use case. It also lets customers contact their chosen telco, which will then design, deliver, operate, and support the service.

“Private wireless holds tremendous promise to help enterprises realise the benefits of Industry 4.0 and for communication services providers to generate new lines of revenue,” Hernandez said. “In the coming months, we’ll be working with these telcos to create and launch further use cases and offerings, and extending to others to do the same. By working closely together, we’ll be able to reduce the barriers of cost, time, and complexity, and we can help enterprise more easily discover private wireless offerings that meet their needs.”

It isn’t just the new offerings that will help AWS overcome the language barrier. It recently took its relationship with TM Forum to the next level, joining rival hyperscalers Microsoft and Google as a fully-fledged member. While it has been a regular speaker at – and sponsor of – TM Forum events, now it is on the inside and able to regularly speak to potential customers, as well as lend its expertise and influence to the industry group as it promotes its cloud-native Open Digital Architecture (ODA) concept.

As Capgemini predicted last week, big telcos are expected to spend an average of $1 billion each on network cloud transformation in the next three-to-five years, by which time 46% of global telco network traffic is expected to be entirely cloud native.

Clearly it is in Amazon’s interest to capture as much of that spend, and as much of that traffic, as it can. To do that, it must convince operators – in terms they understand – of the benefits of choosing public over private cloud.


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About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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