IBM and AT&T announce their union in 5G edge computing

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IBM and AT&T have announced a union to harness the opportunities presented by 5G edge computing.

“The advancements in 5G and edge are impacting every industry, bringing the promise of enhanced experiences for consumers and new revenue opportunities for businesses,” said Howard Boville, SVP of IBM Hybrid Cloud.

AT&T’s Multi-Access Edge Computing will marry IBM’s new Cloud Satellite service to enhance the capabilities of both solutions.

“Together with AT&T, we will be helping clients securely leverage 5G and edge offerings in any environment with IBM’s open and secure hybrid cloud platform,” explained Boville. “This marks a significant step forward increasing the possibilities of 5G and edge in the enterprise.”

Multi-Access Edge Computing is a low-latency, private cellular network edge environment which takes advantage of AT&T’s 5G capabilities.

“We don’t just have the fastest nationwide 5G network,” commented Mo Katibeh, Chief Product and Platform Officer for AT&T Business. “With our edge computing capabilities, we can also offer incredibly responsive networks – needed for mission-critical business applications. Our work with IBM will bring differentiated value that customers will appreciate.”

Cloud Satellite, meanwhile, is built on Red Hat OpenShift and enables businesses to securely run applications from any edge location.

IBM provided the following examples of where the partners’ solutions could be used:

  • The healthcare industry could potentially adopt tools such as hospital operations monitoring patients remotely via connected medical devices with telehealth and working to enhance worker safety. 
  • In manufacturing, 5G-connected automated operations can help reduce costs and control quality on production lines through robotics and near real-time visual analysis.
  • In retail, 5G and edge can help stores analyse supply chain data, detect spills, or spoilage or monitor metrics like crowd density in ways that would have overwhelmed a network without edge computing.
  • Supply chains can become more resilient and dynamic with enhanced networking and remote monitoring, combined with automated inventory management and AI-enhanced procurement processes.
  • In banking and finance, fraud detection and customer claims can be addressed in near real-time. Edge-equipped ATMs can themselves serve as the point of fraud detection, deterring a bad actor from tampering with the system.

Customers will be able to manage their services across multiple clouds and the solution allegedly supports billions of edge devices through a single dashboard.

5G is expected to reach a market value of $667 billion by 2026. The latest mobile network generation is unlocking huge new opportunities—especially in edge computing. IBM and AT&T’s partnership will help enterprises to seize those opportunities.

(Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash)

Want to learn more about topics like this from thought leaders in the space? Find out more about the Edge Computing Expo, a brand new, innovative event and conference exploring the edge computing ecosystem.

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