IBM has collaborated with American Tower, a global digital infrastructure provider, to accelerate the deployment of a hybrid, multi-cloud computing platform at the edge.
Through this collaboration, American Tower plans to expand its neutral-host, Access Edge Data Center ecosystem to include IBM Hybrid Cloud capabilities and Red Hat OpenShift. The two companies will work together to help clients address their evolving customer requirements and expectations around innovative digital transformation by enabling technologies such as IoT, 5G, AI, and network automation.
American Tower is an independent owner, operator and developer of communications real estate solutions. The company has a broad portfolio of assets including nearly 225,000 wireless and broadcast towers, rooftops, and in-building systems across 25 countries globally and a highly interconnected footprint of U.S. data center facilities, after acquiring CoreSite in 2021. With interest in distributed edge computing on the rise, IBM and American Tower saw an opportunity to leverage their complementary assets and deliver customer value at scale. IBM plans to provide American Tower with a hybrid cloud platform and automated systems to create an edge cloud at American Tower distributed real estate locations.
A spokesperson for IBM said: “As a result of this collaboration, we aim to give enterprises more flexibility to deploy applications – on public clouds, at the edge, or on premises. This can help to securely process and quickly analyze data closer to the point where it is created.”
Across industries, companies are embracing technologies, such as AI and 5G access networks at the edge to heighten innovation and create new business opportunities. American Tower and IBM will be providing the necessary infrastructure for these enterprises to help them tap into the full potential of edge computing.
The automotive industry is a prime example. According to Jim Morrish, co-founder and MD of Transforma Insights, “at the end of 2022 there were 14.1 billion active IoT devices and by 2032 connected car (vehicle platform or head unit) devices will exceed 1.8 billion, growing at a CAGR of 11.8%”. Vehicles contain dozens of computers and micro-controllers, all requiring updates at the point of final assembly and throughout the vehicles’ lifecycle. Clients report that installing firmware manually can have a high cost for manufacturers, which may cause them to seek quicker and more cost-effective solutions. By utilising edge capabilities from American Tower and IBM, automotive OEMs will be able to rapidly transmit software updates to vehicles before they are shipped to dealers. This could help manufacturers optimies efficiency, while also addressing their latency, data sovereignty, security, compliance readiness, and reliability requirements.
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