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AWS helps Vodafone launch Europe’s first multi-access Edge computing services.

Vodafone announced this week that it has partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to launch Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) services. The new offering will be delivered with AWS Wavelength. The service will be initially available for Vodafone business customers in the UK.

The launch follows Vodafone trials with companies in a range of areas. These include sports technology, autonomous transport, biometric security, remote virtual reality, and factory automation. Vodafone says it is the only telecoms operator able to offer business customers the combination of 5G and MEC services in the UK.

The process of deploying MEC infrastructure can also be known as moving services ‘closer to the edge of the network’. AWS Wavelength brings AWS compute and storage services to the edge of Vodafone’s network. This enables applications that require increased speeds, massive bandwidth, and ultra-low latency to operate more effectively.

Such applications include industrial automation, video analytics and machine learning inference (artificial intelligence) and interactive live video streaming.

The mission: “transform user experiences”

Hosting applications closer to the end user means that data does not have to cross the internet to be available for processing in locations around the world. This approach means that providers like Vodafone can virtually eliminate the lag, known as latency. That’s because the service can both capture and process data closer to the end-user device. This offers much faster response times and a much-improved experience, according to Vodafone.

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, commented on the move: “We are taking our business beyond the traditional boundaries of telecoms connectivity services so that we can bring customers amazing new services.” Moreover, “Edge Compute and 5G is a combination no other service provider can deliver in Europe,” she added. “Which means we can offer something unique to our customers.”

George Elissaios, General Manager of AWS Wavelength and Director of Product Management, AWS, agreed. “By combining AWS Wavelength and Vodafone 5G, businesses and applications developers can now leverage the full breadth of AWS cloud services right at the edge of 5G networks.

This enables Wavelength customers to explore new business opportunities, build applications and services that were not possible before, he added. The result will be that the service can “transform user experiences in the UK.”