The partnership was among a horde of announcements put forth by Ericsson today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (not to mention the swarm that came before MWC). It’s less about telcos competing with AWS and more about them coming to AWS, looking to exploit cloud infrastructure just as enterprises have started doing.
That’s a trend that’s emerged in the last year or so, said Terry Wise, vice president of AWS’ partner ecosystem, on stage at today’s Ericsson event. Service providers have been asking how they can “bring this innovation and augment [their] infrastructure,” he said.
The partnership will have Ericsson taking the lead with customers, giving telcos access to cloud experts and systems engineers trained specifically on AWS. AWS will provide people as well.
Ericsson also sees the chance for telcos create AWS-related services. For instance, if a customer is using AWS for storage services, someone needs to manage the process for regulatory compliance. Another possible service could be security and traffic management for traffic going between mobile or on-premises networks and the AWS cloud.
It’s part a bigger telecom-evolution picture that Ericsson and other vendors are painting at MWC this week. The presumed rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the acceptance of cloud-based services, and the development of 5G networks all provide carriers with chances to generate new revenue. Alternatively, carriers could lose out to new over-the-top services that take advantage of these developments.
Ericsson, which is broad enough to touch on all of these areas, wants to position itself as the drum major leading telcos to this new and hopefully revenue-generating future. Nokia, which just combined its operations with Alcatel-Lucent’s wouldn’t mind playing that role either.
The Ericsson-AWS partnership will involve the creation of telecom innovation centers. The first of them will be in Australia, with Telstra contributing resources as well. The lab will be hosted in Telstra’s Gurrowa Innovation Lab in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo: From left: Terry Wise (AWS), Mike Yang (Quanta Computer), and Anders Lindblad (Ericsson).