Verizon Business and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be expanding their 5G collaboration to deliver private mobile edge computing (MEC) to enterprise customers in the U.S who want a completely dedicated edge compute infrastructure on-premise that enables ultra-low latency, higher levels of security and deeper customization. The solution will fully integrate Verizon’s Private 5G networks and Private Edge platform with AWS Outposts, a fully managed service that offers the same AWS infrastructure, services, APIs and tools to virtually any datacenter, co-location space or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. Verizon enterprise customers can use private MEC to quickly deploy real-time enterprise applications like intelligent logistics, predictive maintenance, robotics, factory automation and more to lower costs and improve safety, precision and efficiency. Corning Incorporated, a leading materials science and advanced manufacturing innovator, will be the first company to leverage this private MEC solution.
MEC running on private networks creates a secure, dedicated computing platform within specific areas such as factories, warehouses and large business campuses. The platform supports unified connectivity, compute and storage, without having the need for the customer to own extensive networking and IT infrastructure. The new, fully managed private MEC solution will support a wide range of industrial manufacturing applications, such as autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), predictive maintenance, quality assurance and near real-time monitoring and hazard alerts. Verizon’s Private 5G Edge platform will give customers a reliable, secure, high bandwidth, low latency connection to AWS services, APIs and tools running on AWS Outposts. Additionally, two smaller AWS Outposts—1U and 2U form factors—will give customers options to deploy AWS on-premises in space-constrained locations.
“Verizon’s 5G is the platform for 21st century innovation and customers are looking to rapidly innovate, improve performance, and create new revenue streams,” said Tami Erwin, CEO of Verizon Business. “Developers are already creating new latency-dependent solutions that run on the Verizon/AWS public MEC service launched last year. Our private MEC offering will unlock that same potential for enterprise customers who need to maintain a secure, closed environment in factories, warehouses and other facilities.”
The Verizon and AWS edge computing collaboration began with the launch of Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength. AWS Wavelength extends AWS compute and storage services to the edge of Verizon’s public mobile network and provides seamless access to cloud services running in an AWS region. By doing so, AWS Wavelength minimizes the latency and network hops required to connect from a 5G device to an application hosted on AWS. Since August 2020, the companies have announced the general availability of 5G MEC via Wavelength Zones in 10 cities across the U.S.
“Private MEC is a natural expansion of our collaboration with Verizon,” said Dave Brown, Vice President Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) at AWS. “Customers are already leveraging AWS Wavelength's ability to provide ultra-low latency access to end users for use cases like video distribution, inference at the edge, AR/VR, and connected vehicles. Now, Private 5G MEC from AWS and Verizon brings ultra-low latency to dedicated, closed, on-premises environments for use cases such as AMRs, quality assurance and hazard alerting.”
Corning Tests Private MEC at Smart Factory
Verizon and AWS are working to integrate AWS Outposts with Verizon’s 5G private network to bring the private MEC platform to life for Corning Inc. Already, Corning is exploring the benefits of 5G and private MEC in Hickory, N.C., at one of the largest fiber-optic cable manufacturing facilities in the world. Corning and Verizon are working with Gestalt Robotics GmbH, a service provider for intelligent industrial automation, to run highly scalable edge-services on AWS Outposts that provide autonomous navigation and advanced environmental sensing "as a service.” Gestalt Robotics’ solutions make use of computer vision and machine learning models to process sensor data received from AMRs, then send commands to the AMRs over the ultra-low latency, high throughput 5G private network. The service can reduce the need for computing hardware and battery capacity on the AMRs and enable near real-time interaction and a closed-loop control of the vehicles delivering high reliability production services within the factory.
“We’re living through one of the greatest communications evolutions in history—and at the center of it all are optical networks. At Corning, our vision is to accelerate the ways in which innovation improves people’s lives and brings the world closer together, which includes partnering with industry leaders such as Verizon and AWS to make the promise of 5G a reality,” said Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager of Corning’s Optical Communications business. “We believe 5G will revolutionize the way people and companies interact with technology, and we’re excited to advance these developments in our own plant, where we manufacture the optical cable needed to support the networks. Now, with Verizon’s 5G network and MEC solution using AWS Outposts, we’re leveraging technologies like AMRs to demonstrate how manufacturers can increase efficiency.”