verizon 5gVerizon mobile edge computing should generate “meaningful” revenues in 2020, said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO, at an investor event today.

Mobile, or multi-access, edge computing (MEC) is receiving a lot of attention recently as carriers roll out 5G. The idea behind it is to maximize the benefits of the low latency that 5G provides by minimizing the distance that signals must travel to access cloud resources.

Just last week, Verizon announced a partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that will put software developed by AWS in Verizon-owned facilities at the edge of Verizon’s mobile network. The software, dubbed Wavelength, is designed for use by developers that want to create low-latency applications that will use 5G. Developers will pay AWS for use of the software and Verizon will share in the revenues, Vestberg said.

He also noted that end users wanting to use 5G to support applications from these developers will need to use Verizon as their 5G carrier, potentially generating additional revenue.

The offering with AWS is an example of public cloud services that use MEC, Vestberg said. In addition, Verizon sees opportunities to support MEC-based private cloud services for major enterprises.

On the private cloud side, he said “we are already in discussions with all the top companies.” He noted that some of these companies already have applications in use such as robotics that are currently supported by Wi-Fi or cable connectivity and that the companies will want to make compatible with 5G.

Vestberg cited manufacturing, retail and health care as the three industries that will be the initial adopters of 5G and MEC.

“They all need security, . . . throughput and low latency,” he said.

Verizon Mobile Edge Computing
Vestberg shared some additional information about the MEC partnership with AWS announced last week.

He noted that Verizon approached AWS and other cloud companies about mobile edge computing as it made plans to roll out 5G.

“We started talking to the usual suspects because we are not a cloud company; we are not going to build that,” explained Vestberg.

When it comes to mobile edge computing, he said Verizon’s value proposition is that “We have the network, the distribution and the brand.” AWS, on the other hand, has “the cloud and the developers.”

Vestberg said Verizon will open more edge data center locations in 2020 but declined to offer more specifics.

Vestberg made his comments in a question and answer session at the UBS Global TMT conference, which was also webcast.

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