CloudBlue at Mobile World Congress: Agile cloud services, the 5G ‘edge’ revolution, and the Metaverse

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Thousands gathered in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress (MWC), to learn about advancements in 5G and mobile technologies that are powering unique customer experiences in the metaverse.

The theme was ‘Connectivity Unleashed’, which is fitting for the CloudBlue mission to help communications service providers transform into digital service providers – and capitalize on digital and 5G opportunities.

During the four-day MWC event, we talked to many of our customers and strategic partners to share our knowledge and perspectives and to gather theirs, which helped formed our five key takeaways:
• Scale and agility in cloud services are key enablers of large-scale transformation
• Operationalizing 5G roll outs represents a fundamental shift from physical to virtual networks
• Broad competing visions of the metaverse framed a central topic at MWC
• An Intelligent Edge is unlocking new value in latency-sensitive consumer and B2B services
• Sustainability through smart connectivity could reduce global carbon emissions by 20% by 2030

Scale & Agility in Cloud Services
In the age of digital transformation, communications service providers (CSPs) are constantly challenged to drive new revenue while reducing operating expenses. Transitioning revenue sources from voice and data to on-demand connectivity, network slicing, and enterprise-driven services requires the scale and agility of the cloud.

When automating to reduce operating expenses, businesses can also use cloud-native auto-scaling solutions, SDN-enabled networks, and consumption-based pricing models. Taken together, this means that cloud is clearly a key enabler of large-scale transformation.

As the only cloud commerce engine engineered for hyper-scalability, CloudBlue enables CSPs to leverage the world’s largest cloud ecosystem – with over 80,000 resellers – with potential access to 2 billion customers. CloudBlue supports 30 million cloud subscriptions across 200 leading brand customers.

Operationalizing 5G Roll Outs
More than just a new network generation, 5G represents a fundamental shift from physical to virtual and multi-cloud networks, with services delivered over specialized network slices that are tailored to the unique needs of thousands of enterprises.

The industry has more than 200 5G deployments in play globally, of which about 20 are standalone 5G. Vendors and service providers are continuing to explore the benefits of new technologies like O-RAN as they rethink 5G operating models.

Why? 5G is all about execution. By combining the network with a digital ecosystem orchestration platform, CSPs can enhance customer and partner experiences, explore new business models, and extend marketplaces with strategic partners, building the agile capabilities needed for effective 5G monetization.

Broad Competing Visions of the Metaverse
The Metaverse was a prominent topic in nearly every conversation at the event. While competing visions of the metaverse will take years to be realized, they represent the highest value potential from the convergence of several emerging technologies.

Microsoft refers to this collection as the Metaverse Technology Stack and includes Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, no-code applications, and digital twins.

Telstra, one of CloudBlue’s leading telco customers, is at the forefront of implementing high-value solutions powered by digital twins. Andy Penn, Telstra’s CEO, explains “Think of the world where we have a digital twin of everything. Maybe we have a digital twin of your car. While your car might be connected via 5G to the cloud passing up information about your car, a real, live, and current representation of your car is being captured. This is all part of this broader discussion about the concept of the metaverse. It’s creating a digital twin of everything around us.”

Security and interoperability are two other key challenges that must be properly addressed. As a member of the Digital Twin Consortium, CloudBlue was a key contributor to the publication of the Digital Twin System Interoperability Framework which describes 7 key concepts that facilitate complex system-of-systems interactions.

CloudBlue is teaming with several leading metaverse technology vendors to apply this interoperability framework to a unifying ecosystem of ‘capabilities-as-a-service’ offered through digital marketplaces.

New Value in Intelligent Edge and Robotics
Public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure are extending computing services to the edge of the telecoms network to manage sustained growth in traffic and improve customer experience. They are also making speculative investments in edge computing capabilities to meet the anticipated demand for IoT services.

With Azure for Operators, Microsoft’s goal is to empower operators to unlock the power of 5G by bringing cloud and edge together, enabling low latency applications with greater reach and lower costs.

Combining the virtually limitless computing power of the cloud with intelligent devices at the edge of the network will create a framework for building immersive and impactful business solutions. The powerful combination of 5G connectivity and an intelligent edge can unlock new latency-sensitive consumer and B2B services, such as gaming and telemedicine.

Edge computing, however, is not limited to 5G use cases. CloudBlue customer Lumen, for example, is leveraging its extensive fiber network, along with WiFi, to support similar use cases.

While the metaverse is about building a virtual world, automation and robots are going to revolutionize the physical world, according to Telstra’s Andy Penn. “There is not a single industry that is not planning for how it can improve its business outlook with the help of automation and robotics,” he adds.

In its drive to enable everything as a service (XaaS), CloudBlue is collaborating within TM Forum to extend its Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) framework to enable Connectivity and Edge Computing-as-a-Service to offer greater value to end-customers.

Sustainability Through Smart Connectivity
This year sustainability became an industry value as we seek to work together to protect our planet by reducing energy consumption and emissions. Next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence, NFTs and the metaverse are creating innovative ways to connect, entertain and spend. It is vital that they also transform industry and society to tackle global issues on climate.

Research shows that smart connectivity could enable up to 20% of the world’s total carbon reductions needed by 2030. Along with CloudBlue, many of our telecommunications customers are deeply committed to sustainability, including Telefonica and Ericsson who recently launched a new portfolio of seven sustainable products that make the most of 5G while optimizing energy consumption.

In the race to Net Zero, governments and global businesses leaders need to embrace these products and technologies. As noted by Telefonica’s CEO, Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete “It’s the time to put people and values at the center”.

In Summary
There has never been a more exciting time for the communications industry to reimagine its role in the world than today.
As digital service providers, the industry is enabling billions of people to work, socialize, shop, and play in the digitally connected world. With the evolution of 5G, the consumer experience, operations, and economics in every industry will be transformed.

As AT&T’s Anne Chow says, “More than ever before, we can shape the future in truly transformational ways. The time is now to unite technology and human ingenuity to reinvent how we do business.”

CloudBlue is all about businesses embracing the latest technology and automation to drive sales and deliver more services. Our mission is to fundamentally reshape how businesses connect with their customers, by helping them generate revenue through an independent, global delivery system of Everything-as-a-Service for the IT industry and beyond.

Everywhere we look, the technology industry is undergoing a digital paradigm shift that will impact every sort of business. With this profound transformation comes an unprecedented opportunity for CloudBlue ecosystem partners to deliver solutions offering greater value to customers.

At this year’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit, on May 17-19 in Miami, CloudBlue will participate in over 20 breakout sessions on marketing and technical topics, including labs, workshops and panel discussions that will help CSPs succeed in the subscription economy. Join us there!

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