Vodafone expands access to AWS Wavelength for business customers

Vodafone Business today expanded its collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to become the only European operator to offer customers across multiple European countries the dual benefits of high bandwidth with the ultra-low latency of distributed Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) powered by AWS Wavelength.

Spain is the latest Vodafone market to embed AWS Wavelength at the edge of its 4G and 5G networks and joins both Germany and the UK, which initially started to roll out distributed MEC services in early 2021. Vodafone and AWS have made the pilot AWS Wavelength Zone available to customers across the province of Andalusia, Southern Spain, including the cities of Malaga, Granada, Córdoba, Jaén, Almería and areas of Seville, in addition to existing sites across London, Manchester, Berlin, Munich & Dortmund.

MEC is a key component in unlocking the full potential of 5G. The technology moves cloud-based IT services to the edge of the network, removing latency that would result from multiple hops between aggregation sites and across the internet. In optimum conditions, latency could be as low as single-digit milliseconds between the mobile base station and MEC infrastructure. Every millisecond is crucial in the provision of seamless, time-sensitive services such as remote surgery, connected industrial robots, biometric ‘passwordless’ security, and autonomous cars, as well as critical Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Jennifer Didoni, Head of Cloud, Edge & Mobile Private Networks, Vodafone Business, said: “5G and edge computing will help our customers transform their industries. Working with AWS, Vodafone Business can deliver applications and IT tool to customers in milliseconds, faster than the human eye or ear can even perceive. By bringing these services closer to the customer across Germany, Spain, and the UK, they can access Apps on tap in more places, in high definition, at machine speed, with performance that wasn’t possible before.”

One of the first applications to be tested using distributed MEC running on AWS Wavelength in Spain is improved road safety based on Vodafone’s Safer Transport for Europe Platform (STEP). Connecting drivers directly with transport authorities and each other, STEP enables safety information, hazard warnings and traffic updates to be shared in real time, no matter which device or in-vehicle system they are using.

The STEP platform will feed real-time data to the national transport data platform, operated by The Directorate-General for Traffic (DGT), as well as help refine automotive test capabilities for DEKRA (one of the world’s leading vehicle testing, inspection, and certification organisations) in Málaga. It will also be used to improve the safety of highway maintenance workers and to control smart traffic lights.

In addition, Vodafone Spain will test distributed MEC, powered by AWS Wavelength, with Extended Reality to provide companies across agriculture, logistics, industry, entertainment, or social health with a 3D digital twin of critical applications. This will allow them to make near-instant changes without the need for a physical site visit. MEC builds on, and enhances, the many applications being developed or used across multiple sectors in Germany and the UK, for example when driving autonomous shuttle buses or instantly detecting a defective product in a production line. More than 30 companies have completed a pilot with Vodafone’s Edge Innovation programme in the UK and Germany which demonstrates MEC capabilities.

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