Vodafone expands its AWS-enabled edge to Spain

  • Vodafone has been embedding AWS Wavelength edge nodes in its mobile networks
  • It has previously deployed them in the UK and Germany
  • Now a pilot zone has been set up in the Spanish province of Andalusia

It’s a slower than expected development, but the telco edge is a reality and is expanding, with Vodafone a case in point. There are many ways to build out edge computing capabilities but Vodafone has opted to work with cloud services giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) to embed its Wavelength nodes into its mobile network architecture and, having already done so in the UK and Germany, it’s now piloting services in southern Spain. 

Vodafone first embedded Wavelength nodes, which enable very low latency services over 4G and 5G mobile connections, into its UK network in the summer of 2021, and now has Wavelength ‘zones’ in the London and Manchester areas. It then did the same in Germany, where it now has zones in Berlin, Dortmund and Munich. More than 30 companies have completed a pilot of Vodafone’s Edge Innovation programme in the UK and German, according to the operator.

Now it has launched a pilot zone in the province of Andalusia, covering the cities of Malaga, Granada, Córdoba, Jaén, Almería and some parts of Seville, where the edge compute capabilities are being used as part of the Safer Transport for Europe Platform (STEP) scheme – see the operator’s press release for more details.

It also plans to use the zone to test extended reality services that can offer enterprise users in multiple sectors a three-dimensional “digital twin” of critical applications that can be used for testing and trials, something that will enable business users to make changes to their real-world deployments without having to visit a particular site to test and implement changes.

“Working with AWS, Vodafone Business can deliver applications and IT tools to customers in milliseconds, faster than the human eye or ear can even perceive,” noted Jennifer Didoni, head of cloud, edge and mobile private networks at Vodafone Business. “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,” she added. 

Vodafone, of course, isn’t the only telco working with AWS on its edge deployment and services strategy: In late 2020, AWS announced that four operators – Vodafone, Verizon, KDDI and SK Telecom – were all close to launching commercial services using Wavelength nodes – see AWS Wavelength (finally) gives telco edge an international flavour.

Here are some examples of how those operators, and others, are taking the same route to edge service delivery: 

BT and AWS target $500m from IoT, 5G edge computing in new deal

Verizon and AWS expand edge computing to 19 US metro areas

Verizon APIs leverage AWS Wavelength for latency-sensitive app development

Bell rings network changes with AWS

Telcos tune in to edge services wavelength

Announcing new AWS Wavelength zone in Osaka, Japan

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV