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Singtel counts on telco edge to crack enterprise 5G market

Singtel is counting on its investments in its multi-access edge compute platform to stand out in the enterprise market for 5G services

Singtel is counting on its investments in its multi-access edge compute (MEC) platform to stand out in the enterprise market for 5G services as deployment of the next-generation mobile network ramps up in Singapore and the region.

Speaking at a media briefing on Singtel’s 5G strategy, Bill Chang, CEO of Singtel’s enterprise group, said the MEC platform brings high-speed, low-latency connectivity along with edge cloud services that will enable enterprises to run data analytics and artificial intelligence applications at the edge.

“We can all do this with an SLA [service-level agreement] of less than 10ms and that, to me, is a key differentiation,” said Chang, adding that Singtel is also building an ecosystem around its MEC platform.

The ecosystem spans cloud providers including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, which have made their hybrid cloud offerings – AWS Outposts and Azure Stack, respectively – available through Singtel’s MEC platform.

In the case of AWS, MECs with AWS Outposts can be accessed from the closest Singtel site to help businesses seamlessly operate their applications that use AWS tools and require ultra-low-latency data processing.

Microsoft Azure users can also opt for a flavour of Singtel MEC that comes with the Azure Stack, Microsoft’s family of on-premise systems that enables enterprises to use Azure cloud services at remote branch offices and edge locations.

With the MEC platform, said Chang, enterprises that want a private cloud can also operate a private compute platform at the edge so that their data remains on-premise.

Beyond delivering 5G connectivity and its MEC platform, Singtel is working with NCS, its IT services arm, to help enterprises with technology integration and the development of 5G applications.

For example, said Chang, Singtel is working with the public sector and enterprises in the manufacturing industry on use cases such as autonomous robots for last-mile delivery and other internet-of-things (IoT) applications.

In July 2021, NCS set up a strategic business group called Telco+ to help telcos improve operational efficiencies and leverage data-driven insights to improve customer experiences.

By combining the 5G capabilities of Singtel and NCS’s expertise in digital and technology services, Telco+ will develop a full stack of 5G-enabled solutions to help enterprises capitalise on 5G applications.

Singtel and NCS are not limiting their enterprise 5G playbook to Singapore. NCS CEO Ng Kuo Pin told Computer Weekly that the plan is to go after Singtel’s affiliate telcos, a list that includes Telkomsel in Indonesia, Globe Telecom in the Philippines and AIS in Thailand.

Read more about telecoms in APAC

  • Reliance Jio, India’s biggest telco, will use Google Cloud to manage its 5G network and grow its commerce business.
  • Singapore’s M1 is dialling up its digital chops by monetising its data, building more personalised services for subscribers, and going beyond connectivity as it evolves into a digital telco.
  • Globe Telecom in the Philippines has moved its legacy systems to the cloud and there is more to come as it looks towards deploying cloud radio access networks and cloud-native applications.
  • Indonesia’s XL Axiata is equipping its data scientists with analytics tools to uncover customer insights and improve network planning, among other goals, in a pilot data science initiative.

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