The two companies say they will jointly invest in developing 5G and edge services for various industries, including the manufacturing, supply chain logistics, and automotive sectors
Telenor has today announced that it has expanded its collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), aiming to extend its cloud footprint and develop additional 5G and edge services for industry customers.
The agreement builds on Telenor’s existing work with AWS, which includes various explorations of private 5G in both Europe and Asia. Perhaps the most notable development of the companies’ collaboration so far is the development of Telenor’s “network on wheels (NOW)” prototype, an autonomous private 5G network that can be deployed quickly wherever it is needed. The NOW prototype is reportedly already being used by the Norwegian defense material agency and the Norwegian Public Service broadcaster, Norsk Rikskringkasting, for critical communication and remote production use cases, respectively.
The partnership has borne fruit in Telenor’s Asian markets too, a region which makes up around half of the company’s total revenue. In Thailand, Telenor’s local brand, dtac, launched a 5G private network proof-of-concept for Thai enterprises based on edge computing and the AWS Snow Family in July last year.
Beyond private networks, Telenor’s existing collaboration with AWS has seen them implement a cloud-based core network for its Swedish virtual mobile network brand, Vimla, running on AWS. Developed and managed as-a-service by Working Group Two, Vimla’s core is scalable and broadly customisable, helping Vimla to quickly develop and deploy new services for customers.
Now, according to the announcement, the two companies will go further still, aiming to jointly invest in new product offerings for various vertical markets, including manufacturing, logistics, and automotive, leveraging private 5G networks and edge computing.
“Our shared ambition is to use scalable and flexible building blocks from AWS to continuously raise the bar for what’s possible,” said Sigve Brekke, President and CEO of Telenor Group.
As part of the new agreement, will also see Telenor become part of AWS’s Partner Network.
It is worth noting that Telenor signed a deal with AWS’s competitor, Google Cloud, last year, saying at the time that they would work together on network function virtualisation as well as developing new 5G revenue opportunities.
Speaking to Reuters, Brekke explained that “nobody is big enough on its own and nobody has it all”, suggesting that the AWS partnership had advantages in terms of network components, while the Google Cloud deal was more focussed on products and analytics.
AWS itself made headlines late last year with the launch of their AWS Private 5G service, offering customers an easy-to-procure starter kit for a fully managed, pay-as-you-go, private cellular service.
Meanwhile, in related news, Telenor is currently struggling to divest itself of its crippled Myanmar unit, which it wrote off financially in May last year. Since then, a deal to sell the unit to M1 Group has become mired by Myanmar’s military junta, who disprove of the sale and are attempting to stop Telenor from pulling out of the country.
Despite these setbacks, Telenor continues to try to offload its Myanmar assets, announcing earlier this week that it plans to sell its 51% stake of Myanmar fintech company Wave Money to its main partner in the venture, Yoma Strategic Holdings. According to reports, the deal is worth around $53 million.
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