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Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and mobile network operators (MNOs) are facing huge 5G investment decisions over the next few years, especially when it comes to strategizing for the cloud. Modern network infrastructure solutions must support CSPs to build and deploy open, cloud-native networks faster with lower cost and complexity. The development of both private and public clouds has created a huge expansion in co-location facilities and internet exchanges, where enterprises and cloud providers can easily connect from a unified center. Moreover, 5G and edge deployment will receive a boost from cloud-native technology with greater choice and agility to accelerate new connectivity and service options.

The three leading global hyperscalers (AWS, Microsoft, and Google Cloud) hold more than 80% market share for global public cloud services specifically for IoT workloads according to the latest research from IoT Analytics. Operators and enterprises will require services or resources from multiple public clouds, to connect their networking infrastructure with an emphasis on saving cost and optimizing efficiency to their operations.

With the growth of connected devices as we transition towards 5G connectivity, mobile operators need to be on top of edge cloud requirements to provide the performance, responsiveness, and consistency to accelerate their offerings to customers in the coming years.

Here are a few key solutions that telcos can consider for their multi-cloud strategies.

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE): It’s obvious that running applications across multiple clouds pose security and compliance risks due to a lack of insight and visibility into what’s happening to applications on networks in other clouds. Genetec's State of Physical Security 2021 Report states that the pandemic forced physical security professionals to work from home and 45% of larger organizations (with over 1,000 employees) have already adopted cloud solutions, indicating a 19% increase from 2020’s results. It further states that only 14% of respondents in the Middle East indicated that at least 25% of their physical security environment is cloud or hybrid cloud. This could be due to the strict regulatory environment in some Middle Eastern countries as respondents from the Middle East were most likely to select ‘hosting data outside your country’ as a reason which deters them from deploying cloud security solutions. The survey revealed that over half of respondents (52%) chose access control as the priority solution that they would be investing in to advance or improve their physical security environment.

As a cloud architecture model, SASE allows organizations to combine their network and security tools in a single management console that can independently support remote working. SASE uses software to connect to cloud technology to combine SD-WAN with network security functions.

Edge computing: Mobile network operators (MNOs) need to build their cloud strategies with a focus on edge computing, which is complimentary to centralised cloud computing. Research shows that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created at processed at the edge by 2025. Since edge deployments will be in thousands as compared to 8 to 10 deployments in a typical data center, scalability and agility become crucial.

Multi-access edge computing (MEC): MEC is a fundamental technology in 5G and essential for unlocking new business value. MEC is going to be a critical component for achieving 5G capabilities around URLLC (ultra-reliable low latency communication) and has been added in 3GPP standards as well. With MEC, ubiquitous connections and high computing capabilities can be delivered to individuals for their diverse services, such as VR, AR, and multimedia; and low latency and high security can be provided to enterprises by restricting data to within enterprise campuses. The sustainable development of both B2B and B2C services requires the scale-up of MEC. Telcos can explore and innovate in the MEC field to deliver high-quality certifications to empower business ventures not only in tech but across industries as reliable service and product providers. Recently, telecom operator du and Huawei signed an agreement for a joint innovation on MEC whereby the two companies will research, validate, and reproduce MEC-oriented applications in the Middle East, helping du provide more diversified communications services.

Cloud-managed DDI: In an ever-increasing cloud-first world, many organisations still rely on siloed hardware that locally manages DNS, DHCP and IP address management, also called DDI individually for each site at the risk of incurring higher costs, bad latency, weak performance, and security gaps. Cloud-managed DDI provides a simpler and more effective way to manage networks, devices, apps and services across locations. The technology allows full DDI visibility, automation, and reliability, giving way to a faster, more reliable network experience for users at the edge with instant access to cloud apps, and a more controlled and efficient management experience for IT pros in the network operations center.

Agile multi-cloud networks are all about delivering the adaptability of the dynamic scale and performance starting from the application layer. Telcos’ cloud-native 5G networks must provide a reliable, scalable, and distributed autonomous network solution that helps enterprise and consumers build their solutions to deploy IoT, private/enterprise networks, MEC networks by drastically reducing the burnout factor in modern communication networks management.

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