Telstra has teamed up with Microsoft and Ericsson to build and deploy a 5G-enabled edge computing solution for enterprises.
Named Branch Offload, the infrastructure-as-a-service solution (IaaS) extends private connectivity and cloud services to the network edge.
According to Telstra, it will be the first such service available in Australia and will be delivered by its consulting and managed services arm, Telstra Purple.
Arriving on the scene before the end of this financial year, Branch Offload will blend Telstra’s 5G and fixed connectivity with Microsoft’s Azure Stack Edge for edge computing, secure edge, SD-WAN and service orchestration.
Additionally, Telstra is set to work with early adopter businesses to co-develop and deploy edge capabilities to deliver an automated, scalable and secure platform. It also has plans to deploy solutions leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) such as smart video, Telstra Dedicated Networks and Telstra Data Hub at the network edge.
By doing so, the telco anticipates to deliver a low latency integrated network edge environment to visualise and consolidate network and application services, which it claims can be used in operational challenges like safety and productivity across the mining, construction, retail, health and energy sectors.
“Many businesses have found it challenging to simplify their disparate networks and securely run temporary or permanent sites,” said Telstra Purple head Christopher Smith. “Branch Offload – with 5G at its core – will be a gamechanger for many industries as it will deliver significant network optimisation and greater application performance.
“Our Networks team has done an awesome job harnessing the power of our technology and network leadership to build the infrastructure that will enable our differentiated 5G and edge compute services."
“Telstra’s collaboration with our major strategic partners, Microsoft and Ericsson, continues to deliver many global and national technology firsts. When you combine this network innovation with Telstra Purple’s diverse team of digital experts, we have the network and smarts to help Australian businesses adapt to the digital environment of the future,” he added.
ARN understands Telstra has been in talks with Microsoft since 2020.
The announcement of the collaboration between the three companies comes months after the telco announced a collaboration between itself and Amazon Web Services (AWS) on edge computing, which saw the two enter into a framework agreement in January.
The pair also entered into a strategic collaboration agreement to launch a Centre of Excellence for assisting enterprises and government organisations use cloud technology, as well as plans to train more than 4,000 employees on AWS cloud by 2025.
Telstra has also previously worked with Microsoft, utilising Azure as part of a digital overhaul of the telco, and Ericsson, expanding Telstra's optical network capacity, both of which took place in September last year.