Bell Canada deploys core network on Google Distributed Cloud Edge

Canada’s largest telco is the first to move core functions to Google

Bell Canada and Google Cloud announced this week that the Canadian telco has deployed Google Distributed Cloud Edge in its network. It’s the world’s first implementation of core network functions on Google Distributed Cloud Edge, according to the companies.

“Bell is building a network of the future that will scale up to embrace the demands of 5G-enabled applications, and additionally enable us to offer these capabilities to innovative 3rd party application providers who want to tap into 5G networks,” said Petri Lyytikainen, VP of network, Bell.

Google Distributed Cloud Edge is a Google Cloud-managed service to run 5G core and Radio Access Network (RAN) functions at the edge. It runs on Anthos, Google’s infrastructure and application management platform.

Google Distributed Cloud Edge helps Bell reimagine infrastructure management while still serving network services that are differentiated experiences between public and enterprise customers, according to Amol Phadke, managing director of telecom industry solutions at Google Cloud.

“Network data traffic is higher than ever and communication service providers are increasingly looking for new ways to achieve scale, efficiency, and reliability while also discovering new business opportunities,” said Phadke.

Bell said that Google Distributed Cloud Edge is helping it realize several key outcomes including better scale, efficiency, innovation, and flexibility. 

Bell Canada first announced plans to host some 5G services on Google Cloud last July. The news came on the heels of a 5G edge deal announcement with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Both efforts are part of a broader multi-cloud vision from Bell which includes the expansion of 5G MEC capabilities throughout Canada, with a choice of hyperscaler partners.

Bell Canada builds out 5G 

Bell Canada’s buildout of 5G services extended to 28 more communities in Canada last July. Coverage areas included Manitoba, including Beausejour, Hanover, Ritchot and Rockwood; parts of Québec, including Québec City, Bécancour, Grand-Saint-Esprit and Saguenay; and in Ajax and Frontenac in Ontario. It also unveiled the first 5G roaming service for Canadians traveling in the States.

Bell teamed up with Casa Systems to provide 5G fixed wireless for small towns and rural communities. The companies expect it to be the biggest deployment of sub-6 GHz fixed wireless in North America once it’s done. Casa Systems’ CPE device integrates a 5G sub-6 modem and high-gain directional antennas that can be customized to match network performance characteristics, alongside innovative installation tools and an app that ensures optimal performance while reducing installation times and overall deployment costs.

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