IBM said on Monday that it will provide new services to Verizon and Telefonica, ranging from operating 5G via a cloud platform to employing artificial intelligence.
Microsoft and Amazon are competing for a piece of the 5G income pie by giving telecom operators next-generation software capabilities. IBM will provide telecom operators cloud services to operate their networks and aid them in marketing goods targeted to their clients, using technology acquired through the acquisition of software firm Red Hat.
The tie-ups, which expanded IBM’s existing agreements with the two companies, were not disclosed in financial parameters. A cloud platform performs network operations using software rather than physical equipment, allowing telecom operators to develop 5G networks quicker, save money, and provide customized services.
“It’s a disruptive time in this particular market segment, telcos are trying to position themselves as the destination for services like augmented reality, machine learning, and AI,” Darell Jordan-Smith, vice president of Redhat said.
On the AI front, IBM and Telefonica of Spain have developed a virtual assistant that, according to the companies, would eliminate friction points like long wait times by automating the processing of commonly asked inquiries and invoicing chores.
IBM’s general manager for communications business Steve Canepa said,
“We see this as an existential moment for telco operators with 5G: architecturally, they’re looking to gain more control on their platforms and rethink their network as a digital world rather than a structured physical model.”