Google has said that it is partnering with cellular network operators globally, including India’s Bharti Airtel and South Korea’s SK Telecom, to help build a “platform for operators to run their network services.” The financial nature of the deal was not disclosed. The platform will allow telecom operators to make use of Google’s networking infrastructure including its data centers, edge servers, Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), among others.
Note that Airtel had recently awarded a 4G network deployment deal in the Indian market to Nokia Networks. Nokia’s networking arm already manages 4G services for Bharti Airtel in six circles since September 2015
Google mentions that its partnership with telecom companies will allow operators to better place them self to adapt next generation networks like 5G, using “many of the same principles that we’ve adopted to power our own networking infrastructure.” Telcos will also be able to utilize Google’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) services—a network wherein admins can program, route, initiative and manage connections easily—to help them better optimize networks and control traffic patterns.
The company currently has data centers in the US, Europe and Asian countries and exchanges traffic with network operators (traffic peering) for better service delivery. Apart from this Google is also providing custom APIs to operators, like the ‘Mobile Data Plan API” that allows users to keep track of their data usage and set data limits. It is also rolling its open-source networking platform, CORD which allows telcos to manage their networks on a real-time basis to more telecom operators across the globe.
YouTube partnership with telcos for ‘Smart Offline’ feature
Google-owned video streaming service YouTube had earlier collaborated with telcos like Airtel and Telenor to launch ‘Smart Offline’ feature that allows users to download YouTube videos overnight using cheaper or discounted data packs available during late night hours or non-peak hours. Google mentioned that Smart Offline was built using the Mobile Data Plan API