Equinix has announced the deployment of the first-of-its-kind 5G and Edge Technology Development Center, which includes a fully operational, non-standalone 5G network from Nokia to test and validate various 5G services and use cases.

Equinix says it’s investing in helping service providers and network operators bring innovative concepts to market by providing an agile production framework for assessing, incubating and testing 5G and edge solutions for end-to-end secure applications.

The new centre is located in Dallas’s Equinix DA11 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre. It brings together select ecosystem participants to develop end-to-end edge solutions by providing a production-ready interconnection sandbox environment from the radio network to the cloud.

Mobile network operators, cloud platforms, technology vendors and enterprises can come together to test, demonstrate and accelerate complex 5G and edge scenarios, key activities Equinix says will make 5G deployments available to enterprises in the future. Customers can establish data centre-to-data centre network connections on-demand between any two Equinix Fabric locations within a metro or globally via software-defined interconnection.

“As we look to a future where 5G is ubiquitous, the way IP traffic moves between networks around the world will change completely, and interconnected data centres will play a crucial role in this new 5G-dominated future,” says Nokia VP of Webscale Business, Sean Hemphill.

“Equinix’s approach to digital infrastructure enables access to a large ecosystem of end-users and service providers. Nokia IP solutions underpin Equinix Fabric, providing seamless interconnection between its global data centres.

“We’re pleased that Equinix Fabric will bring the power of interconnection to help customers test real-world 5G and edge deployments,” he adds.

The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center will initially focus on the following use cases:

  • Mobile hybrid multi-cloud connectivity
  • Network slicing
  • Distributed AI and machine learning
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Gaming

“Applications and AI are moving to the edge, whether we’re ready or not,” says Exium chief operating officer, Farooq Muzaffar.

“As enterprises embrace digital transformation, automation and intelligence at the edge, it’s crucial to have a partner like Equinix. The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center has been an incredible resource for our customers and us as we incubate, develop and deploy secure edge AI services with 5G access.”

The Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends survey, which surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers, uncovered a crucial need for infrastructure technology exploration in this area. While most respondents agreed the most significant impact of 5G is the ability it gives businesses to take advantage of new technologies, more than a third worried about the need to re-architect infrastructure to take advantage of 5G capabilities.

“As companies develop new 5G technologies and services, they need a real-world environment to test and bring their concepts to life,” says Equinix chief technology officer, Justin Dustzadeh.

“With Equinix’s ecosystem of service providers, partners and clouds, the 5G and Edge Technology Development Center is an ideal place to fully test concepts in a real way, enabling them to bring new capabilities to market, accelerate adoption and deliver new revenue streams faster.”


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