As T-Mobile, Telcos Partner with Hyperscalers, Pitch to the Channel Continues

There's an ongoing 5G-cloud dance between hyperscalers and telcos.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

June 14, 2023

5 Min Read
Cloud computing, edge computing

As communication service providers such as T-Mobile expand their efforts with hyperscalers around enterprise edge computing, their efforts to expand with channel partners to serve SMB and midmarket continue.

T-Mobile and Google Cloud on Wednesday announced a collaboration between T-Mobile’s 5G Advanced Network Solutions (ANS) and Google Distributed Cloud Edge. T-Mobile launched its 5G Advanced Network Solutions (ANS) suite in May 2022. ANS gives business customers managed 5G connectivity through a public mobile network, a hybrid mobile network or a private mobile network.

Google’s Distributed Cloud Edge, on the other hand, runs Google Kubernetes Engine clusters on Google-run hardware.

The companies said the partnership will help enterprise and government customers build 5G application use cases. For example, the companies pointed to augmented reality and virtual reality experiences that will require low latency. They highlighted retail, manufacturing and logistics as verticals that could benefit, and T-Mobile has created a proof-of-concept specifically for retail.


T-Mobile’s Mishka Dehghan

“We’ve built the largest and fastest 5G network in the country. This partnership brings together the powerful combination of 5G and edge computing to unlock the expansion of technologies such as AR and VR from limited applications to large-scale adoption,” said Mishka Dehghan, senior vice president, strategy, product, and solutions engineering, T-Mobile Business Group. “From providing a shopping experience in a virtual reality environment to improving safety through connected sensors or computer vision technologies, T-Mobile’s 5G ANS combined with Google Cloud’s innovative edge compute technology can bring the connected world to businesses across the country.”

The announcement comes at a time when public cloud providers and 5G mobile network providers are collaborating in a variety of ways to deliver applications. At the same time, those companies – particularly those on the telco/communication service provider side – are facing more pressure from critics to show that they’re solving actual commercial use cases.


Google’s Amol Phadke

“Google Cloud is committed to helping telecommunication companies accelerate their growth, competitiveness and digital journeys,” said Amol Phadke, Google Cloud’s general manager for the global telecom industry. “Google Distributed Cloud Edge and T-Mobile’s 5G ANS will help businesses deliver more value to their customers by unlocking new capabilities through 5G and edge technologies.”

T-Mobile and Google Cloud last fall announced that they were teaming up to “better connect and deliver personalized services.”

Appeal to Partners

Outside of this collaboration with a massive partner like Google, T-Mobile has been making its pitch to smaller MSPs, resellers and agents that would sell its solutions.

Mike Fitz, T-Mobile’s vice president of solution sales and a veteran from the Sprint wireline side of the company, addressed the audience at the latest Channel Partners Conference & Expo. He and other T-Mobile leaders argued that the vendor is leaning on partners for their complementary skill sets.

“You have unique application, business, process and functional expertise within what our customers do,” Fitz said during a keynote presentation. “You have segment, vertical, industry expertise that we don’t have, and then of course services and other solutions you provide that we will never touch. Certainly our network underpins all those solutions that you provide, but nobody can do it alone. And together, we can offer a much better value proposition.”


T-Mobile’s Mike Fitz

Other large U.S. telcos have shared a similar message — that they view the partner as the entity best suited to rounding out the end customer’s tech stack.

“I think you’re uniquely positioned and have unlimited potential to support your customers. When you think about all the suppliers you have access to – whether it’s Verizon, whether it’s SaaS, whether it’s the managed services that you provide – you can really deliver anything to a customer,” said Michael Caralis, vice president of business markets for Verizon.

But how are telcos demonstrating that they want to do more with partners? For Randall Porter, AT&T’s vice president, integrated and partner solutions, that means bringing more leads to partners. Porter in a recent interview with Channel Futures said AT&T wants to loop in partners more often to serve customers in fiber-lit buildings.

“If you go back two years ago from a lead standpoint, we did not utilize the indirect channel efficiently or appropriately. We now are providing our channel partners with those leads when they are lit and come onto the AT&T network from a fiber standpoint, and that includes both newly lit buildings and business customers, as well as logos where we believe that our partners are best positioned to expand their footprint and grow their customer base,” Porter said.

These telcos are trying to grow their channel footprint at a time when the telecom segment is working to expand down-market. But in many cases, communications service providers are turning to marketplaces and other digital platforms as a way to directly reach smaller businesses. For example, AT&T recently rolled out a self-service platform to help SMBs deploy SD-WAN.

“I understand how big CIOs buy, but just think about down-market. How is Mike’s Pizza Shop going to buy, procure [and] deploy? …They want to run their business. They’re not so focused on the technology itself,” AT&T senior vice president of business products Mike Troiano said in a media appearance at Cisco Live last week.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


Read more about:


About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

Free Newsletters for the Channel
Register for Your Free Newsletter Now

You May Also Like