Google sought to capitalise on operator interest in edge computing, unveiling a telecom-specific platform it billed as the cloud equivalent of its Android mobile operating system.

Anthos for Telecom expands on Google’s existing enterprise cloud platform, pushing it to the network edge to let operators run applications from any location necessary to serve customers best.

Google said Anthos for Telecom acts as an open cloud platform for network applications, just as Android does for mobile. The goal is to help operators avoid vendor lock-in, accelerate development of new applications and make these easier to deploy across multiple clouds, it added.

The platform is a key component of Google’s new Global Mobile Edge Cloud strategy, as part of which, the company aims to deliver a marketplace of 5G products built in collaboration with telecommunications companies.

Google named AT&T as one of its first partners, announcing the pair will work together to develop edge computing solutions for multiple industries including manufacturing, retail, transportation, enterprise 5G and gaming. The solutions will run on AT&T’s network and use Google Cloud edge compute capabilities including AI, machine learning and analytics.

Mo Katibeh, EVP and CMO of AT&T Business, said in a statement the combination of its 5G service with Google Cloud brings “us closer to a reality where cloud and edge technologies give businesses the tools to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers”.

The operator focus comes as Google targets continued growth in its cloud business. Last month, the company provided financial details for its cloud business for the first time, showing revenue grew from $5.8 billion in 2018 to $8.9 billion in 2019.