BT talked up the potential role edge computing could play to help address some of the challenges facing advanced use cases in next-generation networks, as it highlighted opportunities across a wide range of verticals.

During a digital conference on edge computing, BT’s senior manager of mobile core networks research Andy Corston-Petrie (pictured) noted the company was continuing to explore and develop “new and exciting use cases”, including holographic communication, entertainment, smart agriculture, world-scale augmented reality (AR), continuous health monitoring, and remote diagnostics and surgery.

He noted these use cases had “challenging requirements that can be addressed by powerful edge capabilities in our network”.

Corston-Petrie acknowledged the existence of a “significant range of challenges that we still need to explore”, including a need for “radical improvements” in efficiency and agility in operations through the deployment of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

He also noted BT needed to collaborate in order to bring the use cases to life, and to focus on reliability, security and sustainability as part of the broader industry.

“We are embracing the world of open architectures and network automation so that we can drive new technology adoption, and we’re looking to co-develop these ecosystems to unlock these new services and opportunities”, Corston-Petrie stated.

In terms of use cases BT has already advanced on, he highlighted its demonstration of a 5G connected ambulance and a more recent project called Edge-XR focused on deploying edge computing and powerful GPU capabilities to deliver new customer experiences, such as volumetric video.

BT Global Services sale
BT separately announced it has completed a deal to divest its operations in France, through a sale to IT infrastructure services provider Computacenter, which was first announced in July.

BT Global Services chief Bas Burger said the transaction represented “a new milestone in the delivery of our strategy and our ambition to become a more agile and focused business”.