It’s been more than two years since Verizon and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced their plans to bring cloud computing closer to the 5G network edge. Today, they’re expanding once again, announcing mobile edge computing services in more U.S. metro areas, including Detroit, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

With the expansion, the companies currently offer mobile edge computing via AWS Wavelength Zones in 17 locations in the U.S.: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

The companies’ combination minimizes the latency and network hops required to connect from an application hosted on the platform to the end user’s device.

“Through our continued collaboration with AWS, we’re helping developers and businesses in every industry create truly transformational applications for use cases such as immersive VR gaming, video distribution, and connected and autonomous vehicles,” said Verizon Business CEO Tami Erwin in a statement. “By expanding our 5G Edge locations across the U.S., we’re enabling developers to quickly and easily build apps and services that take advantage of the low latency, massive bandwidth and strong reliability of 5G and edge computing.”

Verizon called out a couple examples of companies using the technology. Fermata Energy developed a Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology that turns electric vehicles (EVs) into “mini power plants” by discharging energy services from the vehicles’ batteries to the home, building or energy grid. Here’s a video of the technology in action.

Fermata’s cloud-based software, running on Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, reacts to changes in the grid, so that it can dispatch an EV as an energy resource for near real-time response.

In the drone space, Easy Aerial makes military, drone-in-a-box-based monitoring and inspection solutions for commercial, government and military applications. With low end-to-end latency enabled by the Verizon/AWS system, Easy Aerial is able to collect and transfer live drone video for near real-time object detection and telemetry data for quick processing and analysis. 5G and MEC also allowed expensive compute to be removed from the drone, which reportedly resulted in saving about 10% in drone costs and increasing flight time by about 40%.

Verizon and AWS are also working with software as a service (SaaS) providers Couchbase and Confluent to make it easier for developers to create applications running on Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength. Using infrastructure templates, Verizon and AWS extended the capabilities of these providers to the edge to automate the complexity of edge networking, core compute and the software itself.  

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