Google, Bharti Airtel, and SK Telecom partner to roll out next-gen networks

google android wikileaks patch
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Google’s making it easier for mobile networks to roll out improvements to their networks. At the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, the search giant inked partnerships with India’s Bharti Airtel and South Korea’s SK Telecom to help the respective networks build out “next-generation” networking.

In a blog post, Google said that it would tap technologies like software defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization, and site reliability engineering to “deliver services reliably.”

“Over the year, we’ve built and managed networking infrastructure to help us provide Google services to people around the world,” Google Principal Ankur Jain wrote in a blog post. “As people increasingly access the Internet through their mobile devices, mobile operators are now designing their next-generation networks based on many of the same principles we’ve adopted to power our own networking infrastructure.”

The SDN framework will enable the networks to adapt to new services and traffic patterns, Jain said, and simplified workflow management and automated testing will provide network engineers with the tools to deploy and iterate on new features. New APIs, meanwhile, will hasten the development of subscriber-facing benefits like Smart Offline, a YouTube feature that lets users take advantage of cheaper overnight data rates offered by Airtel and Telenor.

In addition to the new networking initiatives, Google’s joining CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter), an open-source project that counts “leading mobile ecosystem” partners like AT&T, SK Telecom, Verizon, China Unicom, and NTT Communications among its active members.

“We look forward to collaborating with Google on this exciting initiative. It’s great to see Google bring the benefits of their networking technologies to carriers. This will bring greater efficiencies and capabilities to mobile networks and enable us to rapidly innovate on new user experiences.”

The news follows reports concerning Google’s other big telecom effort this week: Rich Communication Messaging, or RCS. Last week, the search giant said that Vodafone Group, Globe Telekom, Orange, and Deutsche Telekom will now support RCS, the follow-up to SMS and MMS that lets users send higher-quality pictures messages, participate in group chat, share their current location, initiate voice calls, see typing indicators, and read receipts, and share media and other information while in a telephone conversation.

They’ll adopt Google’s Jibe service, which aligns with the universal RCS profile to provide cloud and hub services to make it easier for carriers to adopt and roll out. About 27 manufacturers and carriers are launching RCS with Google.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Confused about RSS? Don't be. Here's what it is and how to use it

What is an RSS feed, anyway? This traditional method of following online news is still plenty useful. Let's take a look at what RSS means, and what advantages it has in today's busy world.
Home Theater

The best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.
Computing

The Edge browser is dying. Here's what we know about its replacement

There's a new Microsoft Chromium browser coming, and it looks like it will be replacing Edge for most people. Here's everything you need to know about this new browser, how you can use it, and when it's expected to come out.
Mobile

5G is going to cost you a few bucks more, at least on Verizon

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Mobile

Why premium is the most overused, and least understood, word in tech

Everyone has heard the word premium, and many of us will have purchased a premium product, but what does premium actually mean, and why is it used so much in tech? Here's why it's so popular.
Mobile

Jury fines Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm patents

In a serious blow to Apple in its legal battle against Qualcomm, a San Diego jury fined Apple $32 million for infringing on three Qualcomm-owned patents. The decision marks the latest news in a string of court dates for the two companies.
Business

4 women innovators who are using tech to help others live better lives

Meet four women leaders who are not only at the forefront of technology today, but also using tech — from robotics and medicine to food and undergarments — to help others.
Business

Captain Marvel continues to soar at the box office with huge second weekend

Captain Marvel blasted into theaters in a big way a week ago, and Marvel's first female-led solo superhero movie is showing no signs of slowing down after a big second week in theaters.
Business

Bags with brains: Smart luggage and gadgets are making travel smoother

The bag you use to tote your stuff can affect the experience of any trip. In response, suitcases are wising up, and there are now options for smart luggage with scales, tracking, and more. Here are our favorite pieces.
Business

British Airways’ new Club Suite for business class comes with a door

British Airways is going after a bigger slice of the business class market with the imminent launch of the Club Suite. The plush seating option offers a more private space as well as an easier route to the bathroom.
Movies & TV

Disney completes its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox

Now that Walt Disney Company has closed its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox's movie and television assets, what does this future hold for franchises like X-Men, the Fantastic Four, The Simpsons, and the rest?
Business

Patreon is having another go at changing the way it charges creators

Patreon messed up pretty badly the last time it tried to change its payment system. Now it's having another go, though this time the changes mainly affect future sign-ups rather than its current community of creators.