carrier cloud

What is a carrier cloud?

A carrier cloud is a cloud computing environment that is owned and operated by a traditional telecommunications service provider. A telecom carrier is a company that is authorized by regulatory agencies to operate a telecommunications system. Examples of popular telecom carriers include AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Carrier clouds integrate some components and features found in telecom networks, such as wide area networks (WANs), virtual private networks, open application programming interfaces and dynamic resource allocation. This enables carrier cloud customers to deploy more intensive applications in a cloud environment. The goal of a carrier cloud is to enable the same level of security and reliability as an organization's on-premises architecture but includes carrier networks that connect data centers and cloud users.

Benefits of using a carrier cloud

Compared to a classic cloud system, a potential benefit of choosing a cloud network owned by a major telecom carrier is that it provides the ability to run time-sensitive, demanding and complex applications. A classic cloud infrastructure is not necessarily able to support major applications and websites, while large carriers have the resources to support major projects.

Carriers' WANs can connect multiple data centers to each other and to cloud users and span large geographic locations. This makes carrier clouds more reliable than smaller cloud environments, especially since traditional clouds might need to rely on a data center based outside a specific geographic location.

Carrier clouds could prevent issues such as latency, security breaches and difficulty transferring sensitive information.

Diagram that shows how carrier cloud works
Carrier cloud uses cloud to integrate an organization's WAN with a service provider's carrier network technologies.

In addition, large telecom providers already own expansive infrastructure and wired communication services, data centers and business partnerships in various geographic locations. They might be able to access client insight on a larger scale than a small company. They might also offer built-in software to serve common business needs. Another benefit could be that the telecom service providers have a proven reputations to serve their customers.

This was last updated in November 2023

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