Definition

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, Sprint (acquired by T-Mobile) and Verizon.

Carrier clouds integrate some of the components and features found in telecom networks such as wide area networks (WAN), virtual private networks (VPN), open APIs and dynamic resource allocation. This allows 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

When compared to a classic cloud system, a potential benefit of choosing a cloud network owned by a major telecom carrier is the ability to run time-sensitive, demanding and complex applications. A classic cloud infrastructure is not necessarily robust enough 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, spanning large geographic locations. This make carrier clouds more reliable than smaller cloud environments, especially since traditional clouds may need to rely heavily on a data center based outside a specific geographic location.

Choosing a carrier cloud may prevent issues that include latency, security breaches and difficulty transferring sensitive information.

How cloud carrier works

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

This was last updated in October 2021

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