Taiwan’s state-owned telecommunications service provider, Chunghwa Telecom Company (CHT), and one of Taiwan’s main manufacturers of servers, Inventec Corp., have teamed up respectively with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure to provide cloud solutions for enterprises.
CHT already became Google Cloud’s reseller last year, and now it has officially become Google Cloud’s Premier Partner. It has enabled CHT to provide a more comprehensive cloud solution to enterprises in the process of cloud migration.
One of the key services CHT offers is Partner Interconnect, where CHT can provide connectivity between on-premise networks and virtual private cloud networks. Google officially rolled out Partner Interconnect in 2018 to address situations when one’s data center is in a location that can’t establish direct physical connections with Google Cloud Platform via a colocation facility. It has become an alternative way of building dedicated networks.
Partner Interconnect also offers increased flexibility when one’s data needs do not require the 10-Gbps connection provided in Google’s Dedicated Interconnect service. Instead, it offers bandwidths between 50 Mbps and 10 Gbps.
In addition, to facilitate cross-platform management, CHT also provides a Multi-Cloud User Portal that integrates Google Cloud, Azure, AWS, CHT’s own hicloud and other cloud services.
Cloud service in competition with telecom providers
On the other hand, cloud service providers have been stepping into the roles traditionally played by telecom service providers. Microsoft Azure is expanding its reach in Taiwan: it has signed a MoU with Inventec to construct an Inventec 5G Smart Factory IoT platform, leveraging Microsoft’s virtualized, cloud-native 5G private core provided by Affirmed Networks.
Microsoft acquired Affirmed Networks in 2020, gaining an entry point into the telecommunications industry when virtualization technologies provided by the likes of Affirmed Networks simplify network operations for telecom service providers, as they no longer need to purchase costly proprietary hardware and software.
Inventec’s cooperation with Affirmed Networks also began last year at Inventec’s Taoyuan plant, when the manufacturer deployed Taiwan’s first fully virtualized 5G standalone network for industrial applications. It was the first stage of Inventec’s plan to implement industry 4.0. Previously, network constraints prevented Inventec from linking production equipment to a central server, relying instead on local computers for AI functions.
In the future, Inventec seeks to implement AI-based Automatic Optical Inspection in the assembly line and deploy Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for materials transportation, and ultimately help other manufacturers to implement industry 4.0. Using Azure’s products, Inventec is building digital twins platforms such as Energy Management Twin
It would facilitate Inventec’s transition from an original design manufacturer of laptops, servers and wireless communication products to an industry 4.0 solution provider.