Q: What is Wavelength?

Wavelength combines the high bandwidth and single-digit millisecond latency of 5G networks with AWS compute and storage services to enable developers to innovate and build a whole new class of applications. Wavelength will initially be available in partnership with Verizon starting in 2020. AWS is also working with other carriers like Vodafone, SK Telecom, and KDDI to expand Wavelength Zones to more locations by the end of 2020.

Q: What is a Wavelength Zone?

Wavelength Zones are AWS infrastructure deployments that embed AWS compute and storage services within telecommunications providers’ datacenters at the edge of the 5G network, so application traffic can reach application servers running in Wavelength Zones without leaving the mobile providers’ network. This prevents the latency that would result from multiple hops to the Internet and enables customers to take full advantage of 5G networks. Wavelength Zones extend AWS to the 5G edge, delivering a consistent developer experience across multiple 5G networks around the world and allowing developers to build the next generation of ultra-low latency applications using the same familiar AWS services, APIs, tools, and functionality they already use today.

Q: Who should use Wavelength?

You should use Wavelength when you need to deploy high performance applications that can be accessed by mobile end-users and devices that require single digit millisecond latency. AWS customers who want to build public applications like game streaming and AR/VR services can use Wavelength to reach end-users with millisecond-level connections, optimizing the user experience and performance of their applications. AWS enterprise customers that build applications to serve their own use-cases such as IoT, live media production, and industrial automation can use Wavelength to deliver low-latency solutions. Customers with edge data processing needs such as image and video recognition, inference, data aggregation, and responsive analytics can use Wavelength to perform low-latency operations and processing right where their data is generated, reducing the need to move large amounts of data to be processed in centralized locations.

Q: Why should I use Wavelength?

Wavelength lets you go from the device on the 5G network to your application’s resources on the AWS cloud with the fewest network hops because the compute and storage are hosted directly within the telco providers’ 5G networks. This reduces latency caused by network congestion or longer routes that would be required to access application resources outside of the 5G network, making possible new classes of applications that are both compute-intensive and very sensitive to latency (e.g. a fleet of autonomous cars interacting with road sensors to prevent crashes, or smart industrial robots assessing and reacting to plant conditions in a dangerous manufacturing environment, or retailers serving personalized promotions to shoppers’ mobile phones in real-time as they pass product displays). Wavelength brings the power of the AWS cloud to the network edge to enable latency sensitive use cases that require near real-time responses, and where processing at the network edge can be used to avoid transmitting large volumes of data over the network provider’s infrastructure, and to offload processing from the hardware on mobile devices.

Q: How should I think about when to use AWS Wavelength, AWS Local Zones, or AWS Outposts for applications that require low latency or local data processing?

AWS is helping customers by delivering a consistent experience to support applications with low latency or local data processing requirements wherever they need to be deployed.

AWS Wavelength is designed to deliver ultra-low latency applications to 5G devices by extending AWS infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to 5G networks. Wavelength embeds storage and compute inside telco providers' 5G networks to help developers build new applications for 5G end users that require single-digit millisecond latency, like IoT devices, game streaming, autonomous vehicles, and live media production.

AWS Local Zones are a new type of AWS infrastructure designed to run workloads that require single-digit millisecond latency in more locations , like video rendering and graphics intensive, virtual desktop applications. Not every customer wants to operate their own on-premises data center, while others may be interested in getting rid of their local data center entirely. Local Zones allow customers to gain all the benefits of having compute and storage resources closer to end-users, without the need to own and operate their own data center infrastructure.

AWS Outposts is designed for workloads that need to remain on-premises due to latency requirements, where customers want that workload to run seamlessly with the rest of their other workloads in AWS. AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s broad array of services in the cloud.

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