German operator group Deutsche Telekom seems to have decided the future is Google after handing over its network transformation to the US hyperscaler.

Google was already doing a fair bit for DT, such as the sovereign cloud project embarked upon last year, and the operator clearly likes what it has seen. So the of them decided to officially move in with each other by expanding their partnership to ‘define a joint roadmap for the telecommunications industry’, no less.

Even ten years ago the suggestion that a US hyperscaler should be involved in defining the direction of the telecoms industry would have led to considerable raising of eyebrows. Now the only question concerns which of Google, AWS or Azure a given telco will turn to, to show it the way forward. Google seems to be getting more than its fair share of operator action, if recent deals with Vodafone,

Telenor, Bell and TMUS are anything to go by.

Inevitably there is lots of talk about the cloud and mobile edge networking in this announcement. Specifically the two will collaborate over: core network services, network analytics and customer experience analytics. The fact that these are all things you would previously have expected DT to turn to specialist vendors for just serves to further illustrate the seismic change to the telecoms industry being brought about by the public cloud giants.

“At Deutsche Telekom we are implementing our Leading Digital Telco strategy by investing in best-in-class network infrastructure and by establishing cloud-based service platforms,” said Claudia Nemat, board member of DT. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Google Cloud by conducting trials in key areas that will allow us to more rapidly innovate and launch new services and customer experiences.”


“Communication service providers are increasingly looking for cloud-native solutions to advance the deployment of network functions and drive automation, elasticity, and scalability,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. “We believe our partnership with Deutsche Telekom will deliver significantly improved experiences for end users that will ultimately raise the standard for the telecommunications industry.”

Indeed they are, Thomas, and increasingly it’s you they turn to. We don’t doubt that partnering with companies like Google Cloud does raise standards across the whole industry, but at what cost to its incumbents. Operators are becoming umbilically dependent on public cloud giants and there may come a time, such as when its time to renegotiate the deal, that they regret doing so.


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