Move over Microsoft, Google Cloud is elbowing its way into Spain via a new partnership with Telefónica. In February, Microsoft announced it would open a new data center region in Spain by working with Telefónica, but on Thursday Google Cloud announced it would launch a new cloud region in Spain by using Telefónica's Madrid infrastructure.
In February, Telefónica said it had selected Microsoft as its "strategic" cloud partner and that it would lean on Microsoft to accelerate its own internal digital transformation. Telefónica also plans to use Google Cloud's services to boost its own digital capabilities, and internal digital transformation, across machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics and application development.
Telefónica and Google also plan to jointly develop a portfolio of solutions for 5G using Google Cloud's mobile edge computing platform, which is similar to Google Cloud and AT&T's announcement in March for 5G edge compute use cases for enterprises.
With edge computing, businesses can use cellular data to improve their operations while dynamically routing application-specific services to where they are being used. By bringing Google Cloud's compute and capabilities to the edge, service providers and businesses can move infrastructure from centralized locations to the edges, and run applications closer to end users, which lowers latency and optimizes operations.
Carriers, including telco and cable, have thousands of last mile endpoints that the cloud providers—Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google, to name the big three—lack. Partnering with Telefónica enables Google Cloud to move its services and applications closer to the edge, and to end users.
While the major hyperscale cloud providers have been courting and winning over service providers, there have been questions over whether the alliances are true partnerships or more of a move by the cloud providers to make carriers "dumb pipes" for their services and applications.
Google Cloud and Telefónica said their alliance would spur digital transformations and the development of 5G technologies, which in turn would be a boon to Spain's economy. Telefónica Tech, a business division that was formed last year, will come up with joint-marketing efforts as part of its worldwide multi-cloud strategy.
"Helping businesses adapt to our changing world has been a big focus for Google, before and during the COVID-19 crisis," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. "We're excited to be partnering with Telefónica to launch a new cloud region in Spain and help Spanish businesses big and small find new ways to innovate and contribute to the country's economic recovery."
In April, Telefónica's cybersecurity company, ElevenPaths, announced it was collaborating with Google Cloud's cybersecurity company, Chronicle, to develop managed security services for enterprise customers across Europe and Latin America.