RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – IBM, bolstered by technology from Red Hat, is rolling out a next-generation 5G wireless service in the cloud that incorporates artificial intelligence. And big telecom providers Verizon and Telefonica are target users.

IBM broke the news about its Cloud Pak for Network Automation on Monday morning as the World Mobile Conference opened in Spain.

“As the telco industry races to capture new value from 5G and Edge computing, many are transforming their networks to software-defined platforms that can deliver on this promise. Yet our customers have identified that limited automation and the lack of real- time visibility across networks have hindered their ability to deliver innovative services to customers fast enough,” said Andrew Coward, General Manager of Software Defined Networking at IBM, in the announcement.

“To help address these growing demands, IBM’s new Cloud Pak for Network Automation software uses AI-powered automation to enable zero-touch provisioning of new services which can facilitate the simplification of the management of network functions from the core to the edge,” he added.

But IBM is not alone in offering 5G-related cloud services. So too are Microsoft and Amazon.

An advantage for IBM may be tech it incorporated from Raleigh-based Red Hat, which IBM acquired for $34 billion.

“It’s a disruptive time in this particular market segment, telcos are trying to position themselves as the destination for services like augmented reality, machine learning and AI,” Darell Jordan-Smith, vice president of Red Hat, told Reuters news service in an interview.

IBM said the hybride cloud product includes AI-powered automation software. Big Blue says the offering includes “zero-touch operations, reduced costs and the rapid delivery of innovative services to customers.”

“Using IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation, CSPs can use AI-powered automation to stand up and manage networks quickly, in a wide range of environments, and is engineered to scale new services in days, rather than months,” IBM added.

IBM operates one of its largest global campuses in RTP and owns Raleigh-based Red Hat.