Google's in-house hardware and software takes an incredibly robust network to run, built on Google's own technology, and now they want to start sharing that technology with mobile carriers worldwide to help optimize current networks and make the next generation of networks easier to build out. The first two partners that Google has announced are Bharti Airtel and SK Telecom. These partners, among others, will be receiving Google's help integrating technologies like software defined networking, network function virtualization, and site reliability engineering into their existing networks, and laying the groundwork for a 5G buildout with these network tools intact. Google is also lending their technological expertise to the open-source CORD project, which already has many network operators worldwide on board.
The way that Google is giving partners their technological framework is not by merely giving them the blueprints, but by building out an entire network platform that they can run their services on top of. This platform includes, and even automates, all of the best ideas in Google's wheelhouse when it comes to network management and optimization. Google's software defined networking adapts to changes in network conditions to automatically tweak network equipment for optimal coverage and service no matter how much or how little of a network's normal power and capacity is available. Network function virtualization is essentially exactly what it sounds like, virtualizing some of the more common and easy network node functions. Site reliability engineering, on the other hand, is a software-minded approach to hardware reliability, helping to manage every facet of every node, tower, and cell on the network with full scalability.
Not only is Google working with partner carriers to bring this platform to life in the mobile industry, but they are also developing APIs that can help network engineers to create enhanced network software. The APIs contain the base framework for a number of features that Google uses in their own networking and in Project Fi, such as "smart offline". On top of all of that, Google is also putting a good deal of the code for these features into the CORD project, an open-source initiative that a number of worldwide mobile carriers and networking entities are already contributing to, drawing from, or both.