Pushing ahead with its ongoing edge computing efforts, AT&T announced Tuesday that it joined a new open source project focused on edge cloud infrastructure and launched the first project at the carrier’s edge test zone in California.

AT&T is seeding a new open source project, named Akraino. Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the project aims to form a community to improve the state of edge cloud infrastructure for carrier, provider and IoT networks.

AT&T is providing code created for carrier-scale edge computing applications running in virtual machines and containers.

“This project will bring the extensive work AT&T has already done to create low-latency, carrier-grade technology for the edge that address latency and reliability needs,” Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, said in a statement. “Akraino complements LF Networking projects like ONAP in automating services from edge to core. We’re pleased to welcome it to The Linux Foundation and invite the participation of others as we work together to form Akraino and establish its governance.”

Akraino will provide users with greater levels of flexibility to scale edge cloud services more quickly, maximize the number of applications or subscribers supported on each server and help ensure the reliability of always-on systems.

The goal of the group is to harmonize the industry in creating an integrated developer platform that speeds up growth and expansion of 5G and IoT applications, AT&T said.

The community, which is just now forming, expects to release open source project code in the second quarter of this year, according to the Linux Foundation.  

Existing open source efforts, such as ONAP, will also be integrated into the project.

“Akraino, coupled with ONAP and OpenStack, will help to accelerate progress towards development of next-generation, network-based edge services, fueling a new ecosystem of applications for 5G and IoT,” said Mazin Gilbert, VP of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs.

Meanwhile, AT&T Foundry’s edge computing test zone in Palo Alto, Calif., first announced last year, is now live, the carrier said Tuesday, and its first project is underway in collaboration with GridRaster. The test zone was developed to allow third-party develops and companies to test applications such as self-driving cars, augmented and virtual reality and drones in a next-generation edge computing network environment.

AT&T said the initial project is focused on testing low-latency network access to cloud computation for enhanced AR/VR experience on mobile devices

GridRaster is bringing the underlying compute and network stack while AT&T is providing its next-generation, low-latency edge cloud – which today the carrier said will provide an AR/VR experience sans the blurry or choppy graphics often seen on AR/VR smartphone apps today.

“The power of edge computing will ensure consumers have the best possible mobile AR/VR experience,” Rishi Ranjan, CEO and founder of GridRaster, said in statement. “By moving the processing power to the cloud, and removing the physical distance between your device and the data center, mobile experiences will be dramatically enhanced. The software behind this edge computing test zone will help us get there, faster.”

The zone currently uses a 4G LTE connection, but that will be upgraded to 5G, possibly as early as the end of 2018.

AT&T first announced it was turning to edge computing last July as part of its effort to build a software-defined network with the ability to achieve single-digit millisecond latency.