After years of hype, edge computing is coming to the stage in all its blaze and glory as telcos start leveraging 5G and shift to cloud and virtualized architectures to modernize their networks.
“Edge computing offers attractive and vast opportunities, and telcos need to move quickly to pursue them. Otherwise, they risk falling behind,” says Robert Radusinovic, Head of IoT and Telco at HTEC Group.
According to the BCG survey, since most telcos lack the technical depth needed to build a solution on their own, they are more likely to work with a partner to launch edge-based services. Also, many new players and ecosystems are emerging on the market, which started moving their massive core data centers to the edge, such as AWS, Microsoft, and Google.
To be clear, Edge computing isn’t a new concept. But 5G now brings a whole new world of opportunities. “However, without edge bringing the consumption and processing capabilities closer together, 5G cannot deliver on its promises. Without Edge computing, 5G is just a faster 4G,” explains Robert.
Infrastructure Plays a Huge Role When it Comes to Making Better Edge Choices
Edge infrastructure is about introducing a new way of managing things – similar to how you would manage cloud capabilities today, but at the edge, in a distributed environment. Since reliability is critical for edge applications, the infrastructure must be efficient, flexible, and automated. Depending on the app’s requirements, infrastructure could be on-premises or in the CSP networks; it’s vital the infrastructure also supports multi- and hybrid-cloud to be able to support various apps.
So how can telcos deliver end-to-end capabilities by bringing the network and edge together?
Here are a few steps telcos need to make to make the most of these early opportunities and get closer to the edge:
Step 1 – Digital Transformation of the Network
Telcos and other connectivity providers are moving from traditional networks to the cloud and virtualized architectures to be able to keep up with the massive amount of data flowing through their networks without exponentially increasing costs.
Step 2 — Upgrading core architecture to 5G
Telcos have an opportunity to create value with 5G networks. To meet 5G capacity, they are embedding edge into their core network architecture which improves latency and processing power, reduces transportation and storage costs, and helps address security and regulatory issues. 5G will also support private or local edge zones, where processing takes place inside a building, home, car, or some other environment.
Step 3 — Partnering for success
For telcos to succeed in edge computing, they need to become part of the larger ecosystem that now experiences major changes. Telcos that decide to capitalise on the edge will have to be open to new partnerships and collaborations. With 4G, things were very straightforward — an ecosystem included a device, a network, and a server. With 5G, distributed cloud, and edge, this ecosystem takes on a new dimension.
“Edge computing implementation may seem daunting for telco companies. But they may be much closer to the edge than they think. The true value of edge comes to life only when combined with connectivity. CSPs have a great advantage here – they already have a significant number of distributed assets, and the most important element when it comes to edge computing – is location. Telcos can use that to their advantage when implementing edge — but they need to act now.” — explains Robert.
“With deep tech experience in designing edge services and building the right infrastructure across industries including warehouse manufacturing, retail, supply chain, HTEC team of experts understand key industry challenges and can help telcos build the right business strategy for successful edge implementation, reinvent their business model and act as their key innovation enablers.” — Robert Radusinovic, Head of IoT and Telco at HTEC Group