Vertiv reveals latest research on Edge opportunity for telecom operators

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edge computing

Network operators will play a pivotal role in the creation of new revenue services from edge computing

Vertiv, a worldwide provider critical IT infrastructure and continuity solutions, in association with technology analyst company, Omdia, released a report recently on the impact of the shift to edge computing for telecom operators, as well as the best tactics and methods for capitalising the edge growth.

The report: Telcos and edge computing: opportunity, threat or distraction? shows that growth in edge computing could create new revenue opportunities for telecom operators. Omdia, formerly Ovum, says cleary that mobile and wireline operators can build a platform for the growth of edge services while saving massively on costs by combining existing cell tower networks with central offices and aggregation points like edge data centres.

“The growth at the edge opens opportunities for telecom providers to develop new services related to 5G, IoT and other innovative technologies,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer of Vertiv. “Operators will need partners with international reach, as well as a breadth of solutions and services, to support them on their edge journey.”

The Omdia report also reveals that edge growth should open up new areas of competition, with 36% of these surveyed believing that network operators are going to be the most important within the creation of new revenue services from edge. Application developers (30%) and public cloud providers (25%) also are seen as key edge players.

“Communications service providers (CSPs) believe they see a clear opportunity in the emerging edge computing market, but other potential players including public cloud providers and over-the-top (OTT) content players, are equally attracted by the prospect of delivering the edge,” said Julian Bright, senior telecoms analyst, Omdia and author of the research.

“The size of share that service providers can expect to capture in the market for edge computing will depend on several factors. These include how successfully they can evolve their networks to support edge computing paradigms and avoid becoming mere connectivity providers,” he added.

The Omdia report particularly deals with the role prefabricated modular data centres and will probably play role in helping telecoms operators provide future edge infrastructure, with the PFM market forecast to grow from $1.2 billion in 2018 to $4.3 billion in 2023. This expected growth is moved by telcos and the growth of edge computing, and overall growth by cloud service providers, the report highlights.

Alongside rapid deployment, energy efficiency is additionally a key concern for network operators. During a recently published update to a landmark 2019 survey commissioned by Vertiv – 2020: Same Hopes, More Fears () – technology analyst firm 451 Research identified that the energy costs related to edge and 5G connectivity remain a significant concern for operators.

“Energy consumption is a major concern for 5G network owners as it constitutes between 20-40% of network OPEX,” said Brian Partridge, vice president, 451 Research. “Analysis conducted by Vertiv estimates 5G will likely increase total network energy consumption of 150-170% by 2026. The industry desperately needs energy efficient 5G solutions, especially for power-hungry tech like MIMO antennas, and data centre specific countermeasures.”

To address these changing needs, Vertiv is consistently developing new infrastructure, software, and services to optimise energy use across the network jointly with telco partners and customers. The company’s efforts in this area have been identified by the GSMA via a verified case study of Vertiv’s work with Telefónica (), allowing both companies to be shortlisted as finalists for Best Mobile Innovation for Climate Action () at the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GLOMO).

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