A report by Vertiv, a provider of critical digital infrastructure in partnership with technology analyst firm Omdia, has predicted that Edge Computing will create new sources of income for telecom operators across the world.

The report titled ‘Telcos and edge computing: opportunity, threat or distraction’, noted that though there are implications for the shift to Edge Computing for telecom operators, the best tactics and strategies for capitalising on edge growth must be sorted.

Specifically, the report noted that the growth of Edge Computing opens opportunities for telecom providers to develop new services related to 5G, IoT and other innovative technologies, as they will surely play a pivotal role in the creation of new revenue services.

“Mobile and wireline operators can build a platform for the development of edge services while saving massively on costs by combining existing cell tower networks with central offices and aggregation points such as edge data centres,” said Gary Niederpruem, chief strategy and development officer of Vertiv.

He advised that operators will need partners with international reach, as well as a breadth of solutions and services, to support them on their edge journey, revealing that edge growth should open up new areas of competition, with 36 percent of those surveyed believing that network operators will be most important in the creation of new revenue services from the edge. Application developers (30%) and public cloud providers (25%) are also seen as key edge players.

The report specifically addresses the role prefabricated modular data centres (PFM) will likely play in helping telecoms operators deliver future edge infrastructure, with the PFM market forecast to grow from $1.2 billion in 2018 to $4.3 billion in 2023. This projected growth is driven by telcos and the growth of edge computing, as well as overall growth by cloud service providers, the report highlights.

Alongside rapid deployment, energy efficiency is also a key concern for network operators. In 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 associated with edge and 5G connectivity remain a serious concern for operators.


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