For applications where low latency and high bandwidth are required for safe and accurate results, the telco edge remains critical.
Businesses focused much of their efforts in the past years on migrating computing to centralized cloud-based systems, but the drive for distributed cloud computing technologies could change all that. The telco edge is coming, and businesses could win big.
Companies need solutions for applications that require high bandwidth and low-latency, and communication service providers (CSP) will be at the forefront of building these new systems alongside their 5G networks.
According to a recent IDC report, the telco edge will knit together the IoT edge, the enterprise edge, and the operational technology edge. Telcos will use mobile cell sites and regional and local data centers to reduce IP traffic flowing into data centers.
Telco’s crucial part in the four edge components
Telco edge can extend beyond the operator to the customer. It takes advantage of both cloud and local computing, keeping applications close to home for low latency. Some exciting applications made possible by building this network include:
- Autonomous transportation (including V2X)— reducing reaction processing to milliseconds by eliminating the need for data transfer to the cloud.
- AR/VR — The telco edge can guarantee the experience through network slicing, i.e., a network dedicated specifically to the gamer. Plus, telcos can rely on their existing customer base to consume new gaming infrastructure.
- Real-time image processing — Real-time image analytics have a wide range of applications but are heavy on processing. Putting analytics back on local processors speeds up reaction times.
In each of these applications, the infrastructure provided by telcos and boosted by 5G allows data processing in milliseconds or less. Where low latency and high bandwidth are required for safe and accurate results, the telco edge remains critical.
Our applications are evolving
It was challenging to scale IoT applications before, but using the telco edge allows us to operate these applications at scale. It’s going to be the next-generation network for our next-generation applications.
The business model is still developing, but this could be a serious revenue source for webscale companies and everyone in their ecosystem. Telcos are expected to deliver a few different models for operation, including pay-as-you-go and various wholesale models based around performance metrics.
It’s not here yet, however. The network itself is still under development as telcos roll out the network infrastructure. Plus, regulations will need time to catch up to protect consumers and ensure smooth operations.
In the meantime, businesses will expect new capabilities over the next few years. Expanding applications related to ultra-reliable low-latency (URLLC), massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC), and enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services may open new avenues for innovation and value.