Telco Edge Cloud: A new business opportunity

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Telco Edge Cloud: A new business opportunity

By Josep Martí, Co-Founder and CEO, NearbyComputing

The Telco Edge Cloud is about to become the new and disruptive service that will deliver a new generation of powerful use cases to users. These edge applications will represent a breakthrough in the way operations are driven in many industries — if telcos can overcome challenges around managing the underlying infrastructure.

From a physical standpoint, the Telco Edge Cloud (TEC) is constituted of a distributed set of small to mid-size data centers, called “cloudlets”, that will be progressively deployed in many locations in every country. These are located as close as needed to end users. This is because the Telco Edge Cloud enables the delivery of network-sensitive applications that require low latency and high bandwidth, and thus cannot leverage the existing cloud computing infrastructure.

Telco operators are central players in this new business as they own and manage the network that is critical to enable these edge applications. Eventually, users will enjoy these applications-as-a-service in the same way they access applications in the cloud, but latency or bandwidth requirements must be ensured at all times. Their operation of the network offers telcos the possibility of opening a new source of revenue and strengthening customer loyalty.

Challenges for this high-potential business

Two main technical challenges need to be solved to develop this high-potential business:

  • The scalability challenge: seamlessly managing up to thousands of instances of the same application that will be running in cloudlets globally, as easily as managing one single instance in the cloud, with similar OPEX.
  • The roaming challenge: enabling a federation amongst the national TEC infrastructures to offer a global service meeting the demand of transnational business.

To overcome both challenges, orchestration and automation are the key elements that will ensure that daily operations are not only available but secured and streamlined. Telco Edge orchestration, in this sense, needs to include a whole new set of features when compared to cloud computing or classical telco network orchestrators.

What are the Telco Edge Cloud benefits?

The Telco Edge Cloud drives a long list of impactful benefits:

  • Telcos can propose powerful edge apps as-a-service to their customers or even PaaS and IaaS to allow their customers to host and manage apps in VMs inside the Telco Edge Cloud infrastructure.
  • Each telco customer gets a self-service marketplace to directly deploy and manage apps into their VMs or those available as a service proposed by the telco.
  • An architecture that enables full hybrid public-private cloud capability.
  • The Telco Edge Cloud (TEC) platform is based on an integrated container and VM converged platform, allowing for a larger number of potential customers.
  • The TEC provides a cost-effective solution for businesses to host and manage cloud applications: insignificant latency and ultra-high bandwidth will lead to a differential customer experience and facilitate the adoption of TEC services.
  • The edge cloud infrastructure can provide greater security and privacy for applications that require sensitive data processing.
  • Areas with limited internet connectivity can also benefit from a TEC which expands the reach of businesses and services.

Final applications

The Telco Edge Cloud is the optimal platform to access a wide range of disruptive applications at a fair cost and in simplified conditions. These use cases include, amongst many others:

  • Mission-critical communications
  • Remote assistance (through augmented reality)
  • Many flavors of video analytics that are suitable for retail, manufacturing, logistics and more.
  • Virtual reality, for instance for educational or industrial purposes
  • Digital twins
  • Smart cities (traffic control, safety and others)

Overall, the Telco Edge Cloud is a new offering that is opening new and exciting possibilities for businesses and individuals. It will power the next stage of the digital transformation of our economies.

About the author

Josep Martí is the Co-Founder and CEO of NearbyComputing, the company behind NearbyOne, a leading Edge Computing automation and orchestration platform. Josep is an entrepreneur and a projects initiator who has co-founded different tech projects related to Edge Computing and IoT. He also worked for more than ten years in the public sector, where he led many IT and networking development projects.

DISCLAIMER: Guest posts are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Edge Industry Review (EdgeIR.com).

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