Telco Edge Still a Nascent Opportunity but Forecasts are Encouraging

Summary Bullets:

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

• GlobalData’s latest edge computing forecast provides an optimistic outlook for operators aiming to monetize recent investments in edge-related technology and services.

• Operator alliances in 2021 are aligned with edge investments, and include products and services from a broad ecosystem; they can extend telco capabilities, and lead to upselling opportunities for adjacent services.

The opportunity for operators that are making investments and forging alliances to leverage edge computing along with their 5G and fiber networks is expanding. Although much has been said about the dangers of striking partnerships with hyperscalers and SIs that may end up with the lion’s share of revenue, operators are discovering an assortment of advanced services and upsell opportunities by using edge as an enabler. GlobalData’s latest edge computing forecast) includes revenue forecasts for edge-related hardware, software, and services and reflects optimism about the ability of vendors and service providers to monetize investments in edge computing. Not only is there an opportunity for telcos to generate revenue directly from edge-related managed and professional services, but ultimately the service providers hope to draw enterprise customers that will be using edge resources to deploy advanced latency-sensitive applications, and offer them new IoT services, security and privacy enhancements, and end-to-end vertical solutions. Business customers can benefit from optimized workloads, using local or nearby computing and storage resources. They can save money on connections to remote clouds or data centers, secure private data, and take advantage of the high bandwidth and low latency enabled by operators’ 5G and fiber networks by using compute and storage resources at the edge of the operator network or on the customer premise.

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