Double-sided circular paradigm,
driving Edge Compute collaboration for emerging technologies & use-cases
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We live in a rapidly changing world, in which Information and Communication Technologies (“ICT”) affect every parts of our lives including the way we work, stay in touch with family and friends, shop and learn. The application of ICT into digital services have allowed the emergence of modern consumer-based systems which adapt in real-time to the constantly evolving needs of consumers and enable seamless access to the services that people want and need. The digitalization of all services and businesses is changing the way businesses operate and create value, how products and services are conceived and delivered and even how end-users can access and use such products and services.
Edge Computing (“EC”) is needed to stimulate ICT wholesale and retail Service Providers (such as Cloud Service Providers, Telecom Operators (“TelCos”), infrastructure providers) and transform service designs for mobile devices, autonomous vehicles, healthcare, smart cities, cloud services, data centers, artificial intelligence, robotics, IoT and manufacturing, as depicted in Figure 1.
Digitalization is here to bring a wave of innovation in ethos, and in how policy makers and private sectors think of investment & infrastructure deployments; To enable new emerging technologies supporting deployments of 4.0 Industry domains and applications, which will dramatically improve our lives.
Consumers’ behavior is rapidly evolving. When people access digital services, they expect a seamless experience that is centered around the events of their life. However, current businesses’ operations and activities are fragmented, and certain components are served via major platforms (digital platforms such as GAFA, delivery hailing, etc.) rather than being part of an integrated digital ecosystem. Businesses are witnessing a paradigm shift that affect all sectors; the suppliers do not just respond to the consumers’ needs anymore: they anticipate and, in some cases, even influence such needs. The economy is moving away from an agency-centric model (that offers what the organization can), to one that puts people and the wider consumer-experience first (for what the consumer needs). Anticipating the needs and expectations of consumers will enable industry players, service providers and governments to deliver enhanced consumer experience. Digital services present opportunities to re-imagine services design and ultimately to provide services that evolve in real-time to adapt to people needs as circumstances change.
Many of us went virtual in 2020 by necessity, as COVID-19’s social distancing requirements forced millions into remote activities. With the continued growth and adoption of digital services. It is expected that 2021 will demand even more from the digital economy and will rapidly catalyze the digital transformation. For example, Fortnite’s creator Epic will bring large-scale social events like concerts and e-sports into the virtual world. Augmented (“AR”) and Virtual Reality (“VR”) gadgets will certainly gain wider adoption, as Apple releases its own AR glasses. Financial transactions are now being embedded into these systems, thus changing the nature of banking currencies and the consumer expectations thanks to new technologies such as Blockchain and Cryptography.
Increasing number of connected devices, immersive experiences and industry digitalization will require processing power closer to the action. By 2022, Gartner predicts, that 50% of enterprise-generated data will be produced and processed outside data centers, and by 2025 about 75% will be processed at the edge of networks.
Key Takeaway Messages
1. Computing power at the edge is currently required, it will increasingly be located closer to where the data is created, processed, and demanded by the growing number of applications and devices at the edge of networks, within consumer’s proximity. Especially when combined with Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) capabilities, with low-latency and high-throughput availabilities.
2. New wholesale entrants or existing wholesale providers (such as Cloud Providers, TowerCos or NetCos) have an opportunity to monetize the current wholesale EC gap by positioning themselves as an EC wholesale carrier-neutral provider. An EC Service Provider shall leverage on the double-sided circular collaboration with cloud providers, and other stakeholders of the digital ecosystem. An EC service provider is a customer as well (examples of the different services that can be offered and acquired are in Figure 2).
3. EC service providers may start immediately to offer computing power services to TelCos and mobile network operators (“MNOs”) as MNOs are already evolving towards a virtualized, 5G-oriented cloud-based model; as well as CDNs and Cloud Providers. In addition, an EC service provider may offer the EC infrastructure to other non-telecom industries such as Education, Healthcare, Government agencies and others, in order to reduce the local and international connectivity costs while improving latency.
Engagement and collaboration among industry associations and public authorities will contribute to build the Customer requirements. Edge Computing has the potential to provide on-demand, high-performance and cost-effective platforms capable of supporting a growing number of use cases.
While TelCos who could lead this revolution, are yet to assess their competitive position to play such a key role, new wholesale entrants have an overwhelming opportunity in monetizing the current gap, to play the role of becoming a carrier-neutral Edge Compute wholesale service provider, entrants such as a:
· Tower Company (TowerCo)
· Telecom Networks Company (NetCo)
· Cloud Service Providers.
would have a much higher competitive edge to start offering such Edge Compute services to new and existing Retail TelCos (or MNOs).
Such carrier-neutral wholesalers would unquestionably benefit from their existing infrastructure’s proximity to end-users, and the double-sided circular collaboration model.
Meanwhile, the inspiration of this emerging ecosystem is that it is not a ‘zero-sum game’, it is not a ‘winners take-all’ concept for potential wholesalers of EC provider, it is a game of collaboration and partnerships. Small or hyperscale Cloud Providers may partner with NetCos or TowerCos to collaborate and complement forces.
Download the full whitepaper by clicking here
 Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/video-games/2020/09/11/fortnite-live-events-planning/  https://www.techradar.com/news/apple-glasses  Gartner, “What Edge Computing Means for Infrastructure and Operations Leaders” by Rob van der Meulen, Oct 2018