The emergence of 5G and NFV are redefining the way networks are being designed, dimensioned, deployed, and managed. New use cases that include augmented and virtual reality, industrial applications, autonomous driving, and other applications that will soon appear, necessitate the migration of compute resources to the edge of the telco network. This is necessary to make sure that these advanced applications are enabled through a low-latency, high bandwidth, and local processing platform rather than the centralized telco cloud.
The telecoms market is now actively discussing the deployment of edge computing in several initiatives, including Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC), Open Edge Computing (OEC), the OpenFog consortium, and independent vendor activities. Although there is some level of standardization expected, the common nature of computing platforms may mean telcos may deploy common servers at the edge, but relevant developers will require an ecosystem to create applications and achieve critical mass and eventually, network effects.
This report discusses and analyzes telco edge computing and highlights key industry and vendor activities in this area. A simple forecast is also presented, using high level automotive deployment data as a foundation, which illustrates that an edge computing deployment may be easier to justify than currently considered.