Advancing telecommunications with an edge computing strategy

Martin Tidell, Senior Industry Consultant, Telecom EMEA at Teradata, explores why telcos need to prioritize an edge computing strategy

Advancing telecommunications with a state-of-the-art IT strategy image

The edge can help telecom providers get much-needed value from user- and device-generated data.

As the volume and velocity of data continue to increase, organizations are beginning to see the inefficient effects of transmitting large amounts of information to a cloud or data center for processing. According Gartnerby 2022, more than 50% of the data generated by the company it will be created and processed outside of the data center or cloud. By 2025, this figure is projected to reach 75%.

At the heart of this IT infrastructure transformation is edge computing. By facilitating localized capabilities and delivering near real-time insights, edge computing acts as a decentralized extension of cellular networks, data centers, and the cloud.

As the hype around the edge has passed in recent years, now is the time for telecom providers to seize this opportunity and decide how to maximize and future-proof their edge computing strategy. As society begins to accept the adjustment to a more remote work model, in addition to the launch of commercial 5G, edge computing is poised to gain momentum with commercial adoption and it is up to telcos to harness it. Developing an edge strategy not only provides a competitive advantage for telcos, but also brings many benefits and transformative use cases to players within the telcos space.

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Bringing life to the edge

Many of the cutting-edge use cases will be found in the enterprise segment, such as industrial automation, smart factories, and campus networks. Visual analytics use cases in retail or sports arenas are also examples of edge-enabled use cases, but there are many other examples, including smart homes, smart cities, drone delivery, smart real estate, and waste management.

As a telecommunications provider, you can leverage your existing telecommunications edge infrastructure and resources to deliver new capabilities. These enhanced capabilities can include reduced latency for sensitive real-time applications and quality of service for connected devices at rest or in motion. All of these capabilities can function as a value-added layer between sensors at the edge and central decision engines.

With the growing number of connected devices comes the increase in traffic and the amount of data generated by devices, all of which must be transmitted over networks. This is enabled by 5G and scalable data management solutions.

Rooting your strategy in data analysis

This is where a strong data strategy is crucial, and where telcos look to leading cloud analytics providers for support.

One of the important capabilities of the edge is its ability to process significant amounts of data right where it is generated and then be able to quickly find the right data points for local or remote processing. As mentioned above, the edge is a telecom provider’s golden ticket to address the tsunami of data generated by users and devices.

In response to the invaluable role data analytics plays in a successful edge strategy, telcos need to take note and ensure their strategies are data analytics-driven. 5G is the first generation of mobile networks where analytics is integrated into core network functions, as defined by standard bodies.

Across the network, from core to edge, telcos must consider how data and analytics should be managed. Some data will inherently be processed centrally and other assets at the edge. Data strategy, in this context, plays the role of ensuring that edge data and often autonomous distributed decision-making are informed by “central intelligence” and vice versa. Analytics capabilities need to be orchestrated across all aspects of the network and all network functions. As sensors at the edge generate constantly changing time and location data, new analytical capabilities are required. Geospatial, temporal, and time series analytics are examples of critical capabilities in an edge strategy for telecom providers.

Edge value addition is poised to be a game changer for many organizations across industries, including telecommunications. Edge Computing has raised the bar for next generation technologies and applications to deliver a significant increase in performance. It is now up to telecommunications providers to promote a cutting edge strategy to gain a competitive advantage in the industry and harness the immense power of user and device generated data, or be left behind.

Written by Martin Tidellsenior industry consultant, telecommunications EMEA en Teradata

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