Edge computing: telcos vs cloud

Feb 14, 2019 8 Comments

Edge computing is such a hot topic these days, I think because it can potentially be an area where cloud players like AWS are dethroned. I know that cloud companies currently have an upper hand in edge computing, but could you see AT&T, Verizon and other mobile companies surpassing them? It seems like edge computing is all about location, and these mobile companies have so many cell towers and stores around America that I think they could be a huge competitor to the big names in the cloud industry. I know there are way more Google and Amazon people on Blind, but would like to hear from cloud and mobile comps. What's your opinion are you for David or Goliath?


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TOP 8 Comments
  • Cruise Automation opet40
    you’re dumb

    mobile providers aren’t even trying to get in to this space for a huge variety of reasons, so there’s no David v Goliath situation.

    cell towers aren’t data centers and their backhaul is frequently point to point microwave, unsuitable for use as a latency sensitive PoP

    telco networks already have very tenuous bandwidth provisioning, so providing CDN-like services would break their very profitable primary consumer wireless business
    Feb 14, 2019 2
    • CenturyLink gkjC2p
      I'll look past being called dumb. I notice that you are not in the Telecom industry, but all the big companies in the industry are targeting edge computing. It is one of their main strategies for 2019 you should look into it. You are right about cell towers not being data centers, however telecom companies are looking to create micro data centers where they have cell towers. Anyways it was just food for thought, not trying to start an argument here.
      Feb 14, 2019
    • Cruise Automation opet40
      I worked in the telco industry for 10 years: the access network is a precious commodity that’s next to impossible to touch. Verizon’s ‘micro edge compute’ is laughable and just investor fodder. Telcos are struggling to build out their RAN to handle the capacity growth as-is, let alone add on additional latency sensitive compute.

      Even ignoring capacity and legacy issues with access networks, cloud computing isn’t about shoving things locally and praying for latency. It’s a heavy ecosystem with tight integration that makes AWS successful and ‘I can throw a container at a cell tower!’ isn’t actually a design architecture anyone is capable of leveraging.

      Look to GCP and OCI for an example of what it takes to break in to cloud and then realize the telco behemoths aren’t capable of what it takes.

      I think the reality is that you’ll see 3GPP components replicated and pushed closer to the user and not a service that you’ll see them selling.
      Feb 14, 2019
  • Microsoft ogLh58
    What exactly is edge computing? It feels like a very broad term
    Feb 14, 2019 1
    • Amazon jtGV66
      It is like cloud computing but your stuff runs in very many small sites co-located with ISPs, cellular infrastructure, etc such that latency to users is minimized (to a lesser extent also bandwidth in/out of that location)
      Feb 14, 2019
  • Veritas unNK37
    The two are not mutually exclusive but complementary to each other. Think of content distribution networks like Akamai. Their presence does not remove the need for the backend middleware, dB and apps. You can offload some processing to the edge but you cannot build massive hyper scale DCs at the edge
    Feb 14, 2019 1
    • CenturyLink gkjC2p
      I agree. I think there could be partnerships, but I do think it's an area where telecom companies could possibly have an upper hand.
      Feb 14, 2019
  • Apple 9kq02hb
    Feb 14, 2019 0


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