Pre-COVID, LightReading conducted a survey to determine Mobile and Converged Operators top network priorities for 2020. The results were shared during a recent LightReading webinar, see below.
Mobile and Converged Operator Network Priorities
The list is quite interesting and not surprising. Number one is, as it should be, focused on adding to top-line revenue. Average revenue per subscriber (“ARPU”) is on the decline and Internet of Things (IoT) is not yet the revenue generator it was predicted to be years ago. Now, many, if not most, Mobile and Converged operators are looking to the Enterprise market to drive both short term revenue leveraging their existing network and long-term revenue on 5G. While many ideas on how to further monetize Enterprise applications on the Mobile network are being debated, Edge Computing is seen as the one of the most compelling platforms to leverage. The Public cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure) are all charging fast into this space and Mobile operators see both near and far edge data centers (private and/or public) as a path to extend services to Enterprises. As noted in the survey results above, “Preparing my network for edge compute” is one of the top priorities today. By preparing for edge compute, they are establishing a framework to offer new and higher performing services to the Enterprise market.
Open at the Edge
Open architecture, not only in Core and RAN, but in edge locations brings significant benefits. Edge applications will expand and evolve very quickly. By establishing an open, and horizontal “app marketplace” topology, Operators will be able to maintain the agility required to quickly add new Enterprise applications and services to grow top line revenue. Gorkem Yigit from Analysis Mason issued a whitepaper titled “Edge Computing: Operator Strategies, Use Case and Implementation” in June 2020. In it, he summarizes some results of a recent survey they completed showing the main motivations for deploying edge clouds broken down by regions. I recommend you download a copy for yourselves, but the Western Europe region’s highest ranked motivator was “Provide enhanced enterprise services”. Support for 5G vRAN was top for North America and APAC by the way.
Robin’s Edge Leadership
At Robin, we are actively involved in numerous edge projects with Mobile operators who are testing use cases including vRAN, Enterprise and private network offerings as well as more leading edge (pun intended) applications such as gaming, AR/VR, CDN, and video streaming. Robin’s automation and orchestration software for Edge infrastructure configuration and application life cycle management is filling a big gap in the market. ‘Lights out’ data centers leveraging automation allow for lower operating expenses. Robin’s product leadership in application- and Infrastructure-topology awareness and in Life Cycle Management for edge computing data centers including functions such as one-click deployment of an entire application pipeline, service scaling, application-aware QoS, snapshots, cloning, fail-safe upgrading, and backup/restore of entire applications.
When you are ready to prepare your network for edge compute, please reach out and we can share more details and lessons learned.