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CSPs must make New Year’s Resolution to Build Edge Services for their own use in 2020.

by Sue Rudd | Dec 31, 2019

Some Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are ‘in a Fog’ - pun intended - about the Edge Services opportunity. Many are not sure they can capture sufficient value from end user apps. to justify major investment to pre-position significant ‘bare metal’ processor and storage resources ‘at the edge’ of their networks.

Early in 2020 Strategy Analytics Networks and Service Platforms group will be publishing an in depth analysis of how CSPs can leverage and/or compete with OTT Cloud Players or 3rd. Parties. Meanwhile we want to encourage CSPs to make a New Year’s Resolution to deploy Edge Services for internal use in 2020. These internal applications can immediately reduce operating costs and enhance customer experience, thereby guaranteeing pre-positioned resources at the edge as apps slowly appear.

Currently, however, some CSP decisions are being frozen by two questions about edge services. For 2020 we are suggesting some simple initial answers that will allow CSPs to get started.

Quick Answers to two key questions about Edge Services

Q1. Where is the Edge?

A1. The edge is wherever CSPs want it to be at any point in time to meet the service requirements efficiently.

For example at the:

  • Metro- Area Aggregation Router for dynamic backhaul offload to the fixed network
  • vEPC for state aware recovery of user sessions
  • vMME for secure scaling massive numbers of simultaneous UE authentication requests
  • Foot of the Radio Tower for RAN pre-processing
  • Within 1 km of customer site for single hop latency <5ms.

The edge is therefore wherever it is most efficient and effective to provide processing and storage resources to meet the requirements of a given application taking into account instantaneous traffic loads.

Q2. Do CSPs need 5G to do Edge Services?

A2. No. Edge Services will work well today on LTE and LTE-Advanced and can later be enhanced with 5G

Although 5G may make many services faster and better it is good for CSPs to get a head start with vendors that can help them ‘outflank’ the centralized architecture of the Cloud Hyperscalers today. Below are five such examples.

Five Examples of Capabilities for Edge Services and the Vendors who can deploy them today as virtualized servers on COTS hardware.

Anchor Application for CSP Edge Business Case

Technical Capability

Examples of Proven Vendor

Gaming & Video Delivery Optimization for guaranteed User Experience

Real Time dynamic optimization of Local and Centralized Content

 Enea Openwave

Real Time Data Store for Stateless eNodeB and vEPC Service Recovery in the RAN

5G Unstructured Data Storage Function for LTE Network Support

HPE Shared Data Environment

Dynamic RAN resource allocation

High Performance vRAN Processing on COTS hardware

Wind River StarlingX (Containerized OpenStack) /Mavenir

Prevention of distributed attacks for Edge services and HRLLC/URLLC Apps. in Real Time

Secure the Edge ‘Threat Surface’ with less than 20 ms multi-site synchronization time, including 2 network hops at 5 ms each

NetNumber Secure Firewall

Multi-Vendor Policy Execution ‘at the Edge’

Open Real Time Adaptive Policy Execution

Ericsson APEX


What do these five examples all have in common that allow them to become Edge Services today?

All the vendor application mentioned above already demonstrate mastery of distributed processing, dynamic distributed data synchronization and most importantly real time responsiveness with Carrier Class Scalability.
Cloud Hyperscalers will struggle to achieve these capabilities for Edge Services and are likely to find they have to turn to CSPs to meet many next generation service requirements.

See Related Reports:
Partnering with The Enemy - How CSPs can work with Cloud Competitors

Going ‘Cloud Native’ will accelerate 5G services in 2020 & 2021 - New and smaller proven players are ready now

Executive Summary: Reduce NFV Risk - Pursue Network Virtualization First - 5 Independent Platforms Meet 16 Operator Requirements Today

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