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Distributed edge cloud: definitions, dynamics and drivers

The market speaks

Edge networking has been one of the most hyped innovations in the mobile network – linked to 5G deployments, but being deployed well before 5G matures. Despite the market attention, plenty of questions remain. Where, exactly, is the edge of the network? What use cases can we expect to see benefit most from the distributed edge cloud treatment? Who will benefit from edge networking deployments, and when? This latest research from GSMA Intelligence looks closely at edge networking, first defining the technology then examining what it takes to deliver edge services and who is involved in doing so. The aim is to provide a coherent view not only of what the distributed edge cloud promises, but also how the edge opportunity is viewed by the players looking to make it a reality. To obtain these insights, we embarked on a survey of operators and vendors engaged in the distributed edge cloud market. Their views on edge use cases, the role of key ecosystem participants, expected beneficiaries and relevant access technologies provide a snapshot of how the distributed edge cloud opportunity is viewed in 2019. Differences of opinion between operators and vendors reveal potential misconceptions that will need to be addressed to execute on the edge opportunity.

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