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Development and Usage of Edge Computing in Telecom

Should telecommunications operators develop edge computing in telecom?


Edge computing in telecom is considered to have some replaceability compared to cloud computing, which determines the market value of edge computing from stock to incremental space. Compared with major cloud service providers, operators enter the edge computing field as "competitors" to compete for replacement revenue in the stock cloud market, and to gain incremental revenue in the new ecological market.


The value of the edge computing industry is divided into four quadrants based on the type of service (cloud service or edge service) as the horizontal axis and the type of customer (stock customer or new customer) as the vertical axis.



The SCV analysis model provides a comprehensive, three-dimensional, and multidimensional interactive analysis of business, users, and value, providing a theoretical analysis foundation for telecommunications operators to determine their development positioning in the future complex development environment.


Since cloud service providers have an absolute advantage in the stock cloud computing market and market share, after entering the edge computing in telecom, a considerable portion of the revenue opportunity is created from the migration of cloud computing, mainly by obtaining incremental revenue from the third quadrant. Operators entering the edge computing market can absorb some customers and revenue opportunities of sd wan service providers and OT operators through cross-dimensional competition, thereby obtaining revenue space in all quadrants. Operators entering the edge computing field as "competitors" will obtain higher revenue.


What have telecommunications operators done in the field of edge computing in telecom?


Take China Mobile as an example. Currently, there are three types of edge computing technology evolution paths: mobile MEC, public cloud edge computing, and CDN cloudification (vCDN). China Mobile has launched a series of pilot deployments for the three technology routes from 2019 to the present. Among them, mobile MEC will achieve deployment in more than half of the country's cities in 2020, and it is the most widely used edge technology form within China Mobile. However, China Mobile has not yet clearly unified its edge computing development strategy, and the multi-path evolution will continue for some time.


The mobile MEC technology architecture is based on the ETSI MEC reference architecture design principle and is a natural extension of telecom cloud to edge computing, which is a edge computing solution based on the NFV framework deployed under UPF of 5GC user plane. It includes core components such as edge UPF, MEP, APP carrying unit, and control platform MEAO/MEPM. The vCDN architecture is to reconstruct the CDN proprietary hardware cloudization, and uses the remaining resources as the edge service carrier without deploying additional resources. The technical architecture is transformed, and the technical selection uses the mobile cloud solution.


The public cloud edge computing architecture is closest to cloud native among the three solutions, and there are many similar mature solutions in the industry, such as AWS Greengrass, Huawei Cloud IEF, etc. It supports heterogeneous resource management, edge autonomy function, and can achieve seamless coordination with the public cloud. However, the current public cloud edge computing technology product lacks competitiveness, and there is no mature solution yet.

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