Edge computing is a ‘foundational’ technology for industrial enterprises, according to Frost & Sullivan – with 90% of firms forecast to utilise edge by 2022.
The analyst firm added the multi-edge access computing (MEC) market, which incorporates the wider features of edge computing, is set to reach $7.23 billion (£5.6bn) by 2024.
Many of the use cases cited by Frost & Sullivan for industrial enterprises can be seen as an extension of current opportunies afforded by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These include, but are not limited to, autonomous and remote asset monitoring, autonomous robotics and vehicles, smart factories, and data extraction from stranded assets.
There are various participants in the ecosystem, for whom different priorities and timeframes are required. Telecom operators have a large role to play; Frost & Sullivan says they should work on meeting the requirements for connected and autonomous cars, while they must also partner with cloud providers ‘and companies with abilities related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision’.
This has been seen already. As sister publication CloudTech has extensively reported, the leading cloud providers are partnering with telcos to take advantage of 5G technology – and make the most of both sides’ assets. Verizon, who once launched a public cloud offering to compete with Amazon Web Services, is now working with them, while Microsoft’s partnership with AT&T continues to be updated.
5G is naturally an important building block for edge computing to flourish. Communication service providers, as Ericsson puts it, will be ‘in a better position to provide new offerings’ with the introduction of 5G and edge computing. “The edge opportunity should be seen in a larger context of the enterprise opportunity, where edge computing will be an enabler for many broader use cases – for example within the Internet of Things and potentially bundled with other enterprise offerings such as 5G private networks,” the company added.
“The recent launch of the 5G technology coupled with MEC brings computing power close to customers and also allows the emergence of new applications and experiences for them,” said Renato Pasquini, information and communication technologies research director at Frost & Sullivan. “Going forward, 5G and MEC are an opportunity for telecom operators to launch innovative offerings and also enable an ecosystem to flourish in the B2B segment of telecom service providers using the platform.”
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