Juniper Research predicts investments by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) will exceed $8 billion by 2025.
The analysts expect MNOs on MEC to swell from $2.7 billion in 2020 to around $8.3 billion in 2025.
In tandem with the spending increase, Juniper predicts the number of deployed MEC nodes will increase from 230,000 globally in 2020 to over two million in 2025.
Edge computing has been around in early forms since the late 90s, but 5G and other emerging technologies such as AI are unlocking new opportunities and driving such large investments.
The expectation of such large investments from MNOs over the next five years is driven by the belief that operators will seek to enhance key functions by moving infrastructure used for processing data from core network locations to base stations at the edge of their networks.
Further investment growth will be driven by the sheer need for MEC nodes in urban areas to accompany 5G and maximise its benefits of high throughput, low latency, and support for high densities of devices.
The rollout of 5G MEC will help to unlock the vast potential of smart cities—helping them to become more interactive, efficient, greener, and safer.
Juniper suggests in its report that smart city decision-makers should initially explore the use of existing infrastructure – like street lighting and sidewalks – to help tackle increasing space limitations inherent to densely-populated areas. The need to ensure people can have more space has only become more apparent amid the pandemic.
Ultimately, consumers are going to benefit greatly from edge investments. Edge-based services will help to differentiate from competitors and lead to more customers.
The analysts expect over 920 million individuals will benefit from edge-enhanced internet connectivity by 2025, up from 100 million people in 2020. Juniper expects services like cloud gaming, digital TV, and music streaming will benefit most from operators’ rollouts of MEC over the next five years.
You can find a full copy of Juniper’s research here (registration required)
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