The Strategic Importance and Urgency of a Near-Term Carrier Multi-Access Edge Cloud Buildout: Key to 5G, Virtual Network Services, Content Delivery, and AI/ML-Enabled Services and Operations
This IDC Market Perspective discusses how carriers are making slow but steady progress toward transforming their networks to achieve greater agility, flexibility, and efficiency, while the strategic importance of setting up distributed cloud infrastructure closer to their customers is assuming the utmost urgency. IDC sees 2019 as a year of significant investment and buildout of the carrier multi-access edge cloud (MEC) in support of 5G, wireline virtual network services, content delivery, and analytics-, ML-, and AI-fueled data services and carrier operations.This document focuses on the factors driving this trend and the function that these distributed edge clouds can be expected to fulfill. It also offers advice to the technology provider and the operator on what both parties could do to reap maximum benefit from the trends. "Moving processing and content closer to respective consumers is a recurring theme across next-generation wireline and wireless carrier access networks. Another recurring theme is the need to build virtualized or cloud-native networks. Building the distributed telco cloud aka the multi-access edge cloud in the near term is an urgent imperative for carriers," says Rajesh Ghai, research director, Carrier Network Infrastructure, IDC. "The multi-access edge cloud could potentially bring sub-20ms latency, deliver heavy video content without burdening the backbone network, host IoT gateways and analytics platforms, and deliver virtual network services flexibly and efficiently. It could also be used to host network automation platforms."
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