The benefits to telcos of innovation at the network edge

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Mar 24, 2020

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Darrell Jordan-Smith, Global Vice President of Vertical Industries and Accounts, Red Hat

Telecom service providers have been exploring the potential of the network edge for several years now, but the arrival of 5G is promising to open up new business cases. So what's the reality today; where are CSPs on their journey to the edge?

CSPs see a great opportunity to use edge computing to get themselves back into the cloud. They can apply a lot of telemetry, data analytics, AI and augmented reality-based applications by realising the opportunity to move compute storage and networking to the far edge of their network.

Red Hat is already seeing a lot of innovation around the edge coming from the adoption of open source. Developers can build on a common platform and innovate on top of it rather than working from the ground up, maintaining a legacy based platform as they develop new applications. This ability to have a horizontal platform, being able to containerise workloads to realise real cost reductions in the marketplace is underpinning all the new business cases that are being developed to take advantage of edge and 5G.

Containerisation of network elements itself is going to realize 10 to 20 per cent cost reduction for telcos and Red Hat is reporting that more than 60% of all of its telco partners are currently looking at containerisation across their network infrastructure, building on what they've done in terms of virtualisation.

The figures get even better when it comes to the radio access network. The move towards the virtual RAN could reduce the time to market by nearly 60 per cent by delivering new services at the far edge of the network. It enables telcos to more cost-effectively manage that infrastructure, with total cost of ownership savings of between 30 and 40 per cent. vRAN is proving to be a mechanism for telcos to software-enable their existing vertically orientated, hardware-based infrastructure at the network edge.


Filmed using the TelecomTV Smart Studio service, March 2020

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