The 5G era is an exciting one for CSPs, who are uniquely positioned to tap into new revenue streams via lightning-fast connectivity and bespoke, on-demand architecture for the customers that need it.
As edge computing continues to take off—the market is expected to reach $43.4 billion by 2027, up from $3.5 billion in 201—CSPs have a golden opportunity to move away from being utility providers and become vendors selling cutting-edge services on the edge.
To tap into this unprecedented potential, CSPs need to rethink their approach. In a new report — Top Technology Trends for CSPs in 2022: Edge Redefines CSPs Role in 5G Platforms — Gartner outlines several reasons why the rise of edge computing is forcing CSPs to redefine their roles in 5G platforms.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five reasons why smart CSPs are rethinking the possibilities that 5G delivers.
1. Becoming a broker for network and operations workloads
As 5G networks and mobile edge computing take center stage, CSPs are in a position to broker network and operations workloads for both new vendors and hyperscalers, neither of which have the infrastructure needed to offer services at the edge in their own right.
By assuming an edge-in strategy and working to ensure their infrastructure is compatible with the vendors and hyperscalers they’re targeting, CSPs can readily deliver the compute needed to support a variety of use cases, including 5G, mobile private networks, Internet of Things, AI, and security, among other things.
2. Providing compliant local peering services
Despite their deep pockets, hyperscalers don’t have the expertise or technology required to tackle issues at the telecom layer. Sure, they have the resources to build the infrastructure if they wanted to, but it seems unlikely that many will even try.
As hyperscalers begin to target the edge, they will need to join forces with partners that have the local infrastructure and know-how needed to ensure compliance across 5G networks, the edge, and multi-cloud deployments spanning geographies. As a result, CSPs have an opportunity to become the de facto provider of local, compliant infrastructure for international clouds, edge workloads in multi-cloud environments, security as a service, and more.
3. Using infrastructure as a foundational connectivity platform
Everybody knows that modern enterprises are collecting and analyzing more data than ever before. In today’s real-time data age, however, speed is of the utmost importance. In order to unlock the complete value of their data in real time, organizations need to be able to act on data within milliseconds.
For this reason, more and more businesses are moving workloads to the edge as they accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. This gives CSPs a prime opportunity to transform their 5G infrastructure into a foundational connectivity platform for all use cases that involve real-time insights and analytics. With the analytics market expected to expand from $240 billion in 2021 to $639 billion in 2028, there’s a lot of money to be made.
4. Ensuring continuity of service
In today’s complex geopolitical environment, distributed service providers need to build additional resiliency into the products to ensure continuity of service and user satisfaction.
One way to solve this challenge is by partnering with CSPs that either offer their own edge computing services in the specific areas they do business in or can broker a deal that delivers the flexible topology required to support highly available services in many different circumstances.
With the right approach, CSPs can position themselves as the go-to provider of alternative clouds that enterprises can rely on to help navigate difficult waters.
5. Seizing the edge opportunity
Edge computing marks a tremendous opportunity for CSPs to unlock new revenue streams and transform their businesses from stagnant utilities into bona fide service providers — future-proofing their operations in the process.
For example, CSPs can use network slicing to divide physical networks into smaller networks that can support different requirements at the edge (e.g., architectures, security features, and performance guarantees). This enables them to maximize the value of their infrastructure while catering to a wide range of needs.
Similarly, the right architecture allows CSPs to offer edge roaming and orchestration capabilities that enable them to track usage across network slices and edges on behalf of other providers.
Capitalizing on the future requires a new vision
In order for CSPs to realize the full potential of edge computing and 5G, they need to redefine the way they think about their role in this new future.
With some creative thinking and a commitment to transforming into modern operators, CSPs can tap into a wealth of opportunities, meeting real needs in the market while delighting their customers, employees, and investors.
For those who move quickly to embrace this new normal, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For those who don’t, irrelevancy is all but destined.
To learn more about how edge computing is making CSPs rethink their roles in 5G platforms, read the Gartner report today.
To read the full Gartner report, click here.
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Gartner, Top Technology Trends for CSPs in 2022: Edge Redefines CSP’s Role in 5G Platforms, 2 May 2022, Sylvain Fabre, Mohini Dukes, Peter Liu, Ted Chamberlin