The Opportunities and threats for operators in the edge computing value chain

This report provides a uniquely detailed map of the market landscape for operators that want to offer edge computing services. It outlines three roles that operators can choose from in the value chain, and provides recommendations for operators in each scenario, including the optimal technology investments and partnerships. The report will be valuable for senior strategists and decision makers focused on telco cloud or 5G markets.

IN THIS REPORT, WE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS.
Which use cases and industries will drive investment in edge compute, both in the near and longer term?
How can operators leverage their physical assets to take a position in the edge value chain?
What competitors and threats will operators face as edge-enabled services diversify?
What are the roles that operators can play in the value chains associated with different edges, and what decisions do they need to make to assume those roles profitably?

<p><span>About this report</span></p>
<p><span><span>Executive summary</span></span></p>
<p>Analysis and recommendations</p>
<p>&nbsp;Challenge: Operators need to position themselves to take advantage of an edge computing opportunity driven by 5G, IoT and new app development&nbsp;</p>
<p>Solution: Operators must decide which role they should play in edge computing and understand the implications of this choice</p>
<p><span>Recommendations</span></p>
<p>Solution 1. Leverage existing locations</p>
<p><span>Most operators remain uncertain about their edge strategy, or are playing it safe with an edge location approach, leveraging existing assets and user bases</span></p>
<p><span>The main drivers to offer edge services that rely on the operators’ locations and partnerships relate to efficiency and QoS, more than to new revenue</span></p>
<p><span><span>Operators must not over-estimate the value of their locations, and should mitigate the dumb pipe risk by investing in additional edge resources and partnerships</span></span></p>
<p>Solution 2. Extend operator edge to address new revenue</p>
<p><span>Edge connectors can harness virtual connectivity to create a greatly extended edge, harnessing third-party sites and cell densification to drive new revenue</span></p>
<p><span><span>Edge connectors have the opportunity to reach beyond their own users and enable many partners and new customers, without massive asset investment</span></span></p>
<p><span style=""font-size: 12.16px;"">Once an operator moves beyond its own locations, it faces competition from more-agile providers to assemble high-value edges</span></p>
<p><span><span>To mitigate these risks, operators must achieve scale through strong partners and open ecosystems, to avoid becoming a dumb pipe</span></span></p>
<p>Solution 3. Become a fully app-centric, virtualised platform</p>
<p><span>Edge application brokers curate and manage a digital ecosystem of consumer and enterprise application developers that leverage edge low latency and context</span></p>
<p><span><span>Edge application enablement will support a new wave of distributed application development, including key 5G use cases, creating new revenue opportunities</span></span></p>
<p>Edge application enablers face significant challenges in winning developer support for their ecosystems and only a few will succeed&nbsp;</p>
<p><span>Appendix</span></p>
<p><span><span>Akraino</span></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;CPLANE.ai</p>
<p><span>EdgeX Foundry</span></p>
<p><span>ETSI MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing)&nbsp;</span></p>
<p><span><span>MobiledgeX</span></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;OpenFog Consortium&nbsp;</p>
<p><span>Packet</span></p>
<p><span><span>Rafay Systems&nbsp;</span></span></p>
<p><span><span>Telstra</span></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;Vapor IO</p>
<p><span><span>Verizon</span></span></p>
<p>About the authors and Analysys Mason</p>
<p><span>Analysys Mason’s consulting and research are uniquely positioned</span></p>
<p><span><span>Research from Analysys Mason</span></span></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><span>Consulting from Analysys Mason</span></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>


List Of Figures

<p>Figure 1: The three roles in the edge value chain build on one another and are based on digital infrastructure and automation capabilities</p>
<p>Figure 2: ‘App-centric’ potential edge location providers outnumber ‘net-centric’ operators</p>
<p>Figure 3: Operator roles and competitors in the edge ecosystem</p>
<p>Figure 4. Node elements that may be offered by an edge computing location provider</p>
<p>Figure 5: Percentage of operators that selected a particular application as one of their top-two edge priorities</p>
<p>Figure 6: Percentage of operators that identified a particular investment strategy as a key driver, and targeted results</p>
<p>Figure 7: Alignment of operators’ sites with their chosen app priorities, by consensus</p>
<p>Figure 8: Selection of primary edge architecture (percentage of operators)</p>
<p>Figure 9: Edge connector deployment and competition</p>
<p>Figure 10: Deployment and ownership of small cells with edge compute</p>
<p>Figure 11: Correlation between deployment strategy and business model for operators with edge compute plans</p>
<p>Figure 12: Places in the edge chain where operators must compete for position</p>
<p>Figure 13: Operators can scale up by partnering with owners of edge assets in many industries</p>
<p>Figure 14: Edge application enablers provide edge application services across multiple edge computing locations</p>
<p>Figure 15: Edge application enablers will aggregate a growing number of edge locations to help developers to innovate</p>
<p>Figure 16: SWOT analysis of main contender categories for edge application enablement</p>
<p>Figure 17:&nbsp;Akraino Edge Stack will fill in technology gaps for multiple sizes of edge cloud supporting multiple device types and locations</p>
<p>Figure 18:&nbsp;<span>CPLANE</span><span>.ai’s</span><span> orchestration platform supports edge connectors and/or edge application enablers</span></p>
<p>Figure 19: EdgeX Foundry provides a unified runtime environment for edge-based applications</p>
<p>Figure 20: MEC server platform overview</p>
<p>Figure 21: MobiledgeX’s platform abstracts edge computing complexity away from device developers</p>
<p>Figure 22: The OpenFog architecture, based on eight pillars</p>
<p>Figure 23: Packet’s bare metal capabilities and ecosystem partners</p>
<p><span>Figure 24: </span><span>Rafay’s</span><span> </span><span>platform enables dynamic application deployment across multiple connected edge locations&nbsp;</span></p>
<p>Figure 25: Telstra Programmable Network</p>
<p>Figure 26: Verizon edge compute case study: OpenStack Summit 2017</p>


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