VDC Research see edge infrastructure as central to 5G success

19 Jul 2018

VDC Research says new edge hardware platforms are transforming the future of connected solutions. The next generation of IoT and embedded applications cannot evolve from today’s wireless infrastructure and network architectures, as they require progressively more data to travel drastically faster from edge to cloud.

The 5th generation of mobile wireless network will expand far beyond the linear advances of previous technologies and is capable of connecting cars, city infrastructure, buildings, drones, transportation, and a near-endless array of other system types. The market for 5G and high-performance edge hardware is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 25% through 2022.

The full vision of 5G mobile networks — ubiquitous, multi-Gbps, high-capacity, low-latency connectivity — requires that data processing be decentralized from the cloud and closer to the edge of device networks, which will not be fully achieved until several years from now.

“Until then, edge computing platforms will be imperative to bringing cloud/enterprise functionality closer to connected devices and deployed systems. Edge processing is a prerequisite for 5G technology growth and use cases,” said Dan Mandell, Senior Analyst of IoT and Embedded Technology at VDC.

New fixed and mobile servers are quickly developing behind multi-access edge computing (MEC) and distributed computing trends in an effort to advance 5G and make the best use of newly available IoT and device data.

The new mobile network configuration will be largely built off of existing LTE infrastructure with progressive improvements to the radio access and core networks.

“The network edge has emerged as the most dynamic and valuable element of connected solution architecture,” said Mandell. “New hardware solutions are enabling unprecedented computing performance as well as multi-tenant applications and services delivery for end users.”

According to VDC, there are too many different hardware and software components for any single vendor to be able to supply a valuable end-to-end 5G solution without external help. Emerging high-performance connectivity solutions and services will require new levels of systems integration and multi-vendor strategies to remain at the forefront of innovation.

“As with the Internet of Things, collaboration between several different types of organizations and standards bodies will be key to market success,” said Mandell.

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