with technology analyst firm 451 Research, has released the findings of an
in-depth survey which reveals a good sense of optimism about the services 5G
will enable and the interplay with edge computing. The majority of telecoms
operators surveyed believe the 5G
era will start in earnest in 2021
in all geographies, with 88% of
respondents planning to deploy 5G in 2021-2022.
However, more than 90% of respondents believe 5G will
result in higher energy costs and are interested in technologies and services
that improve efficiency. This is consistent with internal analysis by Vertiv,
which finds the move to 5G is likely to increase total network energy
consumption by 150-170% by 2026, with the largest increases in macro, node and
network data centre areas.
The survey questioned more than 100 global telecoms
operators about the opportunities and potential obstacles of deploying 5G
services and the impact on edge computing adoption.
“The challenge for operators considering 5G will be
choosing the most mature use cases, verticals and eco-systems where they can
play a meaningful and sustainable role. The research Vertiv has undertaken into edge computing use
cases and archetypes, together with this latest survey with 451, will help our
operator customers and telecoms partners to build more robust business cases
for 5G investments and associated edge compute deployments,” says Giordano
Albertazzi, President for Vertivin
Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Regarding edge and 5G specifically, the survey reveals that a large
majority of operators have deployed (37%) or plan to deploy (47%) edge compute
that is aligned with mobile infrastructure – also called multi-access edge computing
“This survey brings us clarity on telecom operators’ hopes and fears around 5G and edge deployments”, says Brian Partridge, Research Vice President for 451 Research.
“The two toughest connectivity challenges for supporting 5G topologies were revealed to be upgrading access and aggregation layer networks and adding new backhaul links. Survey respondents indicated that the availability of high-quality connectivity to distributed POPs and ease of site acquisition were viewed as the most critical enablers to 5G success. We were frankly surprised by some of these results and believe it brings clarity to the level of transformation the industry now faces.”
As well as the important
touch-points between 5G and edge computing, the study from 451 Research and Vertiv examines some of the potential
obstacles to 5G adoption and, importantly, the measures operators can take to
mitigate them, such as Energy
Savings as a Service (ESaaS). According to the survey, more than 90% of
respondents said they are either extremely or moderately interested in ESaaS.