Monetising the “edge”

Telecom edge vs. enterprise edge: With MEC, who should control what?

Under the shingle of mobile edge computing (MEC), there are a lot of edges and a lot of ways to describe them. Here we’ll focus on the distinction between the telecom edge operators use to deliver a variety of consumer and enterprise services as compared to an enterprise-owned edge infrastructure that’s connected to a network.

Integration of network, management, security, application, support, and maintenance into MEC-as-an-appliance that can run video surveillance, healthcare diagnostic, or industrial automation workloads on a customer premise is something carriers are delivering with partners today. The next step to monetization is “how do we monetize the base of a cellphone tower or monetize the real estate that we own?” Lieberman said. 

This is industry speak for “partners” – primarily customers. Should the telecom companies be edge providers or just lease out their services to “system integrators” – who combine disparate parts into a unified whole and then earn commissions both ways? 5G is upending many traditional routes of making money and providing services, and healthcare enterprises must understand the nuances involved (along with cost controls) with each unique use case scenario around management. First thing- is 5G really important? Will they be willing to shift to automation or at least automate some moving parts? How will that impact the returns and be more cost efficient in long term?

I’ll be looking into it more closely as 2022 goes. We are stepping into a gradual phase of IoT, wherein these will gather more discussion (and heat).

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