Edge computing deployments: around the globe

There are already many edge computing deployments by leading telecoms operators including Verizon, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Singtel, SK Telecom and China Mobile.

Edge computing deployments: What’s the big picture?

In 2022, we saw different telco edge strategies come to maturity. As the planning turns from partnerships, POCs and trials into real commercial deployments, we the below diagrams explores how the largest telcos have navigated edge deployments over the past few years:

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Analysis

  • 67% of the telcos mapped have partnered with a hyperscaler in some capacity. One of the most recent telcos to launch an edge deployment, Bell Canada, has done this in collaboration with AWS but had also already partnered with Google in 2021 to run core network functions on their Distributed Cloud Edge. For more information, see Hyperscalers & telcos: Edge partnership opportunities​
  • Of the hyperscalers, AWS Wavelength has seen the most uptake by large telcos across the globe. As part of their five partnerships, they have helped to deliver a range of use cases such as Edge CDN, Drone Delivery, AR/VR applications and autonomous vehicles. For more information on AWS and its role at the edge, see ‘AWS & Edge computing: Wavelength use cases and applications​’.
  • Verizon has some of the most mature edge deployments. They have increased the scale of their initial deployment of AWS Wavelength by adding new sites in Nashville, TN and Tampa, FL. They claim that 75% of the US population is now within 150 miles of a Wavelength zone.
  • Certain telcos are taking a different approach. Cox Communications, a North American cable company, created a new business unit to roll out their full stack Edge-Cloud computing and services. Instead of partnering with a hyperscaler they have targeted different companies like CDN-turned-edge platform company StackPath. See ‘Cox Edge Q&A: How a cable company created an edge platform’ for more information on their position in the market.

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STL Partners has conducted extensive research on telcos globally, focusing on their edge computing deployments. STL’s report “Telco network edge computing: Lessons from early movers” delves into the experiences of Lumen, SK Telecom, Telefónica, Verizon, and Vodafone, all of which commercialised edge nodes before 2020. This article highlights key findings and four crucial insights gleaned from these early telco-edge movers.