Network edge capacity forecast: The role of hyperscalers

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Telecoms operators are still grappling with how they should work with hyperscalers; the network edge is a key battleground. This report is an update of our network edge capacity forecasts and incorporates survey data from over 190 respondents to evaluate the market’s views on telcos.


Format: PDF filePages: 42 pagesCharts: 26Author: Dalia AdibPublication Date: October 2022

Note: The Excel dataset is not included with this product. To purchase access to this dataset get in touch at

Table of Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction to the forecast
  • Key findings this year
  • Regional deep-dives
  • Role of hyperscalers
  • Conclusions
  • Appendix: Methodology

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1:  Forecast scope in terms of edge locations and workload types
  • Figure 2: Characteristics of different edges
  • Figure 3: Network edge build scenarios
  • Figure 4: Types of servers assumed in the model
  • Figure 5: Key factors determining network edge build
  • Figure 6: 2022 survey respondents broken down
  • Figure 7: Year of telecoms operators’ network edge launches and number of sites in launch year (as of September 2022)
  • Figure 8: Global network edge data centre forecast (sites and servers)
  • Figure 9: Network edge locations
  • Figure 10: Access aggregation webinar poll results
  • Figure 11: Open RAN and vRAN deployments, 2018-2022
  • Figure 12: Network edge data centres – 2021 forecast vs. 2022 forecast
  • Figure 13: Differences between 2021 and 2022 forecast
  • Figure 14: Highlighting forecast differences in China and India
  • Figure 15: Countries whose forecast increased for 2025
  • Figure 16: Countries whose forecast decreased for 2025
  • Figure 17: NSA, converged, and SA 5G core deployments, 2018 to 2023
  • Figure 18: Number of edge sites by region
  • Figure 19: Network edge capacity by region (2021 and 2026)
  • Figure 20: Network edge capacity in North America
  • Figure 21: Network edge capacity in Europe & Central Asia
  • Figure 22: Network edge capacity in East Asia & Pacific
  • Figure 23: Edge domains (for telco-hyperscaler partnerships)
  • Figure 24: Network edge is the most mature edge domain
  • Figure 25: Models for building the network edge
  • Figure 26: Proportion of network edge built by hyperscaler


Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 5G, core network, data centres, edge computing, edge deployment, edge infrastructure, edge servers, network data centres, network virtualisation, Telecoms