Hyperscalers are key to boosting a lackluster tech telecom sector, says STL

Hyperscalers are key to boosting a lackluster tech telecom sector, says STL

According to telecommunications consultancy STL Partners, developing optimal hyperscaler relationships is key to accelerating the deployment of cutting-edge telecommunications resources which, so far, have fallen far short of expectations.

In a recent webinar hosted by STL, the firm’s consultant and practice leader, Tim Otto, argued that the global edge market is estimated to be worth more than $500 billion by 2030. but as things stand, deployment of edge computing sites has been slower. provided that.

An earlier forecast by STL called for telcos to have more than 4,000 network edge sites by 2025, but that has now been revised to around 950, reflecting a “pretty significant slowdown”, Otto said.

To be able to seize opportunities in the edge computing space, he suggested that telecom operators “need to ensure that they are working with the right partners at the edge to retain this strong return on this important investment.” .

Otto noted that STL has seen an acceleration of telecom collaboration efforts with hyperscalers over the past year, including at the network edge, with hyperscalers’ established cloud platforms being the primary attraction for telecom operators. network. According to STL, approximately 40% of the capacity of telecommunications network edge sites will be deployed in combination with the support of hyperscalers over the next two years (see table above).

David Behr, CEO of liquid cloud and cybersecurity at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a pan-African fiber optic broadband network provider, agreed that telecom operators need to collaborate more, but admitted that they are traditionally “not strong”. when it comes to partnership – it’s just not in our DNA”. However, he applauded operators for increasingly emphasizing collaborations because “in this ecosystem, there’s no way we can build everything ourselves.”

But it’s not just telcos that would benefit from joining forces with hyperscalers. According to Ian Hood, chief strategist at Red Hat, hyperscaler companies have now learned that to deliver some of the capabilities that customers need, they need to partner with telcos and systems integrators.

Joanna Newman, Global Edge Computing and Senior Head of 5G at Vodafone, shared lessons learned from partnering with different hyperscalers. She asserted that the partnership is not just a one-time use case. “You can partner with hyperscalers for certain capabilities, when do you look at maturity and business suitability…You partner with stacks, like Red Hat, to provide some of that capacity, so there are many different types of partnerships that float,” she said.

Based on Vodafone’s experience working with various hyperscalers, she added, “the broader ecosystem needs to mature and different hyperscalers bring different capabilities.” For example, the Amazon Web Services (AWS) console “can be used by anyone at any time” and many different ideas are being tested in the AWS ecosystem, Newman noted.

In comparison, Microsoft takes a different approach in terms of capabilities that fit into the ecosystem but can sometimes be “much more specialized and a bit more well-developed, so they target very specific use cases as opposed to generals,” she explained. .

According to Newman, edge travel is “a first story”, but Vodafone is seeing success – both through its partnership with AWS and Microsoft. “Our self-construction [stack] too – it’s been a huge hit in the specific segments we’re exploring it for,” she explained.

In June 2021, the operator partnered with AWS to deliver edge computing-based enterprise services in the UK, using the hyperscaler’s Wavelength edge cloud compute and storage nodes as well that its 4G and 5G mobile data connectivity – see Vodafone UK launches cutting-edge services on AWS Wavelength.

And the operator recently announced state-of-the-art innovation lab in Manchester, UK, includes a distributed mobile computing platform deployed in partnership with AWS.

His business unit continued in the same direction later that year, collaboration with Microsoft to deliver new end-to-end cloud services that will leverage the capabilities of 5G, edge computing and IoT, to support growth and provide innovative tools for hybrid working.

– Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, TelecomTV

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