Telecommunications (telco) providers are excited about Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) because it promises to make compute and storage capabilities available to customers at the edge of communications networks. Workloads and applications will be closer to customers, potentially enhancing experiences and enabling new services and offers.
MEC is being discussed under a variety of use cases, not least of which are emerging scenarios such as industrial Internet of Things (IoT), connected/autonomous vehicles, and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR).
A new executive briefing from STL Partners—in cooperation with HPE and Intel—discusses MEC’s potential to enable an array of these use cases, leading to significant opportunities for the industry to uncover new sources of revenue. MEC also coincides with telcos’ digitally transformed networks, which run certain virtualized network functions in a distributed way, including at the edge of networks.
Despite the excitement about MEC, viable commercial models have been unclear and undefined—until now. The bulk of the STL Partners executive briefing describes five potential telco-centric business models for MEC, each of which can support a variety of use cases:
- Dedicated edge hosting—The telco resides on the first rung of the MEC value chain, taking the role as an enabler of edge computing, rather than a provider.
- Edge IaaS/PaaS/NaaS—The telco operates in a similar manner to a cloud provider.
- Systems integration—This model is likely to be built on an existing SI business within a telco, offering custom turn-key solutions for enterprise customers with specific.
- B2B2x solutions—Telcos have an opportunity to create MEC-enabled business solutions for government, enterprise, or SME customers.
- End-to-end consumer retail applications—The operator is playing high up the value chain, acting as a digital service provider for consumer applications.
The STL Partners executive briefing closes with a quick mapping of these business models to various use cases, as well as a section about which business models are right for which operator, emphasizing the areas of strength and existing customer bases, capabilities, and network infrastructure.
Download the HPE MEC Research Report, Edge Computing: 5 Viable Telco Business Models to learn more.