New forecast from STL Partners shows that the edge computing market is growing rapidly with the number of telco data centres predicted to grow by 107% annually for the next four years.

LONDON, ENGLAND, February 24, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — The new forecast from STL Partners, a London based Telecoms Consultancy, estimates the number of edge data centres and their capacity from 2021-2025. Network edge is defined as facilities for edge computing within the telecoms network – mobile, fixed or converged sites. The model focuses on sites that will be owned and operated by telecoms operators.

Edge computing will be central to enabling data-sensitive applications and those generating huge data volumes, such as gaming, autonomous vehicles and AR / VR because it sends less data back to the cloud for storage and processing.

Tilly Gilbert, STL Edge computing practice lead, explains that:

“Our market forecast provides insights into the investment we expect 55 of the leading operators to make in telco edge datacentres. It leverages a survey with more than 150 individuals in the industry.”

Key trends identified within the accompanying report Forecasting capacity of network edge computing, include:

There will be about 1,500 network edge sites by 2025

Most telecoms operators have been deploying 2-3 edge data centres in their first year, with some exceptions in the U.S (e.g. Cox and Verizon, who already have over 10 sites in the country). The model forecasts there will be an inflection point in 2023 when more telcos will have deployed 5G (standalone core) and the early majority starts to launch their edges.

Most edge locations will be at the transport aggregation layer

Telcos are starting with deploying a relatively small number of edge data centres in the transport aggregation layer, between the core and access network. This is often referred to as the “near edge”. Building a highly distributed system of edge nodes in the access network will require significant investment, which most telcos will wait to make once there is significant demand for ultra-low latency applications.

Shift in focus from North America to Asia

Most network edge data centres in 2021 are in North America, however the shift will focus to Asia which will contribute 53% of total edge capacity.

STL Partners is a leading research and consulting firm that focuses on the telecoms industry and adjacent markets, by supporting telcos and their partners innovate, grow and stay ahead of the competition. STL’s Edge Insights Service provides a combination of tools to support telecoms operators and technology companies in developing their edge computing strategies.

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