TBR estimates over 1.2 million network sites and cell sites will become mini data center (edge) locations globally by 2025, up from nearly 9,000 sites globally at the end of 2019. The primary driver of edge build-outs from 2019 to 2024 is telcos’ and cablecos’ network transformations, which entail migrating to a cloudified and virtualized network, and webscales’ edge initiatives to support their cloud businesses and digital lifestyle endeavors. In this new architecture, network functions will be virtualized and housed in network functions virtualization infrastructure, which is essentially a data center. Network sites, such as central offices, have been the primary edge compute locations to date, with cell site builds expected to ramp up significantly in 2021 and become the primary locations for the CSP edge by 2025.
Most CSP edge sites will be located in the U.S. and China by 2025
TBR estimates over two-thirds of global far edge sites that are owned or leased by CSPs will be located in the U.S. and China by 2025. This heavy concentration of sites will be due, in part, to webscales pushing the ecosystem into the edge to realize their distributed computing initiatives, which encompass migrating mission-critical and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads into their clouds as well as enabling and supporting their digital lifestyle initiatives.
Telecom and cable operators in these two countries will also be active participants in building out their own edge infrastructure, but this will mostly be to transform their networks into automated, virtualized and cloudified systems.
CSPs in other countries will also build out edge compute infrastructure over the next five years, but the scale will be dwarfed by what stakeholders in the U.S. and China intend to pursue.
TBR’s Telecom Edge Compute Market Forecast, which is global in scope, details edge compute spending trends among communication service providers (CSPs), such as telecom operators, cable operators and webscales. This research includes current-year market sizing and a five-year forecast by multiple edge compute market segments and geographies, with the most recent publication covering 2019 to 2024.