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5G networks migrate computer processing

In the retail industry, the intelligent edge can enable powerful use cases such as smart shelves, cashierless shopping, digital signage, dynamic pricing, and contactless shopping. In addition to enhanced retail experiences, the intelligent edge is expected to fuel use cases such as smart warehouses and virtual medicine.

According to ABI Research, syncing of edge servers with telecommunications infrastructure represents a $54 billion opportunity by 2024. In addition, Internet Database Connector predicts that in two years, 45% of IoT-generated data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to or at the edge of networks. By enabling data aggregation and processing at the edge, companies can achieve bandwidth savings while also reducing latency and improving reliability.

On the enterprise side, telecommunications providers should resolve a dilemma in terms of the intelligent edge. While some providers believe that they can generate more revenue by partnering with internet giants, others worry that their role would be limited to that of connectivity partner—in effect, acting merely as a stepping-stone for hyperscalers and cloud giants. Providers realize that they should act fast by either integrating vertically or by leveraging horizontal capabilities. One of their challenges is determining how to build upon their current business structure so that they’re in the driver’s seat. Telecom providers also face increased competition from industrial solution providers like Bosch and Siemens, both of which are developing their own edge services.

Another challenge is dealing with the significant costs of making 5G operational. Many providers are concerned not only about the steep up-front investment to build the 5G network, but also about the time horizon required to realize the return on their investments. With governments demanding higher prices for 5G spectrum, service providers could be left with no option but to let consumers pay for all or a major part of it.

More info: telecom sector