Study: 90% of industrial enterprises to utilize edge computing by 2022

The multi-access edge computing market is expected to soar to $7.23 billion in revenue by 2024, according to Frost & Sullivan.

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Industrial enterprises are increasingly turning to edge computing for the shorter latencies, robust security, responsive data collection, and lower costs it offers organizations, according to a new study from Frost & Sullivan.

The report looks ahead to 2024 and described edge computing as a "foundational technology" that 90% of industrial enterprises will be using by 2022. According to Frost & Sullivan analysts, edge computing will be key as industrial environments become more hyper-connected in the coming years with a litany of autonomous assets, remote asset monitoring, data extraction from stranded assets, autonomous robotics, autonomous vehicles, and smart factories.

The study estimates that the multi-access edge computing market may grow at a compound annual growth rate of 157.4%; it brought in revenue of $64.1 million in 2019 and is slated to bring in $7.23 billion by 2024, according to Frost & Sullivan analysts.

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"The recent launch of the 5G technology coupled with multi-access edge computing brings computing power close to customers and also allows the emergence of new applications and experiences for them," said Renato Pasquini, information & communication technologies research director at Frost & Sullivan. 

"Going forward, 5G and multi-access edge computing are an opportunity for telecom operators to launch innovative offerings and also enable an ecosystem to flourish in the business-to-business segment of telecom service providers using the platform." 

In order to fulfill the predicted adoption of edge computing by industrial enterprises, telecom operators need to work on providing end-to-end solutions that also incorporate 5G, according to the analysts. 

Telecom operators, the analysts write, must partner with cloud providers and companies with abilities related to artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer vision to design solutions for autonomous cars, drone delivery, and others. 

Enterprises will also need to promote innovation by using new technology like augmented reality and virtual reality.

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"5G and multi-access edge computing are critical to drive innovation in the next 10 years for consumers and businesses. For consumers, there are key applications such as 5G gaming and AR/VR/UHD streaming," the study said. 

"For large enterprises, telecom operators are deploying private wireless networks to enable Manufacturing 4.0, automated mining, precision agriculture, and others, leveraging on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). According to Cisco's estimates 5G, edge computing, and IIoT will help operators grow their B2B revenue share from 30% in 2019 to 55% in 2025.

Analysts with Frost & Sullivan predicted that a majority of data will be processed in the edge even before 5G coverage reaches higher levels and use cases become more mature. To boost the ecosystem and drive growth, operators in the field are working with cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

The study notes that the largest telecom operators in the US, Europe, and APAC have already launched 5G and established partnerships with cloud providers, but few are ready for commercial use and are mostly limited to a select number of cities. The analysts predict that more telecom operators will launch 5G and multi-access edge computing within five years globally.

APAC has seen particularly robust adoption of the technology, according to the study, and use cases have proliferated with the availability of such edge network infrastructure and development of the ecosystem.

"From the perspective of the MEC ecosystem, software—edge application and solutions—promises the highest CAGR followed by services—telecom operators' services, cloud providers' infrastructure-as-a-service, and edge data center colocation services," Pasquini added.

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