The edge computing industry is changing, with a discussion of near-term possibilities for edge computing, focusing on prospects in locations other than just at the base of a specific cell tower, reported Light Reading (read the full article here)
Greg Pettine, the founder & EVP of business development at EdgeMicro, said the edge computing startup is no longer looking to build edge computing data centers at the base of cell towers, mainly because there isn’t enough fiber in those locations to satisfy customers’ edge computing requirements. Instead, he said the company is looking at other locations that are closer to major intersections of fiber, with plenty of network routing opportunities.
According to Vapor IO CEO Cole Crawford, the company is talking about “tower-aggregated and connected, not tower-located” scenarios. “We never actually said that they had to be located at cell towers,” Crawford explained, “It’s not that being at the base of towers doesn’t work,” he added. “It’s that when you go to a market and you’re looking for the most optimal physical place you can be…you want to go to where you have multiple strands of fiber available to you so that you can spin up a number of different backhaul connections to a bigger, regional data center or enough strands of fiber that would allow us to interconnect our own physical real estate footprint with other Vapor edge modules or other Vapor locations.”
Vapor IO’s Matthew Trifiro added that wireless networks are increasingly designed to manage hundreds or potentially thousands of cell radios at an aggregation site, which is where Vapor IO is putting its edge computing functions. Under the company’s new edge computing deployment plans, it now expects to build computing locations in six metro areas this year — three in each city — with the goal of eventually expanding to 30 metro areas. Those initial areas will include cities such as Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, reported Light Reading.
Verizon Communications Inc. is taking a similar approach as well, physically locating an edge computing system in one of the operator’s C-RAN hub sites, not at the base of its 5G transmitter.
The rejection of individual tower sites as an ideal edge computing location is noteworthy considering such locations have long been trumpeted by players in the mobile space as well as those in the tower sector, reported Light Reading. Putting edge computing at the base of cell towers did make sense since edge computing’s goal is to bring computing functions physically closer to customers but now things are changing as the industry evolves.
February 15, 2019