INNOVATION TALKS - How Edge Computing can power the next mobile internet economy
In the last decade, mobile networking has revolutionized the way digital services are delivered to consumers and their devices. The emergence of mobile applications running on devices (like mobile phones) has revolutionized the way internet is consumed in a mobile device. From food delivery, booking movie tickets, education, banking to internet gaming are all accessible through the high-speed wireless networks (like 4G) and powerful mobile devices. These applications are served by large and centralized public cloud that hosts the web-scale services. The client software of the application running on our mobile phones are delivered through the popular app-stores. This model drove innovation in the last decade towards developing new applications, use cases and services that resulted in the emergence of thriving application economy and has given birth to several unicorns and had a profound impact on economics and society.
In the next decade, this model will start to scale rapidly. Potentially billions of new devices would be launched into the market. These connected devices won’t be the usual mobile phones. They would be sensors, autonomous cars, augmented / virtual reality headsets, robots, cameras, etc. A new kind of application will emerge that requires near real time communication between the device and the cloud. However, the communication cannot be faster than speed of light. Further away the cloud, longer it will take to respond. This is called latency. So, a new cloud will emerge where the large centralized cloud will be moved closer to the device. The cloud will become massively distributed. This distributed cloud is what we call as the “edge compute”.
Edge Compute will power new applications like autonomous cars, multi-player augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) gaming, immersive video experiences in entertainment, smart manufacturing, security applications etc. The application cannot run on some the devices due to a lack of computation capabilities and battery constraints. But neither can it be offloaded to the centralized public cloud where public internet connectivity creates latency that disrupts the end-user experience. This will open up new exciting possibilities for mobile users and consumers. The network operators can benefit from hosting such applications in their distributed cloud and create a new revenue model for them. Auto-makers can look to leverage such massively distributed cloud for connecting vehicles and making them more autonomous. Manufacturers can move rapidly towards digital transformation of their systems by utilizing on-premise “edge computes” to empower Industrial IoT (and save some money in the bargain for not having to transport exabytes of data to the cloud). The residential and the enterprise segment can use customer premise equipment as “edge compute”. Residential gateways can provide applications for smart homes. Enterprises can leverage software defined WAN access for reducing their cost of ownership in acquiring connectivity and security.
This talk will focus on some of these applications. It will cover the ecosystem that needs to be developed by countries to enable a new mobile economy. The journey of the different industry towards leveraging such technologies will be covered as part of the presentation.