Multi-access edge cloud (MEC) revenues will grow from $3.5 billion last year to $16.7 billion in 2025, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37%, according to an MEC forecast from IDC. The worldwide assessment is consistent with the level of activity evident among service providers and their ecosystems in the U.S.
MECs enable latency-sensitive edge network services, as well as application hosting on premises and at edge cloud sites. The technology helps conform with stringent data traffic policies, enhances security and improves real-time control and decision making, IDC says.
Companies involved in the mobile edge, wireline edge, cable edge and CDN edge are driving revenue with technologies that include virtual network functions (VNFs), network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) and cloud-native network functions (CNFs), IDC notes.
“As MEC emerges as a viable option for various enterprise verticals, it is becoming a key driver of new revenue streams beyond connectivity and critical for mobile network operators as they attempt to monetize 5G,” Ajeet Das, IDC’s Research Director for Carrier Network Infrastructure, said in a press release about the MEC revenues forecast.
“Although edge investment is mostly related to 5G/MEC today, we expect edge spending to expand in the wireline market as . . . cable MSOs, CDNs, and wireline service providers build edge platforms for low-latency, availability, and security for next-generation enterprise applications.”
AT&T, Verizon, AWS and others are using MEC to push applications and services farther from the corporate datacenters and closer to end users.
Some examples, which illustrate both the velocity of deals and partnerships and the fact that the concept is more or less universally accepted by the most important companies:
The Verizon 5G Edge with Microsoft Azure Stack Edge, which was announced in August, is a “cloud computing platform that brings compute and storage services to the edge of the network at the customer premises.”
In July, AT&T said that it will use Google Cloud service to support two services: AT&T Multi-access Edge Compute with Google Cloud and AT&T Network Edge (ANE) with Google Cloud.
In May, Telecompetitor discussed MEC and other topics with Maggie Hallbach, Verizon Business’s vice president of business development for the public sector. She said that the carrier’s infrastructure is well suited for MEC, which is software-defined and therefore requires minimal hardware.
The next month, DISH announced that Dell Technologies will support its 5G buildout with an open ecosystem radio access network (Open RAN or O-RAN) and edge computing infrastructure.
Two months earlier – in April — Dish said that it would rely on AWS Outposts and AWS Local Zones for its MEC capabilities. The deal is notable because of the level of reliance that Dish is putting on AWS.