Edge computing is expected to transform the telecom industry
Xunlei, the Chinese shared cloud computing and blockchain technology company, will be working with China Tower to jointly develop an edge computing project in Shaanxi province to deploy computing nodes at 10,000 cellular tower stations.
In addition to edge computing, the companies also plan to cooperate in the areas of IoT and blockchain, as well as build an edge computing and IoT ecosystem to facilitate the development of information system for other industries to prepare for the era of 5G technology.
China Tower’s Shaanxi subsidiary was founded in 2014 and operates approximately 70,000 cellular transmission stations. Recently, the telecom company has been focusing on business opportunities in IoT, big data, edge computing, artificial intelligence and other information and communications service industries in order accelerate its business development.
Xunlei provides a wide range of products and services across cloud acceleration, blockchain, shared cloud computing and digital entertainment.
Lei Chen, CEO of Xunlei, commented, “Combining the extensive operating experience, vast resources, and outstanding service ability of China Tower and the advanced technology, products, and ecosystems of Xunlei, I believe our strategic cooperation will help create a large, efficient and reliable innovative edge computing network to accelerate the development of the Chinese IoT industry in the era of 5G technology.”
The transition period between 4G and 5G hasn’t been kind to China Tower, which experienced a slowed revenue growth in its core Tower business segment during in Q3. Further, analysts predict negative short-term and medium-term impact on the company’s earnings as China Unicom’s and China Telecom’s plans to co-build a 5G access network and co-share spectrum continue to materialize.
The practice of processing data near the edge of the network where the data is being generated, instead of in a centralized data processing warehouse is expected to transform the telecom industry in a number of ways.
One such way is the enablement of augmented reality applications, which will primarily be powered by smartphones. In addition, as telecoms look for new ways to handle massive amounts of data that IoT devices will dumping into networks, many telecom companies have begun to install “micro” data centers at the base of their cellular towers.