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5G Driving Edge Computing Momentum in China: GSMA

Published: Mar 03,2020

Almost 90 per cent of mobile ecosystem players in China identified edge computing as a major revenue opportunity in the 5G era, according to a new GSMA survey.

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The views of more than 20 leading mobile operators, network vendors, and cloud & edge providers in China’s market are revealed in a new GSMA Intelligence report, ‘Edge computing in the 5G era: Technology and market developments in China’, produced in collaboration with the Edge Computing Consortium (the ECC).

It notes that China’s leadership in Edge Computing, as demonstrated by early trials and deployments, is being driven by government support for new technologies and operator investments in new 5G and IoT networks. GSMA Intelligence forecasts that Chinese operators will spend nearly $200 billion, deploying new 5G networks between 2018 and 2025.

Early edge deployments are mostly designed to serve the requirements of smart ports, smart campuses and smart factories. As 5G networks scale over the next few years, edge use cases such as autonomous driving, sporting events and gaming will be made possible. According to the ECC, there are currently more than 100 edge computing projects up and running in 40 cities in China across various sectors. These include projects in areas such as smart campus, smart manufacturing, AR/VR, cloud gaming, smart ports, smart mining and smart transportation.

However, the report notes that several critical questions remain, such as the most viable location of the network ‘edge’, the levels of investment required and the most appropriate business models.

“Judging by the pace of edge trials and early deployments, it is clear that the Chinese ecosystem is looking to play a leading role in the development of edge computing,” explained Sihan Bo Chen, Head of Greater China, GSMA. “Creating a favourable ecosystem environment that supports technology developments and fosters innovation will ultimately determine the pace and magnitude of edge deployments in China and beyond.”

“The goal of the Edge Computing Consortium (ECC) is to build a cooperative platform in the edge computing industry,” claimed Yu Xiaohui, Vice Chairman, ECC. “After three years of unremitting efforts, the edge computing industry has advanced from 1.0 consensus stage to 2.0 implementation. ECC will continue to promote the scale application of edge computing in the major fields including mobile network, industrial internet, and enterprise IoT.”

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