Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced HPE Edge Orchestrator, a new SaaS-based service that will enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to deploy and operate servers at the edge of 5G networks, and take advantage of new 5G uses cases such as AI, machine learning (ML), augmented and virtual reality, and Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN).
Despite 5G speeds grabbing all the headlines in 2020, looking forward, the real value of 5G – especially to those approaching it from a business perspective – will come via a host of new applications and services, which will be managed on the edge of the network. And this next wave of development will require mobile network operators to look beyond bandwidth.
“Today, telcos have significant enterprise business, but they are often seen as little more than bandwidth providers, competing mostly on price,” said Phil Mottram, Vice President and General Manager of the Communications and Media Solutions business unit at HPE. “HPE Edge Orchestrator empowers telcos to move up the value chain and become trusted edge services providers, offering differentiated, high-value enterprise services as well as new edge applications for their mobile subscribers. Furthermore, telcos will be positioned to compete more effectively with cloud and over-the-top competitors.”
Opportunity at the 5G edge
According to a recent survey from World Wide Technology (WWT) there’s more than $17bn in market opportunity for service providers implementing Edge tech over the next three years.
“Edge Computing is transforming the way enterprises manage data. As 5G becomes a reality, Edge will provide the backbone for game-changing applications across data-intensive areas such as sensor-based activity recognition, AI, smart mobility, robotics and real-time digital experiences,” explained Daniel Valle, Chief Technologist - Service Providers EMEA at WWT.
And the launch of HPE Edge Orchestrator further strengthens HPE’s platform-as-a-service offering, and follows the announcement in March that HPE had released its 5G Core Stack, which is designed to give telecoms companies the opportunity to create standalone networks, rather than the more common non-standalone networks where 5G networks run on 4G cores. And with HPE Edge Orchestrator, along with HPE Edgeline and ProLiant servers, telcos can position application intelligence at the edge.
“Openness is essential to the evolutionary nature of 5G and with HPE 5G Core Stack telcos can reduce operational costs, deploy features faster and keep themselves open to multiple networks and technologies while avoiding being locked-in to a single vendor approach,” said Mottram. “HPE has one of the broadest 5G portfolios in the market and is uniquely positioned to help telcos build an open multi-vendor 5G core, optimise the edge with vRAN, and deliver connectivity and new compute services to the enterprise using MEC and Wi-Fi 6,” continued Mottram.
HPE Edge Orchestrator will enable enterprises to easily combine their applications with network services offered by telcos. And HPE Edge Orchestrator will support Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), with other network-as-a-service (NaaS) functions being added to the catalog over time.
“Telcos are uniquely positioned to facilitate digital change by connecting people, enterprises and society, enabling new classes of services,” explains Martina Kurth, Associate Vice President for IDC’s European Telco Research. “Telcos need to change the way they operate and become part of the value creation with 5G and edge computing. New technologies like HPE Edge Orchestrator will help telcos to tap into new digital business models and play an important role in evolving enterprise ecosystems.”
HPE Edge Orchestrator will be available as a service to telcos from July 31st.