In the near future, enterprises, telecom companies, and cloud service providers will see an increase in investment in edge data centers to enhance the speed of applications such as streaming video, factory automation, and telemedicine and to support emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and AR/VR.
Edge data centers are mini data centers positioned at the edge of the network, providing proximity to users and devices. By having processing power at the edge, organizations experience improved speed and reduced latency, as they don't have to transfer data to remote data centers for processing.
Various prominent edge computing use cases, apart from AI and factory automation. Content delivery is one such example, as video streaming is gaining immense popularity and requires efficient handling of large 4K videos. Edge data centers ensure swift and high-quality video delivery to consumers and enable film and TV production teams to send raw, unedited footage back to their studios. Video games and eSports are rapidly growing and drive the need for low-latency connectivity. Mobile carriers are investing heavily in 5G networks and need edge data centers to provide better experiences for 5G and 4G services and applications. The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual doctor visits in telemedicine, but for further improvement, the healthcare industry requires more local infrastructure for medical imaging. Autonomous vehicles need massive computing power at the edge and can generate up to 5TB of data per hour.
The application of edge data centers for emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles and AR/VR is still in its early stages. However, telcos are expected to make more investments in edge data centers in the future, with the goal of generating new revenue streams from autonomous vehicle communication.