InterGlobix Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jasmine Bedi, recently sat down in conversation with Juan Font, President and CEO of CoreSite, SVP of American Tower, and Jake Rasweiler, SVP of Innovation and Platform Extensions for the US Tower Division of American Tower, and discussed how the convergence between wireline and wireless is taking place, and how innovation is driving the emergence of Edge data centers worldwide.
What are the key drivers that are accelerating the convergence between wireline and wireless technologies? How is this convergence contributing toward the evolution of Edge data centers?
In 2020, businesses around the globe accelerated digital transformation to support remote work and self-serve digital interaction with their digital supply chain. Decades of communications technology innovation made this acceleration possible. IT infrastructure including data centers, clouds, and distributed network ingproved its mettle, and those businesses that embraced digital technology adoption grew revenue at five times the rate of those lagging behind.
The convergence of wireless and wireline networks was also set in motion by this transformation. With the deployment of low-latency, high-capacity data communications, coincidentally enhanced by the simultaneous rollout of 5G mobile radio technology and new mid-band radio spectrum, operators could unite the two access networks and deliver next-generation services through an Edge-to-cloud interconnection fabric.
Edge data centers are emerging as the focal point of application convergence. By lowering data transport costs and latency, Edge data center operators will enable the seamless integration of wireless data and digital platforms that are closer in proximity to their end-users. Without reaching the degree of performance that such convergence at the Edge would unleash, metaverse “experiences” and low-latency sensitive services, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), and local content caching, etc. will fail to perform as needed.
What does tomorrow’s interconnected fabric look like?
We live and work in a hyperconnected world. Tomorrow’s fabric needs to be hyperconnected by massively distributed digital interconnection hubs, with degrees of aggregation and scale depending on their location. The main features fall under four categories:
- ACCESS: Distributed multi-access Edge computing for wireless/5G/low-latency applications and mobile Edge compute
- AGGREGATION: data centers near the Edge where content is cached for video streaming and data is aggregated, with access to native SDN fabric
- REGIONAL: regional data centers (colocation) in high-density population metros with direct interconnection access to digital platforms and cloud on-ramps
- CENTRALIZED: centralized data centers where digital ecosystems interconnect and have direct access to hyperscale cloud regions