The edge is going to become an essential element in the strategy of companies in the not too distant future. To discuss the possibilities offered by Byte TI, it organized a meeting that included the participation of Antonio Bocigas, Telco EMEA Director at Lenovo; Josep Martí Jufresa, Chief Executive Officer at Nearby Computing and Aitor Rubio, Senior Product Strategy Manager at Cellnex Telecom.
Antonio Bocigas, Director Telco EMEA at Lenovo The meeting began by analyzing the possibilities that Edge Computing offers to companies. In the opinion of Antonio Bocigas, Telco Director EMEA at Lenovo, he stated that the edge “complements all cloud developments and supports the enormous amount of data with the massive deployment of 5G networks. We are seeing a growing trend to put intelligence in any type of device both in the professional environment and in our daily lives. Edge eliminates application bottlenecks. Analysts believe that 75% of companies will use the edge in 2025, but in 2023 it will be 25%. At Lenovo we believe that we have to be able to bring the capacity of data centers to dispersed environments with additional elements, with devices that are ruggedized, equipment that is secure, have the capabilities that are silent devices. In addition, we have the ability to unite three elements: infrastructure performance and availability, experience in the PC world and the connectivity part in which we are also specialists. For this reason, we propose solutions for different use cases and all this with a very broad ecosystem where what we want is to offer customers what they need”. He wasn’t misguided, Bocigas. And it is that in the multinational they handle different use cases according to the needs of each environment. “We are going to provide modular solutions with technologies such as computing for taking images, or with greater calculation capacity or with the incorporation of AI. This modularity allows customers to grow based on their needs and the use cases they can develop. In summary, we provide tested solutions that will be able to cover the needs in each of the deployments that are carried out”, concluded the manager.
The edge is going to become an essential element in the strategy of companies in the not too distant future
Josep Martí Jufresa Chief Executive Officer at Nearby Computing Josep Martí Jufresa Chief Executive Officer at Nearby Computing explained that “a server is more than computing and storage. It is also a network that provides a transparent service so that companies have a service. It is an element that is connected that allows us to offer a continuum of communication and computing. Orchestration is the control center of these new networks. In fact, it was already essential in the cloud and now it is also essential at the edge. Networks are made up of various nodes that jointly develop services. We believe that Lenovo’s proposal is tailored to the needs of each customer. At the Edge, orchestration is more necessary because the network and the infrastructure have a need for mutual coexistence, and Lenovo saw it as especially appropriate to align with Nearby Computing in order to provide a fully integrated, transparent, and continuous user experience. In any case, it should be noted that the technologies related to the Edge are especially accessible. We are not talking about technologies for which new training is needed, but rather they are technologies that grow on the existing legacy environment”.
The Cellnex case
Cellnex is an Ibex 35 company and is the main European operator of wireless telecommunications infrastructure. The firm works in various lines of business and not only serves operators, although they are our main clients. In its product portfolio stand out, among others, IoT solutions, developments for smart cities or manufacture of antennas to improve the connectivity of hospitals, stadiums. In addition, they provide broadcasting services and are in charge of transmitting the public television signal to Spain. Among all these services, I highlight the 4G and 5G private mobile networks for business customers who need to have their own infrastructure and private communications environments because they need to have control of these communications.
Aitor Rubio, Senior Product Strategy Manager at Cellnex Telecom As explained by Aitor Rubio, Senior Product Strategy Manager at Cellnex Telecom, “Cellnesx’s journey in private mobile networks began years ago fundamentally in emergency services, firefighters, police… Within this environment we have begun to work on private mobile mobile networks for purely business customers. These make sense when they not only provide communication but also when they solve use cases that have a direct impact on the client’s income statement”. The first of these is the BASF company, the largest petrochemical company in the world. Rubio explained that “the largest production plant in Spain is in Tarragona and requires specific control and monitoring of processes, which is why it is very attractive to deploy private mobile networks. Here was a need with a number of use cases. Addressing the first driver, which is security, we deploy critical mission communications so that people can communicate at any time with the maximum guarantee that these communications will work without any failure and also the location of employees, which is a critical point in a plant like BASF’s since it has points where there is some danger”. The second driver is process optimization, since there are many that require monitoring, time, management, etc. In this regard, the Cellnex spokesperson explained that “we have started with a vehicle and truck guidance solution. This, which seems very simple, is not, since we find ourselves with a plant that is very complex and in which the driver does not know the routes within it, we have done it so that they know how to guide themselves. We have also developed another one for remote assistance that allows remote help from an expert to be provided to the technician who has to solve an incident”. The last step in this project will be the integration of services with the aim that the native services that the plant already has are integrated with this connectivity of private mobile networks. In addition to this, Cellenx has several other developments. One of them is an innovation project called 5G Logistics, which is taking place in the British port of Bristol. In this project, a complete deployment of a private 5G network is being carried out, in a very wide area. In this case, Rubio explained that “use cases are being deployed that work in an Edge Computing environment to access all these resources: tracking to locate containers and items that move throughout the port, since one of the problems of ports is to have located the elements that circulate through it; dynamic vehicle traffic management to route traffic within and around the port and finally, drone fleet management for surveillance. In this case, with Brexit, all port areas are customs areas, so they have had to increase surveillance of all goods. They are evaluating using the entire fleet of drones so as not to have to move workers throughout the port environment.”
More use cases
The possibilities offered by Edge Computing are therefore almost infinite. As the Lenovo spokesperson put it, “the edge transforms all industries. We recently made an announcement in which, in the Boqueria market in Barcelona, a personal shopper with virtual reality glasses is there and a person who is at home can see what they are seeing, but also with information on all the products . In other words, it is a case for retailers to establish contact with their customers regardless of where they are. When faced with a disaster, NGOs also take advantage of the Edge and thanks to this technology we can bring the mobile data center to these places. But there is more: it is also used in sporting events, where there are different environments, to be able to make decisions in real time; use of drones in airports so that there are no birds when planes are flying; retailers, smart cities issues… we are really providing services to customers and at a more than reasonable cost”. And it is that according to the spokesman for Nerby Computing “it is difficult to find a business sector in which there are no use cases. I think that the current legacy systems are also being transformed, it is not something new. For example the traditional PLC. A company has to have a computing infrastructure to install the new classic applications. With this, several benefits can be obtained. The first is manageability. We are clouding the network, which increases the number of applications, nodes, etc. and we do it with the same number of people managing greater complexity. Edge provides applications that will allow better approaches to the customer in a retail, provides better traffic control, improves security, etc. We are going to gain efficiency with the edge and we are going to be able to better serve our internal and external customers, something that cannot be done with current technology”. In this sense, security seems to be one of the priorities when carrying out any type of development. And it is that, as Aitor Rubio stated, “the main element to deploy edge solutions is security and as a second derivative is data control. If these use cases can be deployed at the edge, they can be done in a secure and controlled way, offering much richer and more advanced services. All this leads to a clear improvement in business results and is the last benefit that tips the balance towards this type of technology.