What are edge data centers and why are they essential to 5G?






Edge data centers, as the name suggests, are located at the edge of the network. They are relatively smaller facilities that are close to the population they serve. And their job is to deliver cached content and cloud computing resources to end users. This enables edge computing, where data and services are processed as close to the end user as possible.

This also enables a company, say a telecom service provider, to improve the customer experience. Typically, edge data centers are connected to larger central data centers or even multiple data centers. But you may ask: That’s all wonderful, but why is this important to me? And, what’s new about this? The answer lies in the role that edge computing and edge data centers will play when it comes to 5G. Let’s go back to the concept of edge computing. Edge computing is a distributed IT architecture in which data is processed as close to the original source as possible. With processing close to the end users, services are delivered faster and with minimal latency. ‘Fast services’ and ‘minimal latency’ – Where else are these terms used prominently? 5G of course. When it comes to 5G, a decentralized cell network made up of edge data centers will provide low latency in high device density use cases. And it’s this low latency, aside from higher data rates, that will be the game changer. Latency is a measure of the time between sending a piece of information and its response. Still too complicated? Let’s understand this concept with an example. Latency is the time difference between the moment you command a remote-controlled vehicle to stop and the moment it actually begins to brake. By narrowing that latency gap from hundredths of a second to a few milliseconds, driverless cars can respond more quickly, making them smarter and safer. And it is edge computing that will enable 5G to deliver on its latency and bandwidth promises. Since data packets do not have to travel far to a centralized point, applications such as cloud gaming, IoT and augmented reality, all of which have low latency and high bandwidth requirements, should be able to deliver an experience that is compliant with 5G standards. customer. Simply put, if you want to experience the full potential of 5G, make sure there are plenty of edge data centers around.

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