A SA post this morning, echoed my pespective that the 5G usage models are evolving and as they do will really influence the infrastructure build out, capabilities, products and services (and the resulting profitable companies). This corresponds to later phase 2 and phase 3 in my 5G narrative. Here is the key quote for me (my bold):
The reality is there will not be a dominant model of edge computing in the early stages of 5G network rollout. Right now, we have separate models for implementing 5G networks, most of which are layered over the top of existing 4G LTE systems. True, stand-alone 5G will not begin to be implemented widely until 2020, and even then they must remain interoperable with 4G networks for the foreseeable future due to the amount of investment and dependencies built upon those existing network models.
Some use cases for 5G edge computing include processing at the radio terminal for applications in which lowest latency and highest accessibility to the user are desired. Other models include mini, cloud-enabled data centers being implemented at wireless distribution points throughout the network. And others have 5G as a relatively dumb pipe connecting various regional virtual cloud data hubs in a mesh network that is virtualized up and down the service stack.
Each use case has different pros and cons in which the final look and feel of 5G network computing won’t be determined until the money flows from users is mapped out. It will be years before the structure of edge networks are determined and fully codified into new standards, protocols, and economic models.