Verizon MEC: 5G’s new frontier
As the Director of Partnership Business Development and Co-Innovation, Cauchi’s role involves bringing new ideas to life. In August 2020, Verizon became the first company in the world to launch a Mobile Edge Compute service (MEC) with Amazon Wavelength called .
Cauchi explains what this service entails: “Edge computing is a network architectural model that brings technology resources, including compute and related infrastructure, closer to the end user or to where the data is generated. Rather than housing these critical resources in a big data center that could be hundreds, or even thousands of miles away from where the data will ultimately be delivered, this new architecture puts it closer to the end user, right at the edge of the network.”
“Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) is a type of edge computing that extends the functionality of networks, including 5G networks, with enhanced capabilities. It’s a transformational complement to 5G, as it provides both an IT service environment and cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of the mobile network, in close proximity to mobile subscribers,” Cauchi explains.
“The benefits of MEC for businesses are enormous” Cauchi explains. “You can think of them in three broad buckets: ultralow latency, localized data, and expanded IoT potential”.
- Ultralow latency. MEC reduces the latency that comes with compute/storage residing at faraway data centers. With low-latency, MEC opens doors to a whole new generation of possibilities—from lightweight VR to automated and orchestrated construction vehicles.
- Localized data. With MEC, data can be gathered and acted on right where it’s created—which can result in greater performance, contextually aware applications, and improved security.
- Expanded IoT potential. MEC is ideally suited to facilitate the rapid growth of IoT, and it can even address IoT challenges such as energy use and battery life. These benefits are especially available when MEC is combined with 5G, a network designed to handle massive IoT loads.
“Enterprise businesses want to transform themselves in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, or how they manage their distribution warehouses. We are helping our customers bring these ideas to life, and with the SAP partnership, we can help our customers innovate and leverage their existing SAP applications. Our joint customers realize the intelligent enterprise.”
With SAP Edge Services running on Verizon MEC, together,Verizon and SAP can provide near real-time alerts and actions at the edge. In addition, customers gain a complete end-to-end solution as relevant data is seamlessly integrated into SAP running in the cloud.
Cauchi adds that 5G is only as good as the network it’s built on. “Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network combines end-to-end fiber resources throughout the network, a large deployment of small cells and significant spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter wave bands. We believe you can’t have a great 5G network without a great 4G LTE network.”
M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.