Season 1

S1E23: Edge in the Mobile & Wireless Industry

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S1E23: Edge in the Mobile & Wireless Industry
December 16, 2020

S1E23: Edge in the Mobile & Wireless Industry

This episode features an interview with Iain Gillott, Founder & President of iGR market strategy consultancy.

Iain Gillott

Iain Gillott

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Episode Transcript

Episode Summary:

Today’s episode features an interview between Matt Trifiro and Iain Gillott, Founder and President of iGR market strategy consultancy.

Iain is a leading wireless and mobile industry analyst, and since 2000, has run iGR, a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry.

In this interview, Iain discusses the many challenges and intersections between wireless, mobile, and edge computing, his views on where the telco operators will fit into edge, the role CBRS will play, and much more.

Key Quotes:

"Problem number one is people don't realize how much edge is actually out there. A lot of people think, ‘to do edge computing, I’ve got to wait for 5G. There'll be no edge until there's 5G.’ But some of the very first edge compute was put in with ethernet wired connections…The second problem is that everybody has a different definition of the edge. My definition of the edge is if you take one more step, you fall off a cliff. That’s the easy one."

"The perceived value of edge compute in the mobile network is with the cloud vendor, not with the mobile operator, and I think that's a problem. It doesn't mean they're not needed. The mobile operators are needed, but from a mobile operator perspective, their customer is the cloud vendor. It is not the enterprise or the end-user…In this respect, I hate to say it, but they are being pushed into an edge bit-pipe relationship where they're going to rely on the cloud guys to deliver that business to them."

"When we've seen things take off in technology, they're one of two things: They're either huge volume, mass market, low cost. Or they're very specific, super high requirements, and expensive. It takes a while to build the middle ground."

"The operator will tell you it's the connection that's the value. The application developer says it's the application. The edge compute guy says it’s the servers. But the whole solution is the application, some compute, and connectivity. But the CIO looks at the entire solution. The answer is we need all three."

"I think the problem with edge compute is, it's very difficult to pick winners and losers right now. Some operators are going to be successful with their strategy and others will not even be involved. So picking winners and losers is difficult."

"I think people who've got a very rigid view of ‘the edge is here, and I'm going to do this and sell it to these people,’ that's a problem. You've got to be much more fluid and say, ‘to this customer, the edge is over there, for this customer, the edge is over here, and for this customer, it's actually completely different.’ You’ve got to be really fluid and flexible, probably like we haven't been before as an industry. And I think this is why the operators will have a problem because they're not flexible."


Over the Edge is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Catchpoint, NetFoundry, Ori Industries, Packet, Seagate, Vapor IO, and Zenlayer.

The featured sponsor of this episode of Over the Edge is Ori Industries. Ori Industries is building the world’s largest edge cloud. Their products power the next generation of intelligent applications through unparalleled access to major communication networks worldwide. Ori is laying the foundations for application developers to seamlessly deploy to uncharted edge computing infrastructure across the globe. Learn more at


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