First, computing migrated to the cloud. Now, the edge is bringing the cloud closer to the user.
Virtual and augmented reality, self-driving cars, and smart factories depend on high-speed connections. Lumen Technologies, the nation’s third-largest communications service provider, or CSP, is focused on leveraging its global fiber network to build a platform to support these advanced technologies.
Lumen has something that many competitors lack: approximately 450,000 route fiber miles that span the globe.
Lumen is leaning on that massive network to support a full-fledged platform that satisfies enterprise customers’ demand for high-speed, low-latency computing to drive next-generation technology services.
Lumen’s platform strategy doesn’t need to provide all these services itself. Instead, it can rely on a portfolio of industry partners. “It’s the platform or ecosystem play that’s the most important,” says Shawn Draper, Lumen’s vice president of enterprise platform engineering.
To serve large enterprise clients, Lumen combines its extensive fiber network with multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities that move applications closer to users and digital interactions, making network connections faster and more efficient. The company says that by the end of the year, it should have edge computing nodes close enough for more than 98% of U.S. enterprises to achieve connection speeds that deliver five milliseconds (or fewer) of latency—a benchmark necessary for emerging applications that demand near-instant response times.