The Internet of Everywhere, the always-on, always-connected ecosphere, extends to everything and everyone, transcending any regional, national or international border. As we witness the geography of the global Internet change shape, driven by a rapid increase in data traffic from cloud services, Over-the-Top (OTT) content and bandwidth-intensive applications, significant infrastructure challenges will come to the fore. Not only in Tier I cities, but also in emerging and underserved Tier II and III markets globally.
Add to this the inevitable ubiquity of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and we can safely predict that the Internet’s edge will continue to extend as close as possible to enterprises and end-users in North America and Europe, as well as Latin America and the Asia-Pacific.
LATAM Streaming Viewership Is Over-the-Top
In Latin America, the size of the overall market, and its potential for ongoing growth, continues to attract investment from broadband networks, cloud services and OTT providers. Latest reports from the Internet World Stats have established Internet penetration in Latin America at around 60 percent, a figure that is predicted to grow. Additionally, 77 percent of connected Latin Americans watch OTT content regularly, according to a New Media Essentials report.
OTT video is poised for strong growth in Mexico, Argentina and Brazil in the coming years. And not just in Tier I cities such as Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, but in secondary markets including Guadalajara, Rosario and Porto Alegre. Moreover, the governments of many countries in Latin America are pushing broadband initiatives aimed at closing the digital divide between urban and rural areas, which will also extend the edge of the network.
While inadequate broadband penetration is the largest barrier to the universal adoption of IoT solutions in Latin America, MicroMarketMonitor predicts the IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication market is expected to increase exponentially, from $14.2 billion four years ago to $44.4 billion by 2019. Latin America’s IoT market is driven principally by new innovations in infrastructure technology resulting from consumer demand for automated and self-controlled appliances.
The Edge Meets the Cloud in APAC
In Asia, the surge in Internet-connected users and devices, combined with strong economic growth, means that there will be an increasing need for enterprise businesses and cloud service providers to locate their infrastructure close to the users who will be accessing them for the lowest latency and quality of service possible. That means moving infrastructure, including the connectivity ecosystem, closer to the edge of the network, not just in China and India with its combined population of 2.71 billion, but in emerging cities in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
While APAC businesses initially drove the adoption of public cloud services, attracted to the cost model, speed of implementation, and ease of use, CIOs are now embracing public cloud services to enable digital transformation within their firms. Forrester predicts that the public cloud services market in the Asia-Pacific region will grow from $10 billion in 2015 to $20 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 24 percent. This will require Edge Data Center® infrastructure that is scalable, efficient and optimized for the cloud, providing private, direct connections for customers and colocation space for managed services companies and system integrators that can facilitate enterprise hybrid cloud deployments at these cloud-enabled locations.
While IoT adoption is currently immature across industries and enterprises in the Asia-Pacific, IDC predicts that the market will soon explode, from 3.1 billion connected devices two years ago to 8.6 billion connected devices by 2020.
Connecting the Continent
According to a European Commission study, the market value of the IoT in the EU is expected to exceed one trillion euros in 2020. Western Europe will lead the way in adding IoT connections, and the devices in this market are projected to grow 400 percent over the next three years. This will be driven in large part by the growing demand for intelligent utility meters and connected cars.
Meanwhile, the European expansion of cloud services in 2018 will require lower latency and more bandwidth as demand grows, and as cloud platforms become more locally focused and targeted at specific regional or industry needs.
Once again, localizing content, cloud and IoT applications at the edge of the network will require an ever-expanding network of data centers that are precisely located near end-users across the globe. That means building infrastructure that facilitates the fastest, most reliable and secure access for both consumer and enterprise end-users, as well as a highly diverse and distributed architecture extending the internet beyond its traditional peering hubs.
In 2018, as the Internet of Everywhere continues to evolve, the edge of the internet will extend from its North American origins across the globe to encompass Europe, as well as Latin America and the Asia-Pacific. Only then will we be able to satisfy the veracious desire for more and more data and content in an IoT and cloud-enabled world.
Edited by Ken Briodagh