Did you catch PTC 2019? DataBank did, and we’d love to share what we learned.
First thing’s first: if you’re not familiar, PTC is the leading telecommunications event of the Pacific Rim, directed by the Pacific Telecommunications Council. Held over three days in Hawaii, the event has grown from a focus on Asia-US telecom to encompass the global internet infrastructure ecosystem including submarine cables, fiber, towers, data centers and their principal consumers, the hyperscale cloud and content providers. This year, the theme of the event was “From Pipes to Platforms,” with emphasis on the expansion of infrastructure globally and the inception of 5G.
A few of the topics covered:
Three Key Takeaways from PTC
1. Data center operators are incorporating network strategies into their platform. They’re leveraging dark fiber within markets, and long haul wave or lit services between markets.
Slowly but surely, data center providers are building out their own networks between data centers in order to better enable hybrid environments and increase interconnection capabilities. They are also leveraging third party access networks like Megaport and PacketFabric to reach public cloud and “off-net” data center locations. With increasing frequency, data center customers will have access to all networks and services from one data center facility.
Here’s what you should know: data centers aren’t an island, they are becoming an archipelago. They’re interconnected, and as you consider disaster recovery options, connectivity to public cloud and secondary locations, there are options that are more easily consumable than others.
2. “The Continental Edge” is emerging as the furthest most point for traffic between Europe, South America, U.S. and Asia and enabling global communications for businesses throughout the world.
In the past, submarine cables were cross connected to terrestrial fiber at distant inland data centers. Now, data centers are being built at cable landing stations and allowing end users to place content and infrastructure at the edge of the continent. This “The Continental Edge” allows users to place critical infrastructure serving another continent on a familiar location but with the lowest latency. For example, if you use the cloud, and you have content going to South America, this gives you the ability to put that content at the head end of these submarine cables that put it much closer to the next continent. US and Europe are well established but US to Asia, Europe to Asia, South America to US and even South America to Africa are now happening.
3. There is still work to be done when it comes to 5G, but as it unfolds globally, it’s sure to bring unparalleled opportunities and capabilities that will drive demand for internet infrastructure.
Think about the tremendous market impacts of 4G to digital infrastructure: it enabled a wide range of digital economy platforms, like Uber, Lyft, WhatsApp and AirBnB, which drove the need for more fiber, towers, small cells and data centers. As 5G continues development, a new wave of use cases and applications will emerge to consume more compute, storage and delivery. Early in the hype cycle of any technology innovation, it can be hard to parse out the vapor from the reality. And there is a lot of vapor. But 5G will undoubtedly impact emerging use cases like IoT, deep learning and the industrial web and drive the need for significantly more internet infrastructure along every link of the chain.
“5G is coming but we don’t think that 2019 is when it’s really going to hit critical mass. That will more likely be in 2020, or even 2021. Certainly, there’s a lot of focus on it, a lot of investment, and it’s going to be a positive development for the sector.”
-Raul K. Martynek
PTC’19: DataBank CEO on Organic Growth and What’s Ahead for 2019
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