Content delivery network (CDN) provider Limelight said its edge computing business has begun to mature and is now “material.”
Limelight CFO Robert Lento said the company recorded year-to-date revenues in the “mid-to-high single digit millions” at this same time last year via edge computing, a figure he said has doubled this year. Limelight, which reported overall third quarter revenue of $59.2 million, up 15% year-over-year, did not specifically break out its revenues from edge computing.
“We’re starting to get into some material numbers that we’re happy about” in edge computing, Lento said, according to an event transcript. He noted that Limelight recently reorganized its edge computing business into its product and marketing organization under its new Chief Marketing Officer Christine Cross. Lento said the move reflected the fact that edge computing is now “a bigger piece of what we’re doing.”
Lento also offered a glimpse into Limelight’s edge computing business model.
“With edge functions, for example, it’s a per-minute or per-millisecond of CPU [central processing unit] usage, which is different than RTS [realtime streaming] which is per stream, concurrent stream, which is different than our core delivery business, which is largely gigabytes transferred. So, they’re completely different,” he explained, pointing out that Limelights “advanced services” like edge computing generate higher margins than its standard CDN offerings.
Limelight earlier this year announced two new video streaming services leveraging its edge computing architecture: Live Push Ingest (for the speedy creation and distribution of live video) and Low-Latency Live Video Streaming (for the delivery of live content with latencies as low as 2-3 seconds).
Limelight’s edge announcements come several months after Limelight’s CDN rival Akamai said its own edge computing business totals a whopping $2 billion.
The fact that companies like Limelight and Akamai are making money from edge computing could come as welcome news to 5G operators and telecommunications companies of all shapes and sizes. After all, many are hoping to build edge computing operations in order to create a new source of revenues.
Already CenturyLink is touting initial customer wins via its edge computing services that promise under 5 ms of latency. And Verizon too is listing some initial users of its 5G Edge service with Amazon Web Services.
Further, there are growing indications that telecom operators are increasingly dabbling in the sale of low-latency services in general, services that are largely powered by edge computing network designs.
That said, it’s unclear how big the overall edge computing market may be for telecom providers, particularly as companies like Limelight, Akamai, Amazon, Microsoft and others work to sweep up initial revenue opportunities.