Draft BEREC Report on Cloud and Edge Computing Services

Document number: BoR (24) 52

Document date: 07-03-2024

Date of registration: 12-03-2024

Document type:
Author: BEREC

Cloud computing underpins most of the developments taking place in the digital sector. Its importance is meant to growth even more in the coming years. Electronic Communication Network and Services (ECN/S) are part of the broad range of services that are evolving thanks to cloudification.   This report aims at shedding further light in the impact of these developments with a particular focus on the electronic communication sector, including a reflection on their regulatory implications.

With regard to the provision of ECN/S, cloud-based networks not only require new investments to enable new and enhanced services, as in previous network updates, but it also entails a great sectoral transformation and major changes in the value chain. New roles, many times undertaken by new players, are introduced for the provision of ECN/S and new complex competition and cooperation dynamics are taking placed among these providers. Furthermore, ECN/S, Information Technology (IT) and cloud/edge computing services, sometimes including other elements such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, are increasingly being provided to the end users by means of fully integrated customized solutions. Overall, all these developments, both regarding the network architecture and the provision of the services to the users, imply that the boundaries between these services blur leading to ECN/S and cloud/edge computing convergence. Those changes are to be closely followed by regulators.

The report describes the:

  • The general functioning of cloud services markets and interoperability and switching remedies.
  • how cloud and electronic communications interplay from four different angles First, the connectivity required for the provision of cloud and edge computing. Second, the migration of ECN to the cloud considering different elements and functions of the network (core, RAN edge, backhaul and transport as well as network operation and orchestration). Third, the provision of new and enhanced ECN/S by means of cloud-based network services (i.e., Network-as-a-Service). Fourth, supplying of bundled and integrated ECN/S and IT services with cloud.