Edge computing is gaining unprecedented attention as the industry moves into the 5G era, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the gaming industry in China. The market boasts nearly 665 million players who spend over 278 billion yuan on video games, making it the world’s most lucrative gaming market, according to a recent report from Statista. More than 75 percent of the total gaming market share came from mobile gamers, the report states. Using cloud gaming platforms, users can stream their favorite games rather than downloading them on smartphones or gaming consoles or buying physical copies.
This, of course, means the user experience must be stellar and the technology behind it resilient and reliable. Games can’t successfully be played in real-time if the network is slow or the signal is dropped; this will lead to lagging images or out of sync operation, which will then lead to loss of revenue if users drop off the game due to poor quality. Several technologies must come together for high-quality gaming to be achieved at scale, and China Telecom Americas is well-positioned to deliver Quality of Experience across the entire gaming experience by utilizing them. These technologies include:
- The speed and high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G and its network slicing capabilities— According to a recent report by the GSMA, China is expected to have 822 million 5G subscribers by 2025, up from 202 million subscribers at the end of last year 2020. The report also estimates that 5G connections by 2025 will represent 47% of total mobile connections in China. Based on network slicing, 5G resources can be allocated for specific services to ensure the quality of the cloud game experience is high, especially when users simultaneously play games in the cloud.
- Virtualization at the network edge for load-balancing capabilities—Each edge data center should have multiple application instances running, with traffic to them managed by load balancers that ensure the load is spread out so servers do not become overloaded.
- Core network support for failover via the most robust hardware infrastructure in the core and access networks. China Telecom Americas has the bandwidth and density in its core and access networks to meet the challenges games create on its network
- The growth of edge computing via edge data centers—As services move to the edge, it makes sense that computing must converge on the edge as well. Enter Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), an edge cloud platform that provides a new network architecture together with the operator network, with the data plane function as a key focus. MEC uses the mobile access network to provide IT services and cloud computing functions for users near the edge. This creates a carrier-class service environment with high performance, low latency and high bandwidth, and provides a high Quality of Experience for the end user.
To provide customers with the low latency required by the next generation of gaming and other apps, China Telecom Americas is deploying MEC at the edge of its network globally. This will allow gamers to leverage the network like never before, while leaving plenty of network bandwidth for other applications, both consumer and enterprise.
According to the GSMA, “the move of part of the computing power from the cloud to the edge could to a large extent be seen as an operator-centric technology shift, which builds on previous developments such as the softwarization and virtualization of networks and plays into 5G deployments.” In other words, operators now have the ability to move beyond being an access pipe provider to become an information service enabler, deploying new services like gaming with Quality of Experience. China Telecom Americas is well down this path with its 5G and MEC capabilities, paired with the world-class fixed line network that 5G requires.
For more information on how China Telecom Americas is improving the user experience for gamers in China and other applications, visit our Content Delivery page.
Learn more about how China’s Telecom Americas is participating in a 5G network slicing trial in China as part of its 5G initiatives.