Radian Arc, the Tiny Edge Infrastructure Provider Driving 5G Monetization

Summary Bullets:

M. Rogers

• Radian Arc, a Perth-based edge infrastructure provider is helping telco monetize 5G with cloud gaming, but is turning its sights on enterprise applications.

• Radian Arc’s built for purpose edge infrastructure and partner marketplace could offer a template for a CAPEX free way for telcos to monetize 5G.

Radian Arc, founded only in 2020, is making a name for itself in the emerging cloud gaming industry. Cloud gaming works largely the same way as video streaming services, with content and processing stored and run on remote servers with the visual outputs of the game being streamed to an end user device. Radian Arc, however, is not a gaming company, instead positioning as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, specifically focusing on providing graphical processing unit (GPU) and storage solutions. However, unlike IaaS providers in the public cloud space like AWS or Azure, or traditional private cloud IaaS, Radian Arc is focused exclusively on delivering their infrastructure at the edge of telecom operator networks.

In the cloud gaming space Radian Arc operates a B2B2C model where the company partners with cloud gaming platforms to sell gaming services to end customers through the telcos. To telcos Radian Arc provides GPU edge infrastructure, limited storage, and connectivity into partner gaming clouds on an operating expenses (OPEX) basis with the main thrust being 5G or fiber network monetization. The telcos then can sell cloud gaming as an additional service to their end customers, on a revenue share basis with the gaming provider. Hosting the GPU close to end users provides better performance compared to leveraging a regional public cloud, and Radian Arc has a partnership with chipmaker AMD to use its gaming optimized chips in its platforms. So far Radian Arc has nearly a dozen operator customers across Australia, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and South America. For example, In Malaysia, Celcom leverages Radian Arc’s infrastructure to deliver cloud gaming from Blacknut for its end customers.

However, Radian Arc sees cloud gaming as only the tip of the iceberg. The company has ambitions to leverage its GPU edge as a B2B2X platform, drawing in a wider range of partners and developers outside the gaming industry, to develop a wider catalogue of applications for 5G monetization for its telco customers. Last December, Radian Arc announced a partnership with cloud PC vendor LoudPlay, to offer the latter’s services to Radian Arc’s telco customers. While LoudPlay’s main offer is a cloud gaming service, the two companies plan to develop B2B2B services leveraging Radian Arc’s GPUs focusing on graphics heavy enterprise applications like AutoCad and Adobe Premier. The pair see an opportunity to support the growing work from anywhere or hybrid work movement following the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond graphics heavy enterprise applications, Radian Arc has claimed it wants to support more enterprise applications in the future such as AI as a service and AR/VR for enterprise or smart cities.

While leveraging the telco edge to support enterprise applications is not a new idea, Radian Arc is developing a specialized approach, GPU, and delivering a viable application, graphically intense to end users. Telcos so far have largely focused on developing generalist edge strategies with hyperscale partners, but have struggled to develop killer apps for these platforms. The market should expect more players like Radian Arc to enter with a combination of edge infrastructure with built in paths to direct monetization. The service is beneficial particularly for smaller operators who may not have the capital to invest in developing their own platforms. The future of 5G monetization could follow the same OPEX and revenue share model that Radian Arc and partners are pioneering.

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