Edzcom is a pioneer in edge connectivity offering solutions for the enterprise sector and is now entering an exciting new era following its acquisition by Cellnex Telecom.
Seven years after Edzcom was founded by CEO Mikko Uusitalo, the European-based company, which designs, builds and operates private 4G and 5G networks for local coverage, looks set to accelerate its expansion.
According to Uusitalo edge connectivity is forecast to be a multi-billion dollar market which Edzcom can now leverage with Cellnex on board and their decision to only work with the best-in-breed technology partners which include Intel, Athonet, Nokia, Streamwide and Signify.
“We have the experience and real references, which is very important for customers in this emerging multi-billion dollar market,” said Uusitalo speaking from his office in Barcelona. “Seamless connectivity is the cornerstone to driving digitalisation and building smart industries of the future.”
Uusitalo pointed out this is the ideal moment to accelerate towards Industry 4.0 as telcoms are again in the ‘S-curve’ which is forcing mobile operators to address change particularly in the areas of safety, improved efficiency and enable new revenue streams.
“We have the competitive edge in this market as we have picked the best partners to be part of our ecosystem and we are now part of Cellnex which is considered a sustainable, viable partner in the global telecoms business and will be here for the long term,” he said.
“We currently employ around 30-40 people at the moment but this is growing very rapidly because we are investing for growth in 13 different countries in Europe - mostly in France, UK, Spain, Netherlands and Northern Europe where we built the business.
“We are building the sales capabilities across the different countries where Cellnex is present as we are now part of this leading telecom infrastructure company in Europe with a market cap of more than €30 billion,” said Uusitalo who pointed out being part of Cellnex allows him to focus on growing the business through flexible and as a service business models.
Solutions from edge connectivity
Since its launch in 2014 Edzcom’s edge connectivity solutions offer high-performance wireless connectivity for enterprise resource planning, automation, robotics and real-time remote monitoring.
Edzcom brings a single point of contact to designing, building and operating a tailored private network, deploying best practices and technologies to become the long-term partner of each enterprise and help them achieve their digitalisation goals.
According to Uusitalo, edge connectivity helps industries from manufacturing to mining, utilities and logistics and energy generation to unlock productivity and growth, by offering continuity and security for business-critical operations. Network performance is monitored by the customer via Edzcom developed dashboard ensuring 100 per cent customer control.
Some of their high profile customers are Konecranes and KymiRing
It was announced in April that Edzcom will deploy a 5G SA private wireless network to support Konecranes’ advanced R&D work. The 5G network will enable Konecranes to research and develop digitalised factory and port solutions that leverage 5G’s high bandwidth and low latency for increased productivity, improved efficiency, and enhanced safety.
For Kymiring motorsports and events venue, private wireless network will enable motorsport audiences around the world to get to enjoy an entirely new kind of spectator experience with KymiRing’s first-class network services. The capacity and speed of the network will enable unprecedented televising techniques for motorsport.
Edzcom focus on building solutions for enterprises which include:
Logistics (ports and airports)
Enabling higher productivity, improved situational awareness and safety while creating new revenue streams.
Connecting an unprecedented volume of machines, IoT sensors and data to drive cost-efficiency and improve quality.
Connecting assets in open-pit and underground mines to enable automation and accelerate productivity.
Utilities and Energy
Providing connectivity to boost situational awareness and predictive maintenance for safer and efficient operations.
Uusitalo points out there are three advantages to an enterprise investing in a private network closer to the site, including:
- Ensuring 24/7 communications and enabling automatisation of hazardous operations
- Securing 24/7/365 continuity of business critical operations and increasing productivity
New revenue streams
- Enabling micro-operator opportunities and enabling new revenue streams through innovative product development
“We help enterprises do things in a smarter way and provide technology solutions to drive innovation. We do that by providing a high-performance next generation wireless connectivity environment for enterprise customers to work smarter which drives growth and revenue streams,” he said.
Commenting on the benefits of a tailored private network compared to Wifi, Uusitalo said: “What we bring on board is the 4G and 5G radio components that ensure high-performance connectivity with very low latency and high uptime which is always available and designed for the customer use cases.”
He gives an example that if connectivity goes down at a mine for more than 20 minutes work has to stop - costing the enterprise millions of dollars per day. “We can avoid this by designing, building and operating the network to provide as much uptime as customer requires.”
Edzcom may be known for its edge connectivity but when it comes to their competitive edge, Uusitalo cites the following factors:
- Provide leading network experience with superior connectivity and communications solutions
- Unbeatable experience from 32 network deployments
- World-class team to deploy your network
“We are the market leader and have the most references in Europe for these kinds of solutions. We now have 32 live networks that we've designed, built and operate,” he said.
Customer solutions over technology
“Our key message is it's not just about the technology but about how we can help the customer solve the challenges they have and how we can help them to make their calls. Not technology first, but business and customers first.
“The world is constantly changing and in order to continue to be viable and sustainable one has to look at the new base of doing things and new technologies. We believe the solutions we offer are valuable to our customers as edge connectivity close to a site is vital for a successful future.”
Best-of-breed technology partners
Uusitalo highlights the importance of their best-of-breed technology partnerships with Intel, Athonet and Nokia to drive forward their growth.
“No-one can do this alone. If you want to be really valued by the customer - who are investing capital in you - then bring the best you can. Our philosophy and strategy is to work with the best companies in the industry where we don’t have the competence to do it ourselves.
“We work with leaders in the market like Athonet that provides critical components in the mobile cellular network which is kind of the brain of the network called core network. This is an Italian company which we believe is the market leader and innovator in this space. They deployed one of the the world’s first private LTE core networks over a decade ago and are a very affordable but reliable partner for the most critical component – the core network.”
Uusitalo also points out the importance of Edzom’s partnership with Intel which he describes as having “tremendous innovation capabilities”.
Focusing on Intel he said they work to ensure the hardware partners use that technology and more importantly are investing in innovation. “For example, in the new use cases it means they just don’t have the connectivity part, but also the computing power on site close to the customer. This brings a lot of insight, innovation and technical competence for us to make sure we design our solutions that are innovative and state-of-the-art.”
Focus on the future
Looking ahead, Uusitalo says the aim for the coming year will be to grow which means acquiring more customers. “It is a challenging environment, but what we have to do is find the customers who need the solutions offered by edge connectivity. We are investing in marketing to become more well known and try to deploy our solutions to customers in areas where there might be a lockdown or restrictions in their country.
“But when we are able to travel and meet customers it's very rewarding to help them with new ideas and innovation that will help them to be more efficient or provide a safer environment in the future,” he said.
Quick fire questions:
What top 3 benefits will 5G bring your clients?
“The implementation of 5G will bring incredible benefits for our clients as it will enable a new set of use cases as you can operate in a different way when you have a connectivity that's always on, that's mobile and is low latency. That should improve your bottom line by saving and being more efficient or by actually constantly innovating. Another bonus is the increased safety of employees.”
What future technology trend are you most excited about?
“I'm very excited about the trend of everything moving towards edge – meaning that edge connectivity and computing are at the customer side - at the edge. In the past years we've mainly focused on cloud, which is of course also a very important trend, but now the trend is moving back to the edge.”
What message would you give an enterprise hesitant about moving to edge connectivity with Edzom?
“My message to prospective customers is to look at our track record and talk to us as we can share use cases from other, or similar, industries which will inspire you to move to edge connectivity. Talk to us and we can figure out the best result. I can guarantee the outcome will be positive, I think our proposition should get any business person excited. We are able to do some very cool things with edge.”
What is edge connectivity?
Edge connectivity is a private network solution, connecting assets, equipment and people in the field that is designed, built and operated at the edge - meaning the local coverage site.
Network design ensures full autonomy and reliability for business-critical operations by ensuring all network components are at the edge:
- Private, geo-redundant network architecture
- Dedicated spectrum
- Interconnection to the existing architecture
- Data stays on site
- Network performance dashboard and control
- Connection for all assets with seamless handover
Cellnex Telecom is Europe’s leading operator of wireless telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures with a portfolio of more than 128,000 sites. The Company operates in Spain, Italy, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Poland.
“Cellnex is a very interesting growth story because they have transformed from a local Spanish company in a Pan-European player in just six years mainly to M&A and long term as a service based business model,” commented CEO of Edzcom Mikko Uusitalo.
“From starting in Spain they are now present in 13 countries and they provide their main business to provide the telecom infrastructure which powers the mobile operators. They have now diversified into the enterprise sector which Edzcom is now part of.”
Cellnex provides the infrastructure for voice and data in broadcasting serving more than 200 million people in Europe.
At a corporate level Cellnex is a member of the EWIA (ewia.org) association. Tobias Martinez (Cellnex CEO) is currently the Chairman of the Association.
The most significant international event we participate in is the Mobile World Congress. There is also the Meetup Europe organised by TowerXchange.
In terms of Private Networks, we participate at several industry events like Private networks in a 5G world by Informa, UPTIME by Athonet and the Critical Communications World by TCCA.