Since the inception of American Tower, we’ve grown our portfolio through builds and acquisitions, both domestically and abroad, to more than 220,000 communications assets. Adding to our portfolio provides more location options and helps our customers scale their wireless networks quickly, from the first G through today’s 5G.
At the end of 2021, we acquired an organization and portfolio that was unlike previous transactions. The acquisition of CoreSite Realty Corporation added 24 data centers in eight markets across the U.S.
As 5G matures and critical applications materialize—such as autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, next-generation healthcare and manufacturing, and more—the network must be equipped to handle large data volumes, with ultra-low latency, for localized decision-making.
Positioning data physically closest to where it’s generated and consumed, at the network’s edge, is crucial to realize near real-time content delivery of sub-10 milliseconds and enable innovation. In the example of autonomous vehicles, addressing latency could be a matter of safety.
Among the edge computing benefits are:
With edge infrastructure in place, many data streams and workloads will operate locally. This alleviates pressure on the wireless and wireline networks and mitigates the need for data to route to separate centralized cores, as less data would need to travel on the internet backbone.
While our portfolio of towers provides the ideal foundation for Edge Data Centers, they also require the robust interconnections and cloud access offered by metro and regional data centers, as connectivity aggregation points, to route large volumes of data for longer-term storage and use.
CoreSite brings core capabilities to edge, increasing its viability in the ecosystem.
While low-latency 5G is the driver for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to move toward the edge, enterprise networks are also evolving. From a localized private network to a public-cloud network, many are moving to a hybrid IT environment, reaping the benefits of both models, while future-proofing infrastructure.
Hybrid IT deployed in colocation data centers enables businesses to:
To enable a hybrid IT solution, access to the cloud is half of the equation. CoreSite has direct connections to six of the leading cloud service providers, bypassing the internet with one-to-one, private connections. This provides significant cost-savings, compared to traditional telco and software-defined network offerings, and cuts egress costs when accessing data. By combining collocation and native cloud access, we provide a highly modernized environment, designed for growth.
CoreSite’s strong customer base of enterprises, cloud service providers, and network providers diversifies our company into an additional class of telecommunications real estate, while enhancing our growth trajectory.
One could argue that it’s not truly a 5G network without this distributed model. American Tower is well-positioned to assist. Leveraging the existing ground real estate of our approximately 43,000 U.S. tower sites and the interconnection and cloud solutions available through our acquisition of CoreSite, we provide a comprehensive, end-to-end solution. For MNOs, we simplify 5G deployment as their “one-stop-shop.” For enterprise and network customers, we provide assets from the micro-edge to the core-edge, streamlining network optimization.
By coming together, we have assets that establish a differentiated foundation for 5G and accelerate the convergence of wireline and wireless. Our expansion in the communications infrastructure ecosystem will accelerate advanced applications, and we are excited for our growing role in helping customers usher in a more connected world.
Vice President, Product Line Management
Eric Watko is the Vice President of Product Line Management, overseeing the development and execution of our business strategy for Edge Data Centers to enable next-generation technologies.Read more from this author