Metro Connect 2021 Recap

Aureon joined communication and infrastructure leaders from around the country for a deeper dive into industry trends and projections.

Articles published February 26, 2021


Members of Aureon’s Executive Leadership Team joined several C-level executives across the county for this year’s virtual Metro Connect USA Conference. This event brings together industry leaders each year to discuss trends and projections regarding the communications and infrastructure sector.

This year, attendees heard from Colby Synesael, Senior Equity Research Analyst with Cowen and Company. Synesael outlined stock performance and secular trends of the past five years relating to towers, fiber, data centers, and small cells. Research shows the communications infrastructure sector index (towers, fiber, and data centers) is up 138% over the last five years. More significantly, returns remained positive throughout 2020 despite the global Coronavirus pandemic, illustrating the durability of the industry.

Conversations continue to ensue around the future needs of data centers relating to increased cloud usability and access. According to Synesael, data centers, towers, and fiber were the best performing REIT subsectors in 2020.

Some of the most notable trends include 5G, which provides higher speeds but more importantly, lower latency; The Edge, which provides increase internet use for machine use like autonomous vehicles talking to each other, fleets of drones delivering packages, or robots working on factory floors; and Globalization of the Cloud, which will drive the globalization of data centers and increase cloud on-ramps outside of the U.S.

Take a look at the full list of top 10 trends in the IT infrastructure industry for 2021:

  1. 5G will drive a new network topology
  2. The edge is starting to take shape
  3. Globalization of cloud is driving globalization of data centers
  4. The clouds are creating their own colo ecosystems
  5. HSPs seem to be embracing leasing will also continuing self-builds
  6. Enterprise migration out of on-premises data centers continues
  7. COVID-19 is accelerating the digital adoption curve
  8. Interconnect and on-demand business models and services are evolving
  9. Increased interest in FTTH/U.S broadband
  10. The convergence of infrastructure solutions

“This year’s Metro Connect conference provided industry insights that will help Aureon leverage technologies and solutions in the future,” said Aureon Chief Experience Officer Christy Smith. “It also illustrates how diverse technologies have become – delivering critical yet segmented solutions to multiple sectors and industries.”

In sum, the future of communications infrastructure includes a blend of towers, fiber, data centers and small cells. This creates opportunities for providers to offer Customers holistic solutions that allow deeper relationships and potential for cost synergies.