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ZTE gives MEC some TLC

Global network background

ZTE has announced it will be implementing mobile edge computing (MEC) pilots technical verification with China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom.

At a time where each of the vendors are betting on what will be the next big thing to rock the telco and tech world, ZTE has landed a very useful contract with some of the most complex networks in the world. With Nokia backing software, Huawei on the cloud and Ericsson on IoT, ZTE is seemingly looking to carve its own USP with the perfection of MEC. The ambition is to have the technology commercially ready by 2018.

With China Telecom it has been working on a campus network to implement local traffic offloading, as well as smart parking projects in the city based on MEC and NB-IoT. For China Mobile it conducted a precise indoor positioning project. And finally, at MWC Shanghai 2016, ZTE demonstrated a 5G MEC-based VR service together with China Unicom.

It’s a clever approach to create a differentiated marketing message in an increasing competitive space. Needless to say, although each of the vendors will be creating a speciality, they will also be moving forward in other areas, though betting big on the right technology could see a strong stride upwards in terms of market share and revenues.

MEC is another one of those buzzwords which threatens to be massive, but has yet to deliver on a grand scale. The theory is very attractive to operators who are increasingly becoming reliant on faster speeds of delivery and reducing congestion on infrastructure, but to date progress has been slow.

Use cases which have been billed by the company include service localisation, local caching, Internet of Vehicles (IoV) and Internet of Things (IoT); it’s a brave new world, where MEC could be a very useful area to be king. If ZTE is referred to by some as a poor man’s Huawei, nailing its own position in MEC would certainly be one way of stepping out of the Huawei shadow.

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