opinion


Multi-Access Edge Computing will transform network economics

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Telecoms.com periodically invites expert third parties to share their views on the industry’s most pressing issues. In this piece Bejoy Pankajakshan, SVP, Technology and Strategy at Mavenir, take a look at what Multi-access Edge Computing will bring to the table.

Rapid advances in mobile computing power are pushing machine intelligence to the very edge of the network. Known as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), this development is a critical success factor in the rise of the new 5G mobile networks that will deliver unheard of data speeds to an exponentially larger user base, and all at a fraction of the cost-per-bit expense.

The primary advantage of moving processing out to devices at the edge of the networks is that it delivers the ultra-low latency needed to communicate efficiently; essentially eliminating the need to constantly query centralized intelligence engines every time a device requests information. Instead, the device can perform the computation itself, extending applications and services to the very edge of the network, and in close proximity of the user.

When you combine that kind of decentralized computing power with the web-scale platforms that allow companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google to efficiently manage billions of users with minimal resources, then you have a recipe for huge commercial success. A good thing too, because by some estimates, as many as one trillion devices will be connected to the internet by 2030.

To deliver connectivity to anything near that kind of user pool, CSPs will need to adopt a radically new operational approach towards service roll-out, maintenance, and support functions. Fortunately, with the promise of MEC and 5G, this approach will address both human and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.

In this bright, new, hyper-connected world, applications such as enhanced personal assistants (e.g., Siri, Google Assistant) that perform truly complex “smart-home” tasks are moving into the mainstream. And this is where the exciting machine-to-machine part comes in. With MEC, your personal assistant will go even further – it will step out of the home with you and into your car and literally drive you to work in the morning, communicating with city sensors and other smart-devices along the way.

Anticipating the applications that MEC enables, pioneering companies have already built an end-to-end portfolio of software-based, open hardware, web-scale solutions that make the 5G vision a brilliant new reality. For example, enabling MEC with software solutions in the cloud, such as Cloud RAN and vEPC, enables the creation of a virtualized, cloud-centric mobile network. Now operators can leverage back-end infrastructure while placing intelligence and local storage out at the edge of the network.  With technology like this, living on the edge is exciting.

 

Meet Mavenir and learn more about MEC and progress towards 5G at 5G & LTE Latin America 2018, the largest event in the region to focus on advancing and commercialising 4G and 5G networks.

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