Nokia determined to stay on top of edge computing

Edge computing has become lost in the sea of buzzwords. Not over at Nokia however, which has tested applications based on Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC).

Set against the backdrop of the University of Notre Dame, Nokia and the university’s Wireless Institute set out to test wifi with two MEC-based applications; Edge Video Orchestration (EVO) and Augmented Reality (AR), using Nokia’s AirFrame server. The trial also tested the MEC applications with a feature enabling connective to multiple radios, optimizing data flow through wifiand cellular networks.

“Mobile Edge Computing is ideal for enabling low-latency applications tailored to specific enterprise needs such as those of the University of Notre Dame,” said Joe Hammer, Global Alliance Director for Nokia. “MEC enables exciting new marketing opportunities for venues, smart cities and retailers to provide digital advertising, customized services or enhanced user experiences.

“Nokia, with strategic partners such as IBM, can leverage MEC to analyse customers’ preferences and behaviours with cognitive analytics. By deploying applications at the network edge, rich, engaging content is brought closer to consumers, application response times are reduced while reliability is increased – all of these benefits offer a truly excellent user experience.”

The aim of the test was to demonstrate how demand can be split demand over multiple base stations in order to improve speed of access to data services in congested areas. Using Nokia’s Flexi Zone small cell base stations and AirScale WiFi access points, the test found that the technology can significantly improve data throughput in venues such as stadiums where there is a dense concentration of mobile users all trying to access the network and content simultaneously.

It’s a relatively simple idea, but often the best ones are. MEC has the potential to transform certain aspects of the 5G world, due to the removal of any bottle necks on the network, though the area has seemingly lost some of its ‘sexiness’ over time.

The above example might be a relatively frivolous idea in the connected era, though the applications elsewhere could be much more revolutionary. Think about autonomous vehicles which need decision making to be done to a fraction of a second, or robotic surgery. These are areas where hosting intelligence driven decision making capabilities on the edge would be unmeasurably beneficial.

The ideas maybe simple, but the applications could take ‘sexier’ applications forwards leaps and bounds. Lesson number one, never forget about the boring stuff.

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One comment

  1. Avatar Ramsés Rodríguez Ferguson 08/06/2017 @ 4:20 pm

    Good article on MEC. A practical concept should not lose its validity. Here’s to hoping MEC gets its position among the differentiating enablers of next generation MBB evolutions.

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