Mobile Edge Computing is Getting Standardized
Q. Let’s start with the basics, what is Mobile Edge Computing?
A. The concept behind Edge Computing in general, is to bring computational power as close as possible to the user – but not on the user equipment (UE) itself. In Mobile networks, the Radio Access Network (RAN) is the part of the network that is closest to mobile users. Until now, the mobile network “brains” resided inside the core network. In MEC computational power is distributed and brought into the RAN.
Q. What for? What is the purpose of MEC?
A. MEC enables mobile networks to deliver content, applications, internet services etc. directly from the RAN.
Q. What are the benefits of delivering content from the RAN?
A. As you know, latency plays a huge role in determining the response time and the effective bandwidth. By delivering content directly from the RAN, we can drastically reduce the latency and speed delivery, while reducing the network congestion. This means that MEC benefits both user experience and network economics.
Q. Who are the participants in the MEC ISG group?
A. In the first meeting, there were 24 participants. I was very pleased to see strong representation from across the industry – mobile operators, network equipment vendors, technology suppliers and content delivery network (CDN) providers. As MEC evangelists, it is great to see the industry coming together to advance this approach.
Q. What are MEC ISG group’s goals?
A. Our goal is to standardize Mobile Edge Computing across mobile networks with heterogeneous equipment in order to make it faster and easier to integrate 3rd party applications and develop new edge services.
Let me quote from the official press release here: “The future standardized, open environment
[which will be defined by the MEC ISG] will allow efficient and seamless integration of third-party applications across multi-vendor platforms, ensuring that the vast majority of customers of a mobile operator can be served. The ISG MEC will also enable and accelerate the development of edge applications across the industry, increasing the market scale and improving the market economics.”
Q. So what’s next?
A. At the first MEC ISG meeting we established a detailed workplan and meeting schedule. There is a lot of work to do in order to reach our goal of the specifications by mid-2015.