Domestic and Foreign Operators Focus on MEC to Make 5G Era Possible

As one of the key hotspot technologies in the current 5G field, the edge computing (MEC) has demonstrated a strong technical charm to the industry and has led to a new round of development boom. Domestic and foreign operators have laid out their development strategies one after another, quietly forming a boom in the communications industry.

If 5G is to succeed completely without the MEC technology blessing, it can be said that MEC is the key to 5G commercial use. From the center to the edge of the network architecture, so that MEC has low latency, high efficiency and so on. Specifically, edge calculation can be understood as referring to an arithmetic program that is performed using the edge of the data source near the edge.

The active deployment of MEC technology by domestic and foreign operators is developing rapidly. The three major operators have extensively explored the application of MEC technology. China Mobile has already deployed MEC applications as early as 2016. In 2016, Shanghai Mobile cooperated with Shanghai Mobile on the F1 Circuit. The MEC environment created at the site allows viewers to see the event video at a lower time. This is the first time that the concept of China Mobile's edge computing has received attention from the industry.

China Mobile is not only actively deploying applications, but has also carried out extensive pilot projects on the current network, such as diverting to the CDN edge nodes through sinking core network gateways in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and exploring some commercial scenarios.

China Unicom started the cooperation with OTT in the field of MEC. In June 2017, China Unicom realized the commercial deployment of “smart venues” based on the MEC edge cloud at the Mercedes-Benz Cultural Center. At the end of 2017, it united INTEL, OTT. In Tianjin, it has become the world's largest test center for edge data centers, advancing deployment and testing of edge services such as edge vCDN, edge decoding, and edge intelligence.

In terms of MEC pilots, China Unicom is currently in a leading position. In February 2018, it officially announced the start of the planning and construction of the Edge-Cloud pilot sites and thousands of data centers in 15 provinces and cities nationwide.

In terms of standards, at the recent ETSI MEC #13 plenary session, China Unicom's "MEC Platform to Enable OTT Business" international standard project was successfully established and approved by the Audit Committee. This is the first project of ETSI to achieve ICT integration in the field of edge computing, filling the gap in MEC application research.

China Telecom has also conducted extensive cooperation in MEC applications. In 2018, it established a MEC-based vCDN proof-of-concept solution environment with Intel and many partner companies. The test results are satisfactory.

At the international level, foreign operators are also actively advancing the development of edge computing. AT&T announced in February 2018 that the first test area for edge applications has been officially launched and runs AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, California. . In addition, AT&T is creating a new open source project that focuses on the infrastructure of autonomous driving, automatic distributed cloud operators and enterprise networks.

To sum up, with the active construction of the MEC by operators, the future network will bring more possibilities. MEC will bring better experience in AR/VR and high-definition video, automatic driving, and application of smart venues. With the convergence of 5G, Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, edge computing will have more innovations. However, around the edge calculation, how to better integrate the industry is still a problem in the industry. The entire world of the communications world will converge on April 27, 2018 for telecom operators, equipment vendors, application providers, and research institutions. The 3rd MEC Technology Industry Summit was held to discuss the key to the development of edge computing.