As technologies continue to shift, shape and influence existing industrial trends, leading to consistent upgradations, Mobile Edge Computing has eventually evolved (maybe evolved instead?) into Multi-Access Edge Computing. This change was necessitated, owing to the benefits of edge technology, that extended increasingly beyond wireless and fixed access technologies.
What is Multi-Access Edge Computing?
Based on the principle that processing capacity gathered at the network edge, will provide systematic and significant benefits in terms of reliability, security and responsiveness, Mobile Edge Computing progressed into an advanced, secure, low latency and capacitated network architecture called as Multi-Access Edge Computing.
MEC supports processing and storage capacities at the network edge, rather than at the cloud location or within the core data centre. Even though MEC is in its early stages of deployment, potential investors are highly impressed with its pilot results and are fascinated by its value chain benefits. Why? The technology enables flexible and rapid deployment of new applications, offers significantly lower latency , and powers better performance for local applications and data.
What is the strategic relevance of MEC?
Multi-Access Edge Computing is a natural expansion in the evolution of mobile base stations and conducive convergence of telecommunications network and IT. The ability of MEC to allow software applications to tap into local content and real-time information, concerning local-access network conditions, makes it an enabler of new vertical business services and segments.
Mobile operators are embracing edge computing as it aligns well with their growth plans for the future. With MEC, they can work with infrastructure that provides more and more unique value services to users – whether it’s the B2C segment or the B2B segment. MEC will serve as the ultra network infrastructure of the future as it enables to:
Reduce latency: Currently the latency in live streaming is 100s of milliseconds. With MEC, however, it can be reduced to a single digit, end to end – much below radio latency itself. So any request from users relating to video, data or location can be processed in less than 10 milliseconds from the edge.
Enhance Quality: End users can expect higher quality services, particularly with respect to video streaming and IoT technology such as connected cars, enabled through the use of network slicing.
Optimize network data: Slicing 5G networks would also optimize network performance with the ability to create on-demand virtual networks.The MEC server platform will be able to deliver real-time analytics and machine intelligence, resulting in decreased cost to the enterprise or service provider.
Strategic use cases of MEC
IoT or Internet-of-Things , Video Streaming and Analytics, Location Based Services, Optimized Local Content Distribution, Data Caching, Augmented and Virtual reality, Smart Cities, Connected and Autonomous cars, Smart Stadiums, Retail, Health, Manufacturing
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are already drawing out benefits from lightning-fast response times and low latency communications, whereas Internet of things or IoT is advancing into high bandwidth and evolving into wide industry integration—thanks to the ease of low latency.
In large scale situations, where localized venue services are critical, content is delivered precisely to onsite consumers from an edge server that is located at the venue. This content is locally processed, stored and delivered without the need for a backhaul or a centralized core network. These benefits of Multi-Access Edge computing have motivated enterprises to use small cell networks, mandatory for transmitting data at significantly sizeable locations like campuses, offices or even stadiums.
The Future of Edge Computing- where do we go from here?
So, what are the critical challenges of Multi-Access Edge Commuting that is creating friction in its steadfast adoption?
Despite being an emerging technology, MEC is evolving through discrete phases of implementation and still require standardization that specifically originates from industry collaborations. Also, MEC is struggling through the inefficient deployment, and the only responsible factor for this drawback is the consistent difficulty faced during the optimization of the spectrum usage. Dependency on complex system components is also pulling out companies’ interests in extensive deployment of MEC. In short, a lack of clarity in MEC standards and a range of architectural options are further complicating the Multi-Access Edge Commuting adoption.
MEC requires processing and storage resources at the network edge, which is not availble in mobile network today. This is why MEC is so integrated with 5G as the EnodeBs will be virtualized.
Final Verdict: Irrespective of the minute challenges, service providers are the early adopters of multi-access computing for their high-density locations, like stadiums. Companies with business-critical IoT applications continue to become good candidates for MEC deployments and ARVR companies are actively pursuing the core competencies of MEC.