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.
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, it eliminates, the need to continually 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 nearby of the user. When you combine that kind of de-centralized computing power with the web-scale platforms that allow companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google to manage billions of users with minimal resources efficiently, then you have a recipe for substantial 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 have to adopt a radically new operational approach towards service roll-out, maintenance, and support functions. Fortunately, that is the promise of MEC and 5G because it will not be made just for human connections, but also for machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.
In this bright, new hyper-connected world, applications such as enhanced personal assistants (e.g., Siri, Google Assistant) that can 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 assistant will go even further: it will step out of the home with you and into your car to drive you to work in the morning, communicating with city sensors and other smart-devices along the way.
Anticipating this, pioneering companies like Mavenir 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.
Our CloudRange and vRAN platforms, for example, not only virtualize the Core network functions (NFV) in the cloud but also move critical components of the RAN itself into the cloud. Enabling MEC plus optimizing software in the cloud with Cloud RAN and vEPC. Creating a virtualized, cloud-centric mobile network, as we have, allows our customers to leverage back-end infrastructure while placing intelligence and local storage out at the edge of the network for much faster speeds.
With technology like this, living on the edge is exciting.