Multi-Access Edge Computing will Transform Network Economics

Mavenir view cityscape
25 September 2017
Authored by: John Baker

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 constantly 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 in close proximity 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 efficiently manage billions of users with minimal resources, then you have a recipe for huge 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 personal assistant will go even further: it will step out of the home with you and into your car to literally 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 Cloud RAN platforms, for example, not only virtualize the Core network functions (NFV) in the cloud, but also move key 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 greater speeds.

With technology like this, living on the edge is exciting.

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John Baker
John Baker
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John Baker

John Baker is the Senior Vice President of 5G Business Development at Mavenir. A veteran of the mobile industry, board member for 5G Americas, and sought-after industry speaker, John Baker leads the 5G team at Mavenir, intent on disrupting the market by transforming operator network economics.

A visionary and driving force behind Mavenir’s business strategy, John is at the forefront of the company’s drive to change operator views on wireless infrastructure deployment—promoting a software-focused approach to innovation, with no ties to supporting legacy hardware.

Prior to joining Mavenir, John held senior positions with leading wireless companies, including: 

  • GM Mobility Infrastructure atSpirent Communications 
  • VP& GM Network Solutions atCommScope 
  • VP & GM Base Stations at Nokia
  • VP of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Pacific Bell Mobile Services 

John also contributed significantly in the development of the GSM standards. He graduated with an Honors Degree in Electrical Electronic Engineering from Loughborough University in Leicestershire, UK. John is frequently quoted in major wireless industry publications including Wireless Week, Fierce Wireless, Light Reading, SDX Central, RCR Wireless and Mobile World Live.