Edge Computing prepares for a Multi-access future

Guy Daniels
By Guy Daniels

Sep 29, 2016

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Exclusive Video Feature from MEC Congress

The ETSI MEC industry standards group has announced that "mobile edge computing" will be known as "multi-access edge computing" from 2017, to better reflect the growing interest in MEC from non-cellular operators. And far from being a 5G technology, MEC is ready for deployment now. At the MEC Congress event in Munich, TelecomTV spoke to the chair of the MEC ISG and took a closer look at some of the demos and proofs of concept on show.

Earlier this month, the MEC industry standards group received an updated mandate from ETSI, extending work for a further two years. This was done, in part, to the need to make MEC available across all access networks, from today’s LTE to tomorrow’s 5G, as well as wireline and wireless LANs. And speaking of cellular, at some point the 3GPP will no doubt be looking to subsume MEC into its ongoing cellular standardisation work – so what can the MEC group do now to prepare for the inevitable, and how can it help 3GPP and not duplicate work activities?

Meanwhile, vendors from the telecoms and enterprise sectors are developing edge computing solutions today. The enterprise remains a lucrative market for telcos, but they don’t want to repeat the approach originally made with small cells – i.e. buy small cells from us and help us alleviate network congestion. Enterprise IT buyers are savvy customers and they will only play ball if they get true benefits. This then leads into a discussion about where the “edge” actually is, and how far it extends into the core network.

As befitting an emerging technology, there are more questions than answers at this point. It is highly likely though that MEC – whether “mobile” or “multi-access” – will play an important role in the expansion of telco services into the enterprise. The MEC ISG now has an additional two years to resolve these issues and position MEC as a credible, global, standardised technology.


  • Nurit Sprecher, Chair, ETSI MEC ISG
  • Jørgen Friis, Chief Service Officer, ETSI
  • Riki Dolby, Chief Technical Officer, Quortus
  • John Reister, VP Marketing & Product Management, Vasona Networks

Filmed at: MEC Congress, Munich, Germany, September 2016

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