By Park Jun-young WIRED Korea
An international agency has adopted a proposal by SK Telecom to standardize multi-access edge computing (MEC) -- a network architectural concept that brings computation and storage to the edge of a mobile network, improving response times and save bandwidth.
SK Telecom says an international telecommunication standardization agency, the ITU-T, decided on March 16 to develop standards on technologies for MEC system-linking platforms. The ITU-T is short for the International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication Standardization Sector.
One of the three Korean mobile network carriers that commercialized 5G service first in the world, SK Telecom is planning to play a leading role in developing MEC technology standards in SG11 Q7.
SG11 Q7, an ITU-T group that is set to work on 5G MEC standards for artificial intelligence, big data, mobility and other services, aims to complete standardization by 2022.
Here, SK Telecom should have a first mover advantage as the world’s first mobile network carrier to launch a 5G commercial service, together with KT and LG Uplus. SK Telecom claims to be the single mobile network carrier in the world that holds 5G-based source technologies for both edge computing and clouds.
Lee Jong-min, a senior vice president who heads SK Telecom’s technology innovation group, is named the rapporteur of SG11 Q7, who the mobile network carrier says will manage all issues concerning standardization.
The ITU-T, he says, has laid the foundation on which to build a technological environment in which “all customers will receive 5G MEC-based services with ultra-low latency anywhere in the world.”
SK Telecom, he says, is committed to developing standards on MEC for a business environment.
As SK Telecom remarks, MEC is one of the 5G core technologies that is needed for building shortcuts for massive wireless data transmission and ultra-low latency that is required for cloud games, smart factories, autonomous driving and the control of self-driving vehicles.
The increase of the Internet of Things devices at the edge of a mobile network demands the computation of a massive amount of data at its data center, pushing the network’s bandwidth to the limit. But the data center cannot ensure the provision of ultra-high speed and ultra-low latency as is required for an unhindered service for IoT devices.
Here comes MEC, which moves computation away from the data center to the edge of the network, with the technology brought to the network’s base stations. By using MEC, the network is able to provide new 5G-enabled services to specific customers.
For this reason, SK Telecom earlier proposed to set standards what it called federated multi-access edge computing, which it says will help improve the versatility of 5G MEC technology and service in the new technology environment.
SK Telecom would be provided with long-term benefits if any of the technologies it holds in its possession is taken for MEC standards.
On March 1, prior to the adoption of SK Telecom’s standardization proposal by the ITU-T, the Korean carrier organized a telecom edge-cloud task force with nine global mobile network carriers, including Deutsche Telekom and NTT Docomo -- a group to work on the technology of linking different MEC systems.
As explained by Wikipedia, standardization is a process of developing and enforcing technical standards on the consensus of different parties, and, in the case of MEC standardization, members of the International Telecommunication Union.
When the standards are developed by 2022, as scheduled, SK Telecom says each 5G network carriers will be set to build a separate channel on its network to link its MEC system with other MEC systems to provide a seamless 5G MEC service. It said the service would be of the same quality irrespective of service providers and regions where they are located.
Park Jun-young’s Korean-language article is found at <SK텔레콤, 전 세계 5G MEC 잇는 글로벌 표준 수립 나선다>.
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