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Dispelling the MEC myth

A blog about MEC? Well, as the chair of ETSI’s MEC ISG for a year now, I wondered what was there about MEC that could be said in a blog format; that would be of real interest to the community; that would have some chance of making me the social media superstar of edge computing?

This took some sleeping, but one fine sunny morning in Shanghai (during our very successful 13th plenary), I hit on an idea. One of the privileges of chairing a standards group is that you get to represent that group in various public events. And so, over the past year, I’ve been doing a good amount of public speaking on edge computing in general and MEC specifically. I’ve also been doing quite a bit of “private speaking” of a similar kind, as part of my day job at HPE.

Thinking back over all that speechifying on that fine sunny morning in Shanghai I realized that much of it is spent addressing the MASSIVE CONFUSION that exists around MEC – and that much of what I say is constant across the various venues and audiences. And so… why not use the tools of social media to get the message out and try and dis-spell some of that confusion.

Now, a word on that confusion. As a telco architect at heart (I know many of you sympathize) I tend to classify things. And the confusion around edge computing in Telco can be generally classified into two categories:

  • The first is the general confusion around the best way to utilize MEC as part of a “5G strategy” (the quotes warrant a blog posting on their own and so I will leave that as a teaser to keep you coming back for more). Alas, there are no easy answers here and answers that do exist are very dependent on each communication service providers’ circumstances. Nonetheless, there is information out there, case studies, examples and common themes and these will be a recurrent topic of this blog.
  • The second category of confusion is what I call “MEC myths.” These include statements like “MEC is a 5G technology, so I don’t need to worry about it until 3GPP fully develops 5G;” or “there are soooo many standards and industry bodies working on MEC, it’s not clear which one to choose.

Such statements are wrong on many levels. Worse still, this kind of thinking tends to inhibit adoption of what can be a fundamentally transformative technology. And that impacts the bottom line of everyone in our ecosystem – from operators who could be making money on applications and services that take advantage of MEC; to vendors who could be making money providing those applications and services; to all of us who are deprived of all that MEC can enable for that much longer.

And so, a second thread in my posts (teaser again) will be dispelling such myths. To keep things interesting, I will be intertwining the two – at least for a while. I am hoping to run out of myths sooner rather than later. I may also blog on anything else “MECish” that appears to be of wide interest. So… if you have a burning question or concern, please e-mail me a topic suggestion. And with that note, I leave you for now, but please be back for some a real substantive post coming soon!

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