MEC is ramping up with Phase 3 work on Multi-access Edge Computing

Sophia Antipolis, 15 March 2022

Since the beginning of 2022 the ETSI MEC Industry Specification Group (ETSI ISG MEC) has moved forward with the on-going Phase 3 work, which is foreseen to help accelerate and enable more effective and fruitful collaboration with other organizations.

In the last two months, ETSI MEC has updated many Phase 2 reports and specifications. For its Phase 3 work, the ISG MEC recently released the updated MEC Terminology, ETSI GR MEC 001. A major milestone of the group is the ETSI specification on MEC Framework and Reference Architecture, GS MEC 003, introducing the MEC Federation architecture variant. This concept is a key enabler for supporting the requirements coming from GSMA OPG (Operator Platform Group). It enables inter-MEC system communication and allows 5G operators to collaborate among themselves and with service cloud providers and other stakeholders. This architecture also "federates" their edge computing resources by offering their MEC service capabilities for mutual consumption, and for application developers and end customers (e.g. vertical market segments).

Due to increasing attention from the industry on MEC technologies, the ETSI ISG MEC membership is continuously growing”, notes Dario Sabella, Chair of the ETSI ISG MEC. “We have also noticed an increased engagement of companies, leading to Phase 3 dramatically ramping up with all its activities. The normative work in Multi-access Edge Computing is keeping its usual approach and commitment to deliver open standards in alignment with other Standards Development Organizations, to avoid duplication of work and promote collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including industrial associations and open-source projects”.

MEC Open Area

In addition, the group enhanced its MEC Open Area with drafts of two updated specifications to foster the collaboration with other bodies such as GSMA and 3GPP. These two specifications on Edge Platform Application Enablement (MEC 011) and Federation enablement APIs (MEC 040), are critical for Phase 3 work, especially in the view of MEC Federation. Publicly available, this open area provides visibility to all stakeholders about ISG MEC’s on-going progress on key specifications.

OpenAPI and MEC Sandbox

In sync with the outstanding progress made by the group, I’m pleased that the working group’s testing, WG DECODE, has been able to complement these achievements through the OpenAPI and Sandbox focused initiatives”, comments Walter Featherstone, Chair of MEC WG DECODE. “Such initiatives are considered a key enabler for collaboration with other organizations; future joint hackathons are a good example of this collaboration”.

OpenAPI-compliant descriptions are available for Phase 2 APIs at ETSI Forge and through the MEC Sandbox. The MEC Sandbox offers an interactive environment that enables edge application developers to learn and experiment with MEC service APIs from anywhere in the world. With an emulated edge network set in Monaco, the Sandbox implements key MEC services and capabilities, including support for MEC platforms that are geographically distributed within the MEC Sandbox’s edge network.

Moving forward, ISG MEC will continue to foster its collaborations with other SDOs (e.g., 3GPP, ITU), industry groups (e.g., GSMA, 5GAA) and open-source projects (e.g., LF, Eclipse).

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