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Introduction

Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) offers application developers and content providers cloud-computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the network. This environment is characterized by ultra-low latency and high bandwidth as well as real-time access to radio network information that can be leveraged by applications.

MEC provides a new ecosystem and value chain. Operators can open their Radio Access Network (RAN) edge to authorized third-parties, allowing them to flexibly and rapidly deploy innovative applications and services towards mobile subscribers, enterprises and vertical segments. Also, many edge deployment options are possible, from on-premise edge to network edge. Furthermore, service providers can also collaborate among them and with cloud providers in a federated way.

Strategic relevance of MEC

MEC is a natural development in the evolution of mobile base stations and the convergence of IT and telecommunications networking. Multi-access Edge Computing will enable new vertical business segments and services for consumers and enterprise customers. Use cases include:

  • V2X
  • Drones
  • Gaming
  • video analytics
  • location services
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT)
  • augmented reality
  • optimized local content distribution and
  • data caching

MEC uniquely allows software applications to tap into local content and real-time information about local-access network conditions. By deploying various services and caching content at the network edge, core networks are alleviated of further congestion and can efficiently serve local purposes. It is worth noting that MEC (as per the acronym, i.e. Multi-access Edge Computing) is not only focused on mobile networks, but also fixed and WLAN accesses, for example.

MEC industry standards and deployment of MEC platforms will act as enablers for new revenue streams to operators, vendors and third-parties. Differentiation will be enabled through the unique applications deployed in the Edge Cloud.

MEC completed its ‘Phase 3’ mid-April 2024 and currently focuses on its ‘Phase 4’ activities that consider a complex heterogeneous cloud ecosystem. This work embraces MEC security enhancements, consolidating the development of MEC Federation, addressing multi-domain and multi-tenancy slicing and MEC support for application slicing, also addressing the recommendations coming from the study on Abstracted Radio Network Information for Industries, expanded traditional cloud and NFV Life Cycle Management (LCM) approaches, and mobile or intermittently connected components and consumer-owned cloud resources. The MEC Phase 4 work will be critical also to support edge native applications leveraging the evolutions of communication systems toward 6G.

Our Role & Activities

The Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) initiative is an Industry Specification Group (ISG) within ETSI. The purpose of the ISG is to create a standardized, open environment which will allow the efficient and seamless integration of applications from vendors, service providers, and third-parties across multi-vendor Multi-access Edge Computing platforms.

The initiative aims to benefit a number of entities within the value chain, including mobile operators, application developers, Over the Top (OTT) players, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), telecom equipment vendors, IT platform vendors, system integrators, and technology providers; all of these parties are interested in delivering services based on Multi-access Edge Computing concepts.

The work of the MEC initiative aims to unite the telco and IT-cloud worlds, providing IT and cloud-computing capabilities within the RAN (Radio Access Network). The MEC ISG specifies the elements that are required to enable applications to be hosted in a multi-vendor multi-access edge computing environment.

MEC also enables applications and services to be hosted ‘on top’ of the mobile network elements, i.e. above the network layer. These applications and services can benefit from being in close proximity to the customer and from receiving local radio-network contextual information.

The work of the ISG includes development of normative specifications, as well as informative reports and white papers.

The DECODE Working Group is further focused on easing the implementation path for vendors, operators and application developers by providing SW implementation of APIs; developing a testing and compliance framework and a sandbox environment to be used in application development. All these are being made available through ETSI FORGE and in the case of the MEC sandbox, a dedicated portal.

The group also actively works to help enable and promote the MEC ecosystem by hosting Proof-of-Concept (PoC) and MEC Deployment Trial (MDT) environments as well as supporting and running Hackathons.

Call for active participation

The various players in the value chain are invited to actively participate in the ISG and to contribute to the development of the specifications based on industry consensus. This is important, since it will ensure that the stakeholders are represented in this newly emerging ecosystem. The participants are encouraged to share best practices and demonstrate Proofs of Concepts (PoCs) and contribute to the various tasks of WG DECODE.

Upcoming meetings

MEC have weekly Tech calls each Wednesday, 1 - 3 pm UTC

  • MEC#38, 11-14 June 2024, in London (UK) and online
  • MEC#39, 9-13 September 2024, in Dalian (China) and online
  • MEC#40, 9-13 December 2024, in Athens (GR) and online

MEC DECODE have bi-weekly Tech calls each Thursday, 3:30 to 4:30 pm CET/CEST, plus dedicated sessions during the plenary weeks.

Specifications

A full list of related specifications in the public domain is accessible via the MEC committee page.

Blog

News, comments and opinions from ETSI’s MEC Industry Specification Group

The direct link to refer to this blog is https://www.etsi.org/newsroom/blogs/blog-mec

Dario SABELLA, MEC Chair
17 April 2024
Blog-MEC

 2024-04-17

Hello, I have promised to come back to you once we have announced the MEC Phase 3 finalization. So, here you can find the Press Release issued by ETSI, related to publications of our last Phase 3 deliverables, but also announcing the start of some relevant work for Phase 4.

As a couple of hints more, I wanted to signal you:

The forthcoming ETSI Webinar on "CAPIF from Standards to Practice: Synergy between 3GPP, ETSI MEC and OpenCAPIF ", planned for April 30th, 2024, with speakers from these three groups. The webinar is in my opinion a great example of fruitful collaboration between ETSI MEC and 3GPP, in the view of enabling interoperable API consumption from various API invokers, and can be relevant for application developers as the aim is to provide an excellent piece of information on this complex standardization activity, together with the possibility to understand the possible synergies of MEC with the recently established Software Development Group (SDG) in ETSI called OpenCAPIF.

Second aspect of interest is the progress of the newly started ETSI STF (Special Task Force) "Edge Native Connector ". This STF 678 is planned to build on the MEC Sandbox, and will deliver an edge application development experimentation environment, based on the cross-organisation harmonisation efforts that have been led by ETSI MEC. That includes alignment with 3GPP, in particular the WG SA6 defined EDGEAPP architecture (stage 2) with associated CT1 & CT3 specified APIs (stage 3); GSMA’s Operator Platform, which facilitates edge federation and capability exposure to application service providers; 5GAA, who have provided V2X related requirements directly to ISG MEC. This activity can also enable future synergies in MEC Phase 4 with OpenCAPIF.

…Well, if the above information on MEC is still too technical for you, you may want to start from the basics, and have a look at our Wiki page (https://mecwiki.etsi.org/), where we have added also a nice Q&A session, on  “everything you wanted to know about MEC”. Also, we plan to update this page with additional Q&A in the future. Enjoy the reading!!

1541 Hits
Dario SABELLA, MEC Chair
01 February 2024
Blog-MEC

Hi MEC community!! Long-time-no-write!

Last MEC plenary in December 2023 in Dubai was simply amazing, also coupled with a great "Standardization Day: ETSI meets UAE".

Here, I had the pleasure to talk, together with other speakers from the industry and also the ETSI Director General. During the MEC plenary, among the other things, we have discussed our collaborations with open-source (e.g. CAMARA) and industry groups, and also continued the definition of MEC Phase 4 (2024-2026) and its role in future systems.

In general, I'm pleased to say that I've also seen a great joint effort and fantastic collaboration among all the delegates, to finally converge with all the outstanding work from Phase 3.

Now, I am just writing you this quick blog post, to let you know that the group is finally about to close, with many great achievements, our MEC Phase 3 work!

So, stay tuned for the forthcoming publications of our deliverables and join us at MEC#37 meeting in Cupertino (USA), 18-22 March 2024!

2128 Hits
Nurit Sprecher, NOKIA
10 August 2023
Technologies
Blog-MEC

The emerging drone industry is undergoing significant growth and innovation. It provides services to a wide range of industries and applications, including security, safety and defense, disaster response, precision agriculture, environmental monitoring, measurement and inspection in constructions, shipping logistics, land surveying and mapping, aerial photography and video, etc. The variety of applications for drones is expected to expand.

The drone industry is leveraging continued advances in technology, including improved battery life, better obstacle avoidance systems, enhanced camera capabilities, specialized sensors, communications and the integration of artificial intelligence for autonomous flight and data analysis.

The integration of 5G technology with drones opens up new possibilities and revolutionizes the capabilities of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in terms of connectivity, remote operation, and collaboration between drones (drone swarms), etc. Furthermore, the 5G edge brings significant value to the drone industry by enabling low latency and reliability, providing scalable and efficient processing capabilities of data from their onboard sensors and camaras, ensuring data privacy and security and improving autonomy in drones that allows them to make faster and more intelligent decisions locally – without relying on continuous communication with a central server. This is particularly essential for critical real-time decisions required, for example, for safety applications. It also allows drones to react faster to changing environmental conditions and unexpected events. For example, they can adjust their flight paths, avoid obstacles or change their mission parameters in real time.

3933 Hits
Technologies
Blog-MEC

Hi MEC community!

I am back again with a quick blog post, as I simply wanted to attract your attention to a nice Industry Panel that I had the pleasure and honor to organize at the IEEE ICC 2023 conference. This panel was on “Telco Edge Cloud evolution toward Network-as-a-Service (NaaS)”, and I was there also with my role of Chairman of ETSI MEC, and inviting many speakers coming from various companies and industry organizations, and also representing various projects (e.g. GSMA and CAMARA, to mention a few).
In fact, as most of you well know, MEC is involved in a standardization activity (also in alignment with 3GPP) to put in place MEC Federation standards, also by considering the requirements from GSMA OPG (Operator Platform Group). The effort from the industry is also including open source and other business agreements, thus not only standards! 
That’s the reason for this great panel, i.e. bringing together various voices, also from partners, hyperscalers, and (why not!) also discuss legal implications for these multi-party collaborations. As we discussed at the panel, the ecosystem of NaaS stakeholders is thus quite huge and heterogeneous, including operators, edge service providers, cloud providers, vertical segments, SW companies, open-source and developers communities, etc… So, definitely, the common intention is to collaborate.
The final goal will be certainly to provide more value globally to MEC ecosystem and all end-users!  Enjoy the slides from the panel (here). 

Stay tuned also for any further news and updates on this topic, if you are interested! 

3409 Hits
Dario SABELLA, MEC Chair
21 December 2022
Blog-MEC

Hello folks, I have again to ask apologies for my not-very-frequent blog posts, but really this 2022 is (was) a dense and interesting year! A lot of nice developments and progresses from MEC, as the group is ramping up with Phase 3 work (BTW, stay tuned for the forthcoming announcements on many outstanding deliverables!). In the meantime, I just wanted to inform you that at the MEC#32 plenary the ISG has approved the updated publication in our MEC Leadership webpage (here) with the list of recently appointed LS Officers for the Vertical Industries. They can be our ambassadors, to support on the dialogue with various organizations: in fact, as we know MEC is serving multiple use cases and vertical industries, and ETSI ISG MEC has already established collaborations with a number of external organizations (e.g. automotive), and plans to increase the other domains (e.g. industrial automation, drones, CDN/videostreaming..). Here, I expect nice progresses from the dialogue with these verticals, also related to possible impacts on the Work Item MEC 043 about “Abstracted Radio Network Information for Industries” (the study item will study use cases, key issues and recommendations related to exposing abstracted radio network information for the industries).

Finally, I wanted to exploit the opportunity to wish you all a good Holiday break. Please take care, enjoy a deserved rest, and recharge your batteries, looking forward for a great 2023!

2819 Hits
Technologies
Blog-MEC

Blog MEC Nokia city

We at Nokia had the pleasure of taking advantage of the MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) global standardization conference that we hosted at our offices in Israel by organizing a unique exposure day on September 18, 2022 for Israeli technology companies which benefit or can benefit from operating in the 5G Edge Cloud ecosystem. To learn about the characteristics of the 5G edge cloud and the value it can create, see my blog on 5G Edge Computing.

To bring everyone up to speed, Shlomi Angi, our CTO of Nokia Israel, provided an informative introduction to 5G and edge cloud.

It was fascinating to hear from representatives of ELTA, Nexar, Eye-Net, Autotalks, Continual, Sensorz, Mov.ai, Onelayer, Qwilt, InceptionXR and Dataloop about innovative services and solutions that they offer in diverse fields.

 

3305 Hits
Dario SABELLA, MEC Chair
21 March 2022
Blog-MEC

Hello again, and sorry for not writing so frequently. A lot of things happened in these busy months!

ISG MEC have updated some key Phase 2 specifications, and it is continuously progressing on the current Phase 3 work. I can only say “kudos” to the rapporteurs and actual leaders of this tremendous amount of work (you can find more information in the recent ETSI press release, and also details in this pdfshort summary.

3735 Hits
Dario SABELLA, MEC Chair
06 December 2021
Blog-MEC

A lot of time has passed since my last blog post, sorry for not reaching out to you, folks! Very busy period. Also, a lot of nice things are happening, and ISG MEC is continuously growing in membership, attracting new companies that are actively contributing to the standardization.

Our collaboration with 5GAA (now joining MEC!) is also well established with the identification of two MEC observers, Maxime Flament (CTO, 5GAA) and Luca Boni (Stellantis) who are acting as 5GAA representatives in MEC. The collaboration with Akraino is now also moving forward with the guidance of Jane Shen (Mavenir, Akraino TSC member and ETSI MEC Technical Expert) and Oleg Berzin (Equinix, Akraino TSC Co-Chair and PCEI PTL). Finally, we’ve recently held the 2021 edition of the MEC Hackathon (see results here, published as part of our renewed MEC Wiki page, https://mecwiki.etsi.org/).The MEC Sandbox is continuously updated with new functionalities, also used for the MEC Hackathon.

4261 Hits
Technologies
Blog-MEC

Last March 2021, I’ve started my new journey in ETSI MEC, taking over the Chair position from my friend Alex Reznik (HPE). Sure, of course I’m not a “beginner” in this group (as most of you who know me can appreciate that I’m there in the MEC Leadership Team since the beginning of the Phase 1!). Nonetheless, given the great work done together in these amazing years in collaboration with all MEC stakeholders, I’m grateful of the trust of many companies who elected me and expressed their warm support in my new role.

4421 Hits
Technologies
Blog-MEC

Last week I transitioned the position of Chair of ETSI MEC over to Dario Sabella from Intel.   Having spent four amazing years serving as the Chair of this group, I am happy to see it in such good hands.   For years Dario has been a significant contributor and an enthusiastic advocate of our work.  He’s been the driving force behind many of our Hackathons.  Moreover, Intel’s support and commitment for the group is a strong signal of our importance.  The best days for MEC are in the future and this is where all of us should look.  Still, leaving a position such as this, one does tend to reflect on one’s years of tenure and so for my last blog as Chair I am going to do just that. 

4042 Hits
Blog-MEC

I’ve been looking over some of my previous entries lately and noticed how many were touching on the subject of interaction between ETSI MEC and other standard and open source bodies. The subject is indeed still one of significant interest and the question about “fragmentation” and “competition” is one that comes up much too frequently.

Those of you who’ve read some of my previous musings on this subject might recall my position on this subject. Standards and open source serve very different functions: standards ensure interoperability between components where it may be necessary and open source provides implementations of such components. As such, the two types of bodies are highly complementary. Moreover, I’ve also maintained that even in the standards space itself little duplication of effort exists around MEC.   Alas, hard evidence to support my view was previously missing – but that is changing fast.

9137 Hits