Leading carriers to work together to interconnect edge computing
Four top carriers – China Unicom, KT, Telefónica and Telstra – have agreed to collaborate on the development of edge computing.
The aim is to test the functionality of edge computing and to see how easy it is to interconnect the networks and to develop applications.
The four companies want “one point innovation, global replication”, said Zhang Yunyong, president of China Unicom’s research institute. The project will “improve the expansion of the international edge cloud market space in the future”, added Zhang.
Telstra’s group CTO, Håkan Eriksson (pictured), said: “Telstra is a strong believer in a multi operator edge environment that makes applications globally accessible and portable, offering the scale needed for a faster and wider adoption of a telco-based edge cloud service.”
The multi-operator Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) initiative is being developed within the GSMA’s Operator Platform Project, part of the trade organisation’s future networks programme.
The four operators said today they want to obtain feedback from operators and developer communities to identify gaps and needs, share them with the GSMA operator platform and contribute to standards organisations and open source communities responsible for developing the different MEC components.
“We are making available to the industry the means to build and deliver a global telco-based edge cloud service, providing the necessary mechanisms that complement current MEC standards to enable the federation of operators’ edge computing platforms,” said Juan Carlos García, SVP for technology and ecosystem at Telefónica.
“With this, telcos will be able to deliver a universal edge computing service that will facilitate application developers and enterprises the deployment of their services globally through a simple and single interface.”
The four-phase plan starts with the development of basic edge computing capabilities, run through the development of mobility features and making services available to roamers, and will end with the development of federation capabilities.
“We aim to provide a reference model the industry can build on and developers and enterprises can take advantage of,” said Jongsik Lee, SVP and head of infra R&D at KT.
The four operators said they are working with Altran, a Paris-based innovation and engineering consultancy, to demonstrate a federation between various operators’ edge computing platforms so that they can enable its customers to deploy applications and workloads across each operator network and provide access to a global footprint.