Edge trial marks "major milestone" for MNO collaboration

14 September 2021 | Melanie Mingas

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Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Continental and MobiledgeX have demonstrated latency-optimised mobility services across multiple networks, in a recent edge computing trial in association with the GSMA Telecom Edge Cloud initiative.

Billed as a "major milestone" by the cohort, the trial saw edge applications running seamlessly across multiple mobile network operator (MNO) edge networks, enabled by the software layer MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform.

Explaining how it works, Thomas Vits, MobiledgeX's product management consultant said: "The MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform helps operators deploy their own mobile network edge cloud services and provides discovery capabilities to the applications on the device by means of the MobiledgeX client SDK to always connect to the optimal mobile network edge server at any given time. We are very proud to be the enabling platform for this trial and working hard with customers and partners to commercialise these solutions across industries."

Johannes Spring, lead 5G automotive program, Deutsche Telekom & 5GAA director general added: "When it comes to road safety and intelligent transportation services, low latency and low response times play a very important role. But first, the telco industry needs to do its homework."

Demonstrating the feat, a video published yesterday showed a driver and cyclist – each subscribing to a different mobile operator – approach an intersection in Frankfurt, Germany. A low latency connection to the edge network communicates each user’s real-time location, speed and direction of travel via the Continental application running constantly in the background. Ultimately, a warning alert about a potential collision is sent to each user.

Another demonstration showed an alert delivered to a pedestrian about to cross paths with an autonomous vehicle in motion. In both cases, the mobile sessions take place across two distinct operators leveraging MobiledgeX’s Edge-Cloud cloud orchestrator. 

To do this, two edge cloudlets were deployed into the data centres of the live network of Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica O2 respectively. The Continental app was then deployed in each edge, interconnected in an industry-first achievement to deliver the low latency required by the real-time application. 

This also demonstrated stable and predictable low latency between cloudlets, and showed a secure, reliable, and managed connection over interconnected edge clouds. The setup guaranteed optimised latency for application performance predictability on congested networks.

Tilo Heckmann, technology strategy manager at Telefónica Germany, explained: "As an industry first, we have interconnected both cloudlets to achieve the best latency a network provider can offer."