It is expected that by 2020, 90 percent of the world’s population over six years of age will have a mobile device (1) and there will be over 26 billion mobile devices(2). All of these devices will result in an exponential growth in the Mobile data traffic over the next several years. By 2019 Mobile traffic is expected to reach 24.3 Exabytes per month growing at compound annual growth rate of 57%*(3).

 

To support such a data growth, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) needs to continuously build and maintain larger capacity infrastructures and backhauls with decreasing revenue. In many cases the MNOs are basically turning into bit-pipes for Over-the-Top (OTT) apps.

 

As a result, globally more and more MNOs are finding out that their business model is challenged where data is growing at an exponential rate and voice and messaging revenues are diminishing. As such, there is a need for MNOs to optimize, scale and to open up new monetization opportunities. Fortunately MNOs can accomplish that with Mobile-Edge Computing.

 

What is Mobile-Edge Computing (MEC)?

 

Mobile-edge Computing offers an IT service environment and cloud computing capabilities within the Radio Access Network (RAN), in close proximity to mobile subscribers.

The RAN edge is a service environment with ultra-low latency and high-bandwidth, proximity and it provides exposure to real-time radio network and context information. Mobile-edge Computing allows newer value added apps and services to be delivered and current content, services and applications to be accelerated, increasing responsiveness from the edge.

 

 The mobile edge computing (MEC) provides several business benefits.

  • MEC enables a new value chain and an energized ecosystem, based on Innovation and business value that can benefit Mobile operators, application developers, content providers, OTT players, network equipment vendors, IT and middleware providers.
  • MEC provides flexibility and agility as Operators can open their Radio Access Network (RAN) edge to authorized third-parties, allowing them to flexibly and rapidly deploy innovative applications and services.
  • MEC opens new Revenue opportunities within new market segments as MNOs can deliver new innovative applications and services towards mobile subscribers, enterprises and vertical segments.

The technical standards for MEC are being developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). MEC enables implementation of Mobile Edge Applications as software-only entities or VMs that can run on a Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVi) layer.

Mobile Edge Computing translates local context, agility, rapid response time and speed into value. It delivers several key use cases in the following areas:

  • Consumer Oriented Services - gaming, AR/VR, remote desktop applications, stadium or retail real-time services, etc.
  • Internet of Thing (IoT) / Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Services
  • Enterprise Services - local breakout
  • Operator/Third-party Services - active device location tracking, Big data and analytics, connected vehicles, etc.
  • Network-performance Services - content/DNS caching, performance optimization, video optimization and acceleration

Summary:

MNOs are finding out that their business models are challenged as they have to continuously expand their network footprint to support ever increasing data requirements from mobile and IoT devices

Mobile Edge computing can help these MNOs by optimizing their networks and significantly improving network economics with newer value added apps and service such as content caching, CDN, IoT, Smart Cities, Connected cars and Enterprise Services, etc.

This was a quick introduction to the Mobile-Edge Computing. In the next blog, we will talk about some of these key Mobile-Edge Computing use-cases in more detail. Watch this space as Dell EMC Service Provider team delivers some new and exciting solution for Mobile Edge Computing. To learn more visit: www.dell.com/telecom .

 

 

References:

(1) Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2015.

(2) Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, May 2014. 

(3) https://www.statista.com/statistics/271405/global-mobile-data-traffic-forecast/