[Shanghai, China, July 3, 2017] At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2017, Huawei and its industry partners agreed to establish a virtual multi-access edge computing (MEC) ecosystem collaborative circle. The agreement came out of a roundtable organized by Huawei to discuss the latest developments in MEC, standards development, and challenges facing the industry.
Roundtable attendees included multiple industry partners: China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom, China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), China Computer Federation (CCF), Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), Intel, ARM, Trend Micro, iQiyi and so on.
Group photo of the roundtable attendees
As a universally applied technology in 5G networks, MEC enables distributed telecom network architecture, and helps carriers deliver services locally. It also enables increased efficiency of network data processing and delivery of an inspired experience to end users. By meeting vertical industry demands for low-latency, massive traffic, and secure networks, MEC offers bright prospects for 5G network development.
Long Jiping, Vice President of Huawei's Cloud Core Network Product Line, delivered an opening speech at the roundtable titled: Building an Ecosystem Alliance to Expand the MEC Industry. Long noted that, "Currently, there is no such industry alliance to promote development of the MEC industry, which is a key challenge for us. All industry players should work together to drive the MEC industry forward and explore edge network capabilities to commercialize MEC and achieve business success."
Yang Zhiqiang, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute, said, "The next step for MEC networks should focus on building a unified network architecture through standards organizations. The architecture needs to enable unified scheduling and management, and flexible control and loading of edge nodes, thus creating an array of applications."
"It is time that MEC applications be developed and used,” said Tang Xiongyan, Chief Technologist of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute. “We need to speed the development of an MEC ecosystem alliance and related standards, while also considering new business models. The goal in all of this is to enable the communications industry to support more Industrial Internet applications."
Yang Fengyi, Vice President of China Telecom’s Technology Innovation Center, commented, "Right now we also need to consider and solve some key issues concerning MEC. For example, on the distributed user plane, how can we ensure the network is secure and easily operated and maintained? How can we make full use of the key computing capabilities of MEC?"
Attendees from industry and standards associations also shared their opinions during the roundtable. Yang Hongmei from CCSA suggested that industry consensus be built through the CCSA and SDN/NFV industry alliances.Christian Toche, vice chair of 3GPP SA5 provided an update on the latest progress in MEC standards development in 3GPP and ETSI. Natasha Rooney from GSMA spoke on GSMA's efforts in developing MEC applications. Mitch Tseng, representing of IIC and vertical industries, noted that IIC will work with industry and standards associations to define MEC standards in alignment with actual requirements, with the aim of encouraging further commercial application of MEC.
Sun Li, Cloud Platform System Network Architect of iQiyi noted that the MEC access mode and services should be aligned among carriers. One expectation for the ecosystem alliance is that it will consider the personalized needs of different use scenarios and integrate different verticals to drive the commercialization process.
Other attendees also expressed their positive view of MEC industry development, including Toh Wei Yeang from Intel, Leo Wang from ARM, Terence Liu from Trend Micro and Professor Gu Dawu, chairman of CFF Shanghai.
Zhou Yan, Director of Huawei's NFV Research Department, Cloud Core Network Product Line, concluded the roundtable saying, "MEC should reach out to the Industrial Internet and the computer industry, so that MEC network capabilities can be extensively and commercially applied. There are multiple players in the MEC industry, including telecom equipment vendors, carriers, IT vendors, and third-party application and content providers. Cross-collaboration across the industry chain is key to MEC's success. An MEC ecosystem alliance is needed to facilitate the healthy development of the MEC industry."
The virtual MEC ecosystem collaborative circle will meet every six months to discuss cross-industry cooperation and development. Moving forward, the CCSA and SDN/NFV industry alliances will also set up a dedicated organization and agenda to contribute to 3GPP and ETSI.
Huawei has long been engaged in developing standards, technologies, and solutions relating to MEC. In 2012, Huawei and Vodafone jointly proposed MEC’s initial concept. In 2015, Huawei established the MBB Interconnect Open Base, which now has over 300 industry partners. At the MEC Congress 2016, Huawei's MEC@CloudEdge solution won the award for Best Edge Computing Technology, an acknowledgement of its contributions to building the MEC ecosystem.
At MWC Shanghai 2017, Huawei, China Mobile, and industry partners jointly showcased the first AR business use scenario based on the MEC@CloudEdge solution. Huawei will continue to work with industry partners to accelerate MEC service innovation to achieve shared success and drive the MEC industry forward.