Nokia Networks has collaborated with other equipment vendors and operators to create a new European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Industry Specification Group (ISG) for mobile edge computing (MEC).
Mobile edge computing extends processing and storage from the internet into the mobile base station at the edge of the network. This enables applications and services to be seamlessly integrated into mobile networks and in close proximity to the place where people connect, offering an unmatched degree of user interactivity with local businesses and points of interest.
The new initiative will focus on open architecture and application programming interfaces (APIs) for value creation in mobile multi-vendor environments for a range of computing platforms, including Nokia Liquid Applications, which brings services to mobile broadband customers from the mobile base station. Using the radio applications cloud server, localised processing, content storage, and access to real-time radio and network information is made available directly from inside the base station.
Liquid Applications already has the ability to host third-party applications, allowing for the rapid deployment of new services and the optimisation of service delivery from the mobile edge.
Residing within the base station, Nokia Liquid Applications provides ultra-low latency and high throughput as well as direct access to real-time radio network information that can be leveraged to offer unique applications.
“When Nokia Networks introduced its Liquid Applications solution in 2013, it also introduced many people in the industry to the concept of Mobile Edge Computing,” said Peter Jarich, vice president at Current Analysis.
“While other vendors have followed with their own visions for situating applications in the Radio Access Network (RAN) since then, the industry can now look toward the MEC ISG to encourage the development of a broader Mobile Edge Computing ecosystem characterized by open standards – a good thing for every vendor and service provider.”
“Establishing the MEC initiative with the support of the other stakeholders will create an open multi-vendor environment at the most lucrative point within the mobile network, driving differentiated services, new applications and ultimately new revenues,” said Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, Mobile Broadband at Nokia Networks.
“It also builds on our view of fundamentally changing the telecom industry through increasing our collaboration with different players and partners.”
Vodafone, IBM, Intel, NTT Docomo and Huawei are also supporting the initiative which will enable the creation of industry specifications for MEC and accelerate the development of mobile edge applications across the industry.
With an open and standardised environment, operators can rapidly deploy applications and services to mobile subscribers, enterprises and other vertical segments. One example for the vertical market is the Connected Car, where Nokia Networks recently demonstrated its Liquid Applications with T-Mobile US for low latency vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) services.
“Intel is committed to innovation in Mobile Edge Computing, and by positioning intelligent, programmable platforms closer to mobile devices, we are enabling richer, more customized user experiences,” said Steve Price, general manager of Intel’s Communications Infrastructure Division.
“With Nokia Networks, we are accelerating development of Mobile Edge Computing applications and enabling a diverse and vibrant ecosystem to address the requirements of multiple operators.”
The new ISG for MEC was formally announced last week during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Düsseldorf, Germany on 14–17 October 2014.