The ETSI Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) group released its initial Phase 2 specifications that deals with architecture, framework, and general principles for service APIs. The standards body noted that the specifications broaden support for different access technologies and NFV integration.
The Phase 2 specifications include three tranches. The first is ETSI GS MEC 002, which targets interoperability and deployments. This includes a focus on running applications at the mobile network edge and provides use cases and technical benefits of those deployments.
The next is ETSI GS MEC 003, which tackles the deployment of MEC applications as software-only entities running on top of virtualization infrastructure near the network edge. This includes specifications for MEC-in-NFV reference architecture targeted at how MEC-compliant edge deployments are part of an NFV cloud architecture.
The MEC 003 release also includes a report – ETSI GR MEC 022 – on how MEC can support vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) use cases.
The final Phase 2 specification release supports MWC regulatory requirements.
ETSI MEC Progress
MEC itself is part of the larger edge and fog computing frameworks that are seen as critical for networks to meet the growing demand for driving connectivity closer to end users.
Those initial specifications tackled application lifecycle management, mobile edge platform application enablement, radio network information, and location. They were designed to provide generic frameworks to open the network and expose information for authorized third-party applications. By having a standardized system, developers are ensured of interoperability for their applications as well as consistency with the operator’s system. This, in turn, accelerates the development of third-party apps.
ETSI claims more than 85 members to its MEC group, and some vendors are moving to tap the specifications for their own platforms. Radisys, for instance, late last year said it would use the ETSI MEC specifications for its edge computing software platform because it was the best fit for its customers.
“We will go wherever our customers need us to go and that right now is in the direction of fully open solutions,” explained Natasha Tamaskar, vice president of global marketing and sales strategy at Radisys. “Operators don’t want to guess right now on what they need to support specific applications. If the platform is open, disaggregated, and has a lot of APIs, they can build the network they want, not what someone else thinks they need.”
However, Tamaskar also said the vendor would continue to support other edge computing efforts like the Akraino Project, which highlights the continued fragmentation of the market.
Outside of its MEC group, ETSI last month also created its first working group – the Deployment and Ecosystem working group, or “Decode.” The group is focused on the implementation and deployment of MEC-based systems using standardized APIs. These systems leverage the MEC-defined framework and its services.