The ETSI Multi-access Edge Computing Industry Specification Group (MEC ISG) is turning its attention to vertical markets now that it’s completed the first wave of standardization with the release of its first package of standardized APIs to support MEC interoperability.
In an interview at last month’s Mobile World Congress 2018, Dario Sabella, secretary and lead of the industry groups at ETSI MEC ISG, said that the group is working on APIs for specific vertical industries. One of the first areas of focus is the automotive industry.
Sabella said that ETSI MEC has a work item devoted to a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) API because automotive companies have said that they need interoperability among operators and carmakers. “MEC is a standard that is an important enabler to permit interoperability with many different players,” he said.
Sabella added that many operators are involved in ETSI MEC including NTT DoCoMo, Vodafone, Telecom Italia, AT&T, China Mobile, and Orange. He noted that while some operators may not be as active in the standards group, they do benefit from the standard.
MEC and NFV
One area of growing importance for ETSI is interoperability between ETSI MEC and ETSI NFV (network functions virtualization). Sabella said that the group is working to determine how best to deploy MEC in an NFV environment and currently has a work item on this topic. “We started this study and are working on recommendations for future work with ETSI NFV on how to deploy MEC in an NFV environment. Many stakeholders are targeting virtualization,” he said.
And since many operators are moving toward 5G, the interoperability of ETSI MEC and ETSI NFV is becoming more critical because both are considered building blocks for 5G.
Sabella acknowledged that the open source community is an important part of the ecosystem and noted that one reason the group has opened up the API specifications is so it could work with developers and the open source community.
The Linux Foundation formed EdgeX Foundry with the goal of standardizing industrial IoT edge computing, and last October EdgeX made its first code release available. It also announced late last month that it was making its next release, California, available this summer.