MobiledgeX, the edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom, completed what it calls the first public mobile edge network with DT in Germany.
The network is powered by MobiledgeX’s Edge-Cloud R1.0 platform, also announced today. The platform connects mobile users to application cloud containers created by aggregating existing operator network resources. These containers execute close to end devices, which provides low latency and high performance needed for next-gen mobile apps.
Edge-Cloud R1.0 is available globally and the company says it’s already supporting the prototyping of developer use cases in public networks.
MobiledgeX CTO Sunay Tripathi said the company is also open sourcing some of the code through the Telecom Infra Project. “We’re working toward open sourcing our core pieces so a developer can do his work on Edge-Cloud on our code base on his laptop,” Tripathi said.
Facebook announced TIP in 2016, joined by Intel, Nokia, DT, and SK Telecom. Last October, TIP created the Edge Application Developer Project Group to develop open APIs and software development kits (SDKs) to make it easier for developers to build mobile apps on an operators’ edge infrastructure. DT and Intel co-chair the group, which will be responsible for the MobiledgeX code.
The MobiledgeX network is live in six DT locations in Germany, and will add another six locations in that country this year, Tripathi said. “And the CEO has been promising by next year we will have 500 locations in Germany, and that triggers all of the other European operators,” he added. Despite MobiledgeX’s ties to DT, it works with mobile operators worldwide.
Building this edge network in the U.S., however, will be more complicated. Unlike their European counterparts, most U.S. operators don’t own towers. Companies like Crown Castle — known for its 40,000 towers and 60,000 miles of fiber — do. And Crown Castle is also a minority investor in Vapor IO, which is developing an edge network of micro-data centers at the base of cell towers (and other locations) across the U.S.
The goal, Tripathi said, is to have a live public mobile edge network in the United States “at least by next year’s MWC.” He’s referring to the annual MWC event in Barcelona, which takes place next week. At this year’s event Edge-Cloud R1.0 will be on display powering one of the latest edge use cases — that may or may not be Niantic’s augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.”
Edge-Cloud uses device- and platform-independent SDKs that support edge node discovery, built-in identity and verified locations services, and the ability to connect automatically to the nearest edge location.
It has a distributed matching engine that is integrated into DT’s mobile network in Germany. This allows developers to ensure the identity and location of application users, and it guarantees users’ privacy as this data remains within the boundaries of the mobile service provider and is not disclosed to MobiledgeX. For operators, this solves privacy and GDPR compliance issues, Tripathi said.
The new product also includes a global edge cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal that allows operators to visualize application delivery performance and developers to deploy their application containers.