ETSI started an industry specification group (ISG) to tackle complex questions associated with edge computing and drive cross-industry cooperation. The ISG uses the term Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) for its edge computing standard. The group investigates and conceptualizes solutions for MEC computing.
The ETSI MEC ISG outlines MEC standards for testing and applying MEC use cases. Included in the standards are definitive meanings of MEC terms, a recommended architecture, APIs, and general requirements for a technology to fall under MEC. The ISG plays a significant role in the continued development of MEC because industry experts refer to it for guidance. The Group Reports they release as well as work by the MEC Industry Enabling Group (IEG) show ETSI’s continued involvement in MEC development. The Group Reports cover solutions to problems while the IEG produces papers cover topics including proof of concept frameworks. Find the full list of MEC standards identified by the ETSI ISG here. For a quicker read, this helpful article summarizing the standards.
ETSI MEC Background and Projects
ETSI formed the specifications group for MEC (then called Mobile Edge Computing) in 2014. In 2017, ETSI changed the name to Multi-access Edge Computing because it was clear various access points may establish a network edge, not solely a mobile network. From the beginning, the group’s self-described purpose has been “to create a standardized, open environment, which will allow the efficient and seamless integration of applications.” ETSI has collaborated with OpenFog to ensure the standards they create are accepted and used by the larger industry.
According to ETSI, MEC gives cloud-computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of a network. That network is characterized by ultra-low latency and high bandwidth, as well as real-time awareness of radio network information.
To fulfill those functions, ETSI designed the MEC architecture to include a virtualized platform similar to NFV. The updated framework includes a section about the convergence of MEC architecture with NFV, which improves the scalability and low-latency features of edge computing. Scalability and low-latency are two of the most desirable components of edge computing as it allows more Internet of Things (IoT) devices to maintain a consistent, real-time connection.
The group continues to writes educational white papers that define MEC and its role in the computing sphere, including benefits and challenges.
Updated April 2019