Both multi-access edge computing (MEC) and 5G are considered disrupting technologies on their own, but combined they will become a powerful force in the world of computing. MEC uses the edge of the network to bring computing closer to the data center, which reduces latency and increases connection speeds. 5G is the next generation of mobile networks that promises to have estimated network speeds as fast as 10 Gb/s. The emergence of 5G networking capabilities will increase the number of connected devices on a network, which spurs the need for edge computing to help distribute the networking demands.
Applications that rely heavily on a consistent network connection, rapid deployment, and low latency include burgeoning technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and virtual reality (VR). MEC and 5G networking together allow for the simultaneous usage of a massive number connected technologies without incurring network outages due to traffic bottlenecks.
MEC 5G Advantages
Here are some advantages that MEC and 5G together will produce:
- The utilization of micro data centers that deliver continuous edge networking for mobile computing.
- IEEE research suggests that the localization of edge computing will significantly decrease end-to-end latency when used in conjunction with 5G.
- Enhanced quality of service to end users, particularly when it comes to video streaming and IoT technology such as connected cars, enabled through the use of network slicing. Network slicing is a 5G innovation that allows a network’s functions to be divvied up depending on an application’s demand on the network. For instance, a connected car requires reliable, speedy connection for its optimal performance. The network may be sliced to guaranteed that the connected car receives it’s high networking requirements, while reducing the size of the networking slices for other applications that are not as demanding on the network.
- Ericsson notes that slicing 5G networks further optimize network performance with the ability to create on-demand virtual networks.
- The MEC server platform will be able to deliver real-time analytics and machine intelligence, according to this IEEE article.
- The 2017 Innovations in Edge Computing and MEC report lists the benefit of data reduction: “By running applications such as data analytics at the edge, operators and application vendors can substantially cut down the amount of data that has to be sent upstream. This cuts cost and allows for other applications to transfer data.”