The efforts behind establishing interoperability for multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications stem from two organizations, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and Open Fog Consortium. ETSI released its first set of MEC APIs and the group is collaborating with Open Fog Consortium to build fog-enabled MEC technologies for 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Here’s a review of the current standardizations on MEC applications.
MEC Applications — The Five API’s:
- GS MEC 009 – General Principles of Mobile Edge Service APIs: Reveals the processes for defining RESTful multi-access edge service APIs, including naming conventions, provisions for an OpenAPI definition, and outlining API patterns.
- GS MEC 010-2 — Mobile Edge Management; Part 2: Application Lifecycle, Rules and Requirements Management: This standard details the application’s lifecycle management while using the edge of a network. It also covers the interfaces, reference points, and the application’s rules and requirements.
- GS MEC 011 — Mobile Edge Platform Application Enablement: Explains the process of how applications communicate with the edge by detailing the activity of a reference point between the MEC applications and the edge platform. This standard provides how the information flows between the application and the platform, what information is necessary for the communication to work, and illustrates the data model.
- GS MEC 012 — Radio Network Information API: Defines the Radio Network Information API and how it functions on the edge. They ETSI Industry Standards Group (ISG) defines Radio Network Information Service (RNIS) as “a service that provides radio network information to mobile edge applications and mobile edge platforms.” The benefit of this API is that it can optimize services on the edge utilizing radio.
- GS MEC 013 — Location API: Explains what the Location Service API is and details how it functions on the edge. The purpose of this API is that the “edge platform or applications perform the active device location tracking, location-based service recommendation, etc.”
MEC Applications and the OpenFog Reference Architecture:
The goal of the current collaboration between ETSI ISG and Open Fog is to solidify interoperability for 5G, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality when on the network edge by using the five MEC APIs in conjunction with Open Fog’s Reference Architecture (RA).
The RA is a horizontal, system-level architecture for fog nodes and networks. Similar to MEC, it allows computing functions to be moved closer to the data center, which brings a faster connection and lower latency to IoT devices and 5G networking. Open Fog’s describes the benefit behind the joint integration of ETSI’s APIs and RA as “it will be easier for developers to create common architectures, unify management strategies, and write a single application software modules that run on both Open Fog and MEC architectures.”