Multi-access edge computing (MEC) delivers significant networking benefits. The primary benefits being reduced latency, reliable connectivity, and increased data protection. While use cases are discussed in-depth, there seems to be an absence of discussion regarding business cases. So, what are the MEC business cases?
MEC taps into the network’s edge for computing. It’s the local network edge that’s close to a data center — for instance, a cell phone tower or a data center — and brings networking services closer to the end user. The close proximity of the data center to the edge accelerates networking speed and supplies a consistent connection. The business cases haven’t been fully realized as of yet, seeing as MEC is a fairly new computing method. However, here are a few industries that currently benefit from edge computing.
Five MEC Business Cases:
Smart Cities: Smart Cities rely on the Internet of Things (IoT) to analyze and transmit data in real-time. The city needs a flexible, scalable network for all the data traffic coming to and from the numerous connected devices that make a city smart. This is where the edge shines. Some examples of the technology include a smart lighting infrastructure and smart traffic lights to ease traffic congestion.
Smart Public Transportation: By utilizing nodes and sensors, public transportation buses are able to stay on schedule using real-time data coming from the buses themselves and from the stoplights. For instance, Los Angeles, California, saw a 14 percent increase in traffic efficiency in their smart public transportation. The city’s CIO, Peter Marx, told Government Technology magazine that “We have 4,500 different intersections with stoplights wired to a central computer, and in addition, we have some 56,000-odd loop detectors in the streets, which provide real-time traffic conditions across the entire city.”
Smart Homes: Smart homes fall into the category of consumer IoT, and the homes alleviate the simple issues involved in daily home life. A smart home may consist of smart appliances, lighting solutions, and home security.
Connected Cars: It’s critical for connected cars to have a reliable connection and quick transmittance of real-time data in order to make decisions that deliver a passenger safely to their destination. Greg Bohl, vice president of U.S. Analytics Services for Harman Connected Services, stated that “by leveraging edge computing, moving computing functions and machine learning closer to the data generation center, connected and autonomous vehicles will continue to evolve at an exponential rate with the ability to function in the Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) environment.”
Industrial Internet of Things: Industrial IoT is the use of IoT devices and platforms to optimize the manufacturing process. The Internet of Things Institute explains why edge computing is necessary for the next wave of industrial revolution, industrial IoT: “To jump-start the productivity engine of industrial IoT, real-time response is needed at the machine-level at scale and that requires an edge-plus-cloud architecture designed specifically for the Industrial Internet.”