It’s instantly apparent that Huawei is focusing its multi-access edge computing (MEC) energies toward the advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology by visiting its website. Its partnership with other technology companies and its participation in international MEC research groups provides evidence of its sharp focus on IoT edge computing.
MEC is when computing takes place at the network edge, which can be on cell phone towers, hot spots, WiFi devices, and even routers. MEC moves the computing closer to the end-user, thus reducing latency and achieving a more reliable connection. This reduced latency and the increased stability of connections are ideal for IoT devices that often require a consistent connection and real-time data transfer. For instance, an autonomous car needs real-time data to make snappy, safe decisions while maneuvering through traffic.
Recognizing the importance of MEC for IoT devices, Huawei has introduced its Edge Computing-IoT (EC-IoT) product. Additionally, the company joined research efforts to advance edge technology for the reliability of IoT products.
Timeline of Huawei’s MEC IoT Efforts:
2015: Huawei joined the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) MEC Industry Specification Group (ISG) to develop standards and protocols for edge computing.
November 2016: Huawei hosted the Smart City Summit in Barcelona, Spain, and announced its intention to spur development of smart cities. At that time, according to the press release, “Huawei’s Smart City solutions have been deployed in more than 100 cities across 40 countries.”
November 2016: Huawei, along with Shenyang Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), Intel, ARM, and iSoftStone, formed the Edge Computing Consortium (ECC). The ECC strives for collaboration among all the MEC players — including the government, vendors, academia, and customers — to advance the technology.
February 2017: At the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Huawei announced its EC-IoT commodity and its MEC@CloudEdge product. In the press release announcing it, Huawei noted that the ECT-IoT “solution allows edge nodes to provide intelligent services nearby and implements network management in the cloud.” Its EC-IoT Solution aims to help enterprises achieve the following:
- Centralized management solution via the Agile Controller
- Predictive Maintenance
- Local data processing
- Millisecond data analysis for a real-time response
The MEC@CloudEdge, constructed on a cloud native architecture, places network functions at the network edge for reduced latency to the end users.
August 2017: Huawei helped build a smart petroleum refinery, Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co, in China with its MEC@CloudEdge product.
September 2017: Partnered with Infosys and Wapwag to create and release practices for smart edge computing. The companies tested smart robots, machine tools, and smart water affair solution with edge technology. This collaboration saw that the “downtime of industrial robots or machine tools is reduced by over 70% and the defect rate is reduced by 40%.”
December 2017: Huawei’s pursuit of IoT connectivity and management via edge computing led to it attaching text to the IEEE’s standards on the architectural framework for IoT devices.