Assuring multi-access edge computing (MEC)

16 February 2022 | Research

Justin van der Lande | Neil Kiritharan

Perspective | PDF (14 pages) | Automated Assurance

"Multi-access edge computing must support new service level agreements in order to encourage enterprise service take-up."


5G networks are starting to affect both communications service providers (CSPs) and the support that they can offer other industries. The roll-out of 5G is acting as a catalyst for transformation in terms of the way in which networks are built, the types of services that are offered and the creation of new opportunities such as services based on multi-access edge computing (MEC). CSPs are gradually migrating from legacy network infrastructure to next-generation 5G networks with service-based architecture, backed by cloud-native, disaggregated and virtualised infrastructure. Edge cloud technologies are a significant enabler of this change; they bring computing closer to the point of service delivery to reduce latency and increase performance This is critical for the delivery of new applications such as network slicing, software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV).

MEC does not necessarily need to use 5G networks, but the two are closely linked due to the timing of the roll-outs of both technologies and the ability for 5G to support new services. MEC provides a general-purpose compute platform that can be used for both internal and external use cases. Internal use cases include supporting network functions or Open RAN solutions that require access to very-low-latency compute. More-advanced internal use cases support network slicing and the implementation of specific network services that require a flexible compute capability that is dependent on demand.

Assuring multi-access edge computing (MEC)

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Justin van der Lande

Research Director

Neil Kiritharan