By Anne Morris
Operators edge towards monetisation
The Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) tackled the thorny question of how mobile network operators will be able to monetise the mobile network edge, as an increasing number deploy multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities.
Speaking during the MEF Global Forum, Doug Makishima, CSMO at Summit Tech, noted that “unlike with the cloud transformation, where mobile operators really didn’t monetise or take advantage of that opportunity, this time around, with this new frontier in the digital transformation, operators do have an opportunity to monetise further”.
The question is, Makishima said, “what are these applications? What is the cloud edge good for?”
Tilly Gilbert, Principal Consultant and Edge Practice Lead at STL Partners, said edge is “driven by a new set of use cases, which have requirements that include some elements that look like local compute, and also elements that look like cloud compute”.
Gilbert noted that while the concept of edge computing has been around for some time, “we are now really starting to see that it’s not just being talked about, but [there are] some fairly significant deployments and commitments by mobile and fixed-line operators to actually deploy these network edge computing locations”.
In terms of some of the applications that are becoming available, Makishima described how Summit Tech has been developing a cloud-native streaming platform called Odience over the past three years. The platform focuses on enabling interactive and immersive remote participation experiences through the use of cloud and MEC.
Around 23 mobile operators have now trialled the platform, Makishima said, and the first commercial agreement has just been signed with a North American operator.
He also noted that Summit Tech recently completed a 5G MEC trial with the Bridge Alliance, Advanced Info Service (AIS), Singtel and the GSMA.