No matter what you call it -- fog computing, reverse cloud, distributed intelligence -- there's no question that the network edge and its computing possibilities have come into sharp focus this year. Which is why it's no surprise that the new 2018 Leading Lights category for most innovative edge computing strategy had so many strong entries, and why your judges had trouble even narrowing the list of finalists down to eight.
Read on for a summary of the edge computing contenders. You'll find some companies are focused on hardware optimization, others on software and still others on enabling a new application ecosystem. All want to bring the future here faster, creating infrastructure that will support next-generation services from real-time video analysis to augmented reality overlays, self-driving cars and much more.
The winner for most innovative edge computing strategy will be announced at this year's Leading Lights awards ceremony during the evening of Monday, May 14, at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas. The dinner kicks off Light Reading's annual Big Communications Event. It promises to be a rollicking good time.
And now, the finalists...
Aricent – Multi-Access Edge Computing Strategy
Aricent Inc. showcased its edge computing strategy with the launch of new multi-access edge capabilities at Mobile World Congress in February. The company's approach? To create a developer-centric platform for onboarding new applications that depend on low latency and close proximity to consumers.
In Aricent's view, service providers need to make it easy for software developers to build new edge applications and connect them seamlessly with analytics engines and other functions hosted in a centralized cloud.
Reference applications cited by Aricent include real-time object recognition in virtual and augmented reality displays, enhanced traffic safety through on-site environmental analysis and intelligent intrusion detection in video surveillance implementations.
By helping to establish an ecosystem of developers, operators and platform providers, Aricent hopes to accelerate the process of edge-based application development. That's what makes its edge computing strategy a Leading Lights contender.
Read more about Aricent's role in the telecom industry here:
- Coriant & Aricent Team on SDN
- Cisco Lands One on Ericsson With Open vRAN Initiative
- CableLabs Launches SNAPS-Boot, SNAPS-OpenStack Installers
- Adtran Adds to Alliance for Programmable Networks
Athonet – MEC Gateway
Athonet is attacking the edge computing sector with a focus on edge nodes and how they can be deployed quickly and cost effectively at scale. The company's MEC gateway supports standard network interfaces, allowing operators to install them without suffering unwanted and unexpected impacts to existing network infrastructure.
According to Athonet, the MEC gateway is also unique in enabling selective policy-based traffic offload, meaning operators can choose which traffic to cache locally and which traffic doesn't need to be stored at the edge. Through a software upgrade, Athonet promises that the gateway will also be upgradeable to support the 5G User Plane Function that's anticipated in 5G network architectures.
Backing up Athonet's story, ETSI validated the MEC Gateway approach earlier this year, and Orange proved itself a fan while hosting the company at Mobile World Congress.
Learn more about Athonet here:
- Orange-Backed Athonet Aims to Be Core Rival to Ericsson, Nokia
- Local Break-Out That Doesn’t Break the Network & a Stepping Stone to 5G!
- Unlocking the True Potential of Mobile Edge Computing in Mobile Networks
Next: Huawei's MEC solution