The Edge

Telco giants team on interoperable edge computing

Four giant telcos – Telefónica, China Unicom, KT and Telstra – have struck an agreement to collaborate on the development of multi-access edge computing (MEC) capabilities, with the ultimate goal of enabling different applications to run across "a federation of interconnected operators."

The move forms part of the GSMA's recently announced Operator Platform project, which in turn supports an initiative involving China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefónica and TIM to develop an interoperable edge compute platform.

Telefónica said this latest initiative focuses on testing edge computing functionality and interconnection capability, "and verifying the ease and simplicity of a MEC platform for application developers to leverage." Feedback from operators and developers will then be shared with the GSMA Operator Platform, standards bodies and open source communities, with the apparent aim of creating a "global edge cloud."

In the first phase of the initiative, the four operators worked with software developer and systems integrator Altran "to demonstrate a federation between various operators' edge computing platforms so that they can enable its customers to deploy applications and workloads across each operator network and provide access to a global footprint."

The recent flurry of edge compute initiatives only serves to underline the importance of edge compute resources in a 5G world, as services are moved closer to the customer. SK Telecom also recently announced the launch of the Global MEC Task Force with Bridge Alliance member operators, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile and PCCW Global, for cooperation in 5G mobile (now multi-access) edge computing.

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— Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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