SK Telecom leads establishment of 5G MEC cooperative system in Asia

By Lim Chang-won Posted : January 13, 2020, 10:15 Updated : January 13, 2020, 10:15

[Courtesy of SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- SK Telecom, a top mobile carrier in South Korea, announced the establishment of a cooperative system in Asia to share and co-develop 5G-based mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies that enable cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of cellular networks.

SK Telecom (SKT) will play a leading role in establishing standards for borderless MEC platforms. The establishment of a cooperative system called "Global MEC TF" groups SKT, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Taiwan Mobile, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Hong Kong Telecom (HKT) and PCCW Global in Hong Kong, all from the Bridge Alliance.

The Bridge Alliance is a business alliance of major mobile telecom companies in Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East. It was built on seamless service connectivity and a suite of integrated value-added services for all alliance members' subscribers while roaming on each other's networks.

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, SKT showcased 5G MEC, which is designed to be implemented at cellular base stations or other edge nodes and enables flexible and rapid deployment of new applications and services for clients. By running applications and performing related processing tasks closer to the cellular customer, network congestion is reduced and applications perform better.

"As about 350 telecom companies are preparing to commercialize 5G by the end of the year, there are also a large number of requests for 5G and MEC cooperation," SKT's Cloud Labs Head Lee Kang-won said. "We hope our 5G MEC technology will also rapidly spread to the global market."

SKT will share 5G and MEC performance with members preparing to commercialize 5G this year while co-developing MEC technologies and services by gathering capabilities of each company. SKT will be the first chairman and host the first workshop at its head office in Seoul on January 13.

SKT has partnered with MobiledgeX, a San Francisco-based edge computing company. Edge cloud, or edge computing, is a computing infrastructure established close to the sources of data such as Internet of things (IoT) devices and machines inside a smart factory. It is capable of gathering and analyzing data at the sources of data.

In December 2019, SKT joined hands with AWS (Amazon Web Services), a subsidiary of Amazon, to push for a joint project related to 5G-based MEC. SKT aims to introduce customized MEC services by establishing 5G MEC infrastructure inside target companies.

The establishment of 5G networks in South Korea triggered a flurry of business cooperation in various industrial sectors, especially in robots and smart factories, while mobile carriers have tried to develop 5G edge cloud-based solutions for businesses.
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