SK Telecom steps up cooperation with Microsoft in 5G mobile edge computing

By Lim Chang-won Posted : April 2, 2020, 17:31 Updated : April 2, 2020, 17:31

[Courtesy of SK Telecom]

SEOUL -- SK Telecom, a top mobile carrier in South Korea, will strengthen cooperation with Microsoft in 5G-based mobile edge computing (MEC) that delivers low-latency networks to mobile and connected devices while improving data throughput, reliability, power efficiency and security.

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. 5G MEC technologies enable cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of cellular networks.

Azure, a public cloud platform operated by Microsoft, has been combined with SK Telecom's 5G network and MEC equipment. Telecom firms, operators and network providers will be able to provide 5G-optimized services and applications by utilizing Azure computing, storage, networking and AI technologies. Companies can reduce costs and handle network workloads in innovative ways.

As part of a comprehensive strategic partnership to develop new "game-changing" services, SK Telecom (SKT) has been involved in the development of Microsoft's new services: Azure Edge Zones and Azure Edge Edge Zones.

Microsoft said that Azure Edge Zones would allow Azure users to bring their applications to edge locations. The service enables real-time low-latency 5G applications. "With cloud and 5G, there are new possibilities by combining cloud services, like compute and AI with high bandwidth and ultra-low latency," Microsoft said in a statement.

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.

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.

In January this year, SKT announced the establishment of a cooperative system called "Global MEC TF" in Asia to share and co-develop 5G-based MEC technologies. The company vowed to play a leading role in establishing standards for borderless MEC platforms.
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