After extensive conversations with multiple customers and partners, we are finally at the point of moving from design documents, power points, and lab experiments into testing MEC in the field. Initially we were thinking that the users needed very complex solutions, to excite end-users. We missed the importance of simplicity and ease of use. Speed is the existing measuring stick that MEC enables, but simplification of the user experience with the network and applications is proving to be as powerful a benefit
MEC is not ubiquitous and it will be a while until it is. The first deployments are targeted at ecosystems (malls, venues, casinos, hospitals, retail, etc.) that have the density of mobile users and clients pushing the present toolsets. MEC can be seen as revolutionary in the services it can enable, but in practice, it has to be engineered to be evolutionary integrating to the existing tools and infrastructures.
The first use cases for our team are targeted at commercial ecosystems (Enterprise) where the economic and quality of experience benefits were highest. We targeted clients with highly mobile employees who are consuming large video and data files. The performance measurements are focused around the users experience, WAN impact, and financial use case success criteria.
- Local breakout of Internet and intranet traffic.
- Mirrored traffic enabling virtualized deep packet inspection and analytics.
- Directed caching.
- Device to device connectivity.
- Onsite integration with network based Automatic Location Identification (ALI) is foundational to more powerful in-store or in-building applications and subsequent user experiences such as Augmented Reality.
Our early findings that have impacted our solution design and ultimately the customer’ experience are as follows:
- The applications that fit into the MEC were best driven by the client’s existing family of application Companies.
- The inherent security of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) and Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) based devices was seen positively by the IT Chief Security Office (CSO).
- We needed to mature our Mobile Device Management (MDM) integration and Global Log-in tools. Creating an effortless user experience is more than just the applications.
- IT departments have their own thoughts on orchestration and platform management that we needed to consider.
- Rich Communication Services (RCS) is interesting to the client’s, but it must be easy and simple to use Video as a way of communicating has interest.
- Digital Media integration with ALI has a lot of use cases. The platforms must have easy to use on/off capabilities to enable consumer confidentiality. There is more work to do in this space.
The next phase of our journey is drilling down to determine the documented Quality of Experience (QoE), savings, revenue and security of the platform. It is an exciting time as we move cloud to the Edge. Mobile edge computing is just now starting to see its true potential, what ideas do you have to help improve your customers’ experiences and how can you take advantage of MEC?
You can find a foundational white paper on MEC here.
Also, please do not hesitate to share your inputs, questions and ideas on mobile edge computing to Bob and team at firstname.lastname@example.org.