Multi-access Edge Computing: How Carriers Could Realize Cost Savings in a Data Era

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Mavenir, a global player in software-based, end-to-end Cloud Native network solutions, has released a new study showing that U.S. mobile carriers could realize savings of more than $546 million over a five-year period by utilizing a virtualized media breakout controller (vMBC) to offload 32% of video traffic.

vMBCs alleviate increased data traffic and demand on transport and core networks elements by routing traffic directly to the internet. vMBCs enable operators to augment and extend the designed capability of their existing gateway products, providing financial justification for deployment of Multi-access Edge Compute with the derived benefits of user plane latency and a 5G ready architecture. This will provide operators greater business agility and lower total cost of ownership.

Increasing Demand for Data

Currently, the mean bandwidth per macrocell in the U.S. is more than 428 Mbps, but iGR estimates that will grow to 763 Mpbs – an increase of 78% by 2022. Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) servers create a local breakout of some mobile data traffic at the core that can enable content and applications to be processed as close as possible to the edge of the network, and closer to the mobile user, leading to faster browsing for the user and less strain on the network.

“80% of traffic in a mobile network today is video traffic of which 40% is encrypted and of little value to the mobile operator. Offloading that 40% alone, (32% of the total) produces significant operational savings in both capital and operational costs allowing increased profitability,” said Iain Gillott, president iGR.

“Utilizing a vMBC at the edge of the network, will decrease and optimize the amount of unprofitable data that needs to be carried through the network. A greater percentage offload leads to greater profits. vMBC offload provides a solid business case for the deployment of Edge Compute Functions where further MEC applications can be hosted and enable a head start in pre-deploying the elements needed for a 5G architecture in a 4G network,” said John Baker, senior vice president of 5G business development at Mavenir. “A 32% local breakout will extend the current macrocell backhaul and EPC capacity by 25.6 months.”

Cost Reduction for MNOs Globally

Detailed in the study are the cost savings carriers around the world can realize over a five-year period by utilizing a vMBC:
◦U.S. carriers can expect a savings of US$546.7M
◦German MNOs can save more than €188M (US $227M)
◦Australian MNOs will see savings of A$106.2M (US$80M)
◦Indian MNOs will realize savings of 38,763.9 INR (US$596M)

How the vMBC Works

A vMBC routes data – in particular, video and high-data traffic – directly to the Internet and not through the core cell network. All of the traffic from the local cell tower is routed through the MEC running the vMBC application, which then decides if the traffic should be backhauled to the EPC or broken out to the Internet. Traffic for the Internet is therefore routed immediately, through a firewall, to a dedicated Internet link and if necessary tunneled to a local peering point. This traffic is therefore not routed through the EPC and thus the backhaul and EPC load is reduced.


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