The 5G Future Forum, a group of global 5G leaders accelerating the delivery of Multi-access Edge Computing-enabled solutions around the world, will release its first technical specifications to its members in the third quarter of 2020 – a major step forward in enabling global interoperability for 5G and Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) deployment to deliver efficient and innovative services to end customers.
There are two major sets of technical specifications:
•The “MEC Experience Management” technical specification defines a set of intent-based APIs for functional exposure of edge and workload discovery with potential expansion to include future MEC functions and capabilities which are driven by network intelligence
•The “MEC Deployment” technical specification defines the set of specifications to enable hyperscalers and service providers to deploy and integrate global MEC physical frameworks, including facilities (e.g. power and cooling), monitoring, operational considerations, and security.
The 5G Future Forum was established in January 2020 by América Móvil, KT Corp., Rogers, Telstra, Verizon, and Vodafone to develop 5G interoperability specifications to accelerate the delivery of 5G and MEC solutions around the world. Over the past six months, the Forum’s founding members have been working to create the governance structure for the 5GFF, as well as develop both technical and commercial workstreams.
The technical specifications are the first outputs from the technical workstream, which brings together technologists from all member telecommunications service providers. They are designed for 5G telecommunication service providers, cloud service providers (‘hyperscalers’), OEMs, developers, and enterprises.
The specifications will be released in August 2020. Following release of the specifications, the Forum anticipates expanding its membership to qualified new entrants. Other topics are being planned among the existing members with publication timeframes to be communicated shortly.
“The 5G Future Forum was set up to unlock the full potential of 5G and MEC applications and solutions around the globe,” said Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer, Verizon. “5G is a key enabler of the next industrial revolution, where technology should transform how we live and work through applications including machine learning, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented and virtual reality. The release of these first specifications marks a major step forward in helping companies around the world create a seamless global experience for their customers.”
“We are in the right direction to bring more innovation to our customers and start delivering new 5G services, which should increase the quality and enhance the user experience through the adoption of MEC,” said Daniel Hajj, América Móvil CEO. “We are pleased with this first achievement from the 5GFF Members to build the future for the 5G deployment.”
“The release of the first specification and whitepaper of 5G Future Forum ushers in a practical approach to put MEC solutions into the market. With this groundwork firmly in place, the 5GFF partnership should continue to further motivate rich 5G innovations in the MEC space where state-of-the-art technologies like AI and AR/VR are to be seamlessly integrated for more competitive services,” said Dr. Hongbeom Jeon, chief DX officer, KT Corp.
“The capabilities and potential benefits that 5G should bring to consumers and businesses around the globe are seemingly limitless, and the 5G Future Forum will help accelerate the delivery of this technology at a global scale,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers Communications. “At Rogers, we are focused on building a strong ecosystem of partners and fostering commercial 5G development to fuel businesses, industries and drive Canada’s economy forward. The 5G Future Forum’s upcoming specifications are an important step in evolving the capabilities of 5G and mobile edge computing to help us deliver innovative technology solutions that will bring Canadian and global businesses the very best of 5G.”
Telstra’s Group Executive for Networks and IT, Nikos Katinakis, said this specification and whitepaper is an important step towards unleashing greater 5G capabilities for enterprise and consumers alike. “5G and edge compute have the potential to truly revolutionise how organisations operate and be a game changer for a range of applications. Telstra is proud to stand alongside these global 5G leaders in the 5G Future Forum and to be developing initiatives that bring mobile edge computing to life.”
Johan Wibergh, Vodafone Group Chief Technology Officer, said: “The speed and capacity of 5G, with the immediacy of MEC, can give economies the productivity boost needed to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Through greater interoperability and closer collaboration, we can shorten the time it takes to develop new services using these technologies and make them available to many more customers over a wider geographical area.”