Deploying AI Models at the Edge

Bridge Alliance, MobiledgeX, Singtel and Telefonica show interconnection of MECs for enterprise customers

A group of telecom operators and edge computing solution providers said that for the first time they have enabled applications to talk to each other across the network edge using different application platforms. Specifically, Bridge Alliance, MobiledgeX, Singtel and Telefonica have collaborated to achieve interconnection between two heterogenous multi-access edge computing (MEC) platforms.

The Bridge Alliance is a group of 34 operators in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. The organization said that the integration of Bridge Alliance Federated Edge Hub (FEH) and MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform has offered the flexibility to deploy edge applications across different edge platforms in differing geographical locations served by the respective hubs. For the initial test, Singtel’s MEC and Telefonica’s MEC will be connected by the FEH and MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform respectively. Through this interconnection of MEC platforms, Singtel’s customers can deploy edge applications on Telefonica’s MEC and the other way round.

“The implication of such hub-to-hub interconnections is that our member operators’ enterprise customers will be able to offer exciting data-intensive and low latency services in markets beyond our Asian footprint,” says Dr. Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance. “We believe that this is only the beginning of more cross-regional edge deployments in the industry, which will occur as more of our member operators come on board our FEH, and as more trials between different edge hubs/aggregators are established.”

Enterprises can now offer edge deployments outside the geographical boundaries of the telecom operator while still leveraging the low latency and reliable network of interconnected providers. The expanded geographical footprint allows consumers and developers to use cross-regional edge resources while deploying edge applications through a unified interface.

“This announcement demonstrates that operators in disparate regions can choose the edge computing platform that best fits individual market needs while still easily achieving worldwide reach,” says Michael Lochead, SVP of product for MobiledgeX. We are proud to continue advancing edge compute possibilities with our operator partners as meaningful edge service rollouts are prepped for 2022 and beyond.”

Multi-access edge computing (MEC) has long promised to bring compute resources closer to the end-user where data is generated.  Processing data at the network’s edge rather than a central cloud reduces network-based latency and decreases bandwidth consumption. Turning that promise into reality has been a long, arduous process for wireless providers.

The interconnection of edge computing platforms by participating telecom operators across the globe could proliferate as more applications using edge AI or augmented reality, for instance, deploy across more markets. Eliminating the barriers of region-specific resources, as exemplified by the announcement, means enterprise customers are closer than ever to leveraging edge cloud functionality provided by telecom operators on a global basis.

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