Where is the Edge?

Where is the Edge?

Nasa’s Voyager 2 space probe took 41 years and approximately 11 billion miles traveled to find the edge of the heliosphere and break free of our Sun’s solar winds and magnetic fields, sailing into the lonely, dense interstellar medium in 2018. Knowing the exact boundary of this protective bubble in space has always been a bit tenuous, but scientists are confident the probe and its twin, Voyager 1, are now beyond it. Hopefully, it will not take as long to answer the same burning question about Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC): Where is the edge?

Odds are, the edge will be different based on the type of service riding over it or the type of access technology being leveraged. MEC could be an even more disruptive technology that 5G itself, but there are still so many questions about how it will be deployed such as:

  • What are the use cases for MEC?
  • Are new management and orchestration solutions required?
  • How will cloud provider/service provider relationships evolve?
  • What are the drivers for MEC and the challenges?

Of course, you could help reduce the time it takes to answer the main question about where the edge can be found, from the 41 years the last time the question was answered down to the few minutes it takes to complete our survey. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and crystalizing the industry perspective on this next big telecom thing, please choose one of these links:

  • If you are a telecom service provider (CSP), click here
  • If you are a hardware or software supplier or Systems Integrator, click here
  • If you are an enterprise company interested in MEC capabilities, click here

Did you know that information, moving at the speed of light, takes about 16.5 hours to travel from the Voyager 2 to Earth? What we do not know yet is if the telecom industry thinks that low latency is the biggest driver for MEC-based solutions, and if so, is 10 milliseconds possible? Is 20 ms enough? Have a thought on this? Take the survey.

Preliminary results of this survey show that many CSPs are hesitating to invest in MEC at this time because they do not see enough viable use cases. We think there are plenty, but we do not have to invest the money. Let us know what you think.

We aren’t trying to push the edge as a cure all for operators, but we suspect that if CSPs who are currently hesitant on the edge move forward with MEC they just may experience something like the scenario below, written by English poet Christopher Logue (or French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, there is apparently some dispute):

“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, we’re afraid!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
“We can’t, We will fall!” they responded.
“Come to the edge,” he said.
And so they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

If you would like to see MEC fly straight, please take a few minutes for our survey using the links above.

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