SK Telecom and MobiledgeX join hands on mobile edge computing

SK Telecom has teamed up with MobiledgeX to jointly develop mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies and business models.

The two companies announced today that they had inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for their work together. It's a strong partnership for SK Telecom due to MobiledgeX, which is an edge computing company, being founded and backed by Deutsche Telekom.

MEC enables cloud and IT services that are closer to mobile subscribers. The closer distance to mobile users can lower latencies for applications and services, and help ease some of the network and IT functions out of the core architectures and data centers. MEC, or edge compute, is seen as a particularly valuable tool for 5G services.

SK Telecom, which is the largest mobile operator in South Korea by both revenue and number of subscribers, is in a heated wireless battle to be the first carrier in South Korea to roll out 5G services at scale. The partnership with MobiledgeX gives it a leg up at the edge. It's expected that MEC will play a key role in autonomous driving, disaster response robots/drones, cloud gaming and AR/VR.

Under the terms of the MOU, SK Telecom and MobiledgeX will make joint efforts to develop mobile edge computing solutions and expand the mobile edge infrastructure ecosystem.

Since there are currently no standards in place for interworking between different MEC technologies, the two companies will integrate their respective MEC platforms and then provide a common platform to global 5G service developers to expand the ecosystem.

“In the 5G era, mobile edge computing will be a key technology for next-generation industries including realistic media and autonomous driving,” said Park Jong-kwan, senior vice president and head of network technology R&D Center of SK Telecom, in a prepared statement. “Based on this partnership, SK Telecom will continue to drive technology innovations to provide customers with differentiated 5G services.”

In October, MobiledgeX, which is based in Menlo Park, California, Deutsche Telekom and Intel announced they were jointly developing publicly available, vendor neutral APIs and software tools to enable mobility-centric functions as part of a new project by Facebook's Telecom Infra Project.

RELATED: Deutsche Telekom and Niantic team up on augmented reality for 5G

The same month, MobiledgeX and Deutsche Telekom said they had partnered with Niantic to create a better user experience for augmented gaming on mobile networks.