ETSI broadens scope of MEC group to address multiplicity of stakeholders

ETSI’s Multiaccess Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG) has decided to expand its scope to address multiple MEC hosts being deployed in many different networks, owned by various operators and running edge applications.

After a meeting of ETSI MEC earlier this month in Sophia Antipolis, France, ETSI’s Mobile Edge Computing ISG was renamed to Multiaccess Edge Computing to “embrace the challenges in the second phase of work and better reflect non-cellular operators’ requirements,” the organization said in a press release.

Additional features of the current work include an alignment with NFV architecture and standards-based interfaces among multiaccess hosts. Future work will take into account heterogeneous networks using LTE, 5G, fixed and Wi-Fi technologies.

“In phase 2, we are expanding our horizons and addressing challenges associated with the multiplicity of hosts and stakeholders,” Alex Reznik, chairman of MEC ISG, said in the release. “The goal is to enable a complete multiaccess edge computing system able to address the wide range of use cases which require edge computing, including IoT.”

He added that the group will continue to work closely with 3GPP, ETSI NFV ISG and other standards development organizations as well as key industry organizations to ensure that edge computing applications can be developed to a standardized, broadly adopted platform.

At the same meeting, the group renewed its leadership team. Reznik of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise was elected chairman, while Pekka Kuure and Sami Kekki, respectively from Nokia and Huawei, were elected as new vice chairs. Adrian Neal of Vodafone was re-elected as vice chair.

ETSI’s NFV work has evolved remarkably quickly since seven of the world’s leading telecom network operators formed the NFV ISG in 2012.

Over the past four years, the NFV ISG has grown to more than 290 organizations, including 38 network operators. According to a white paper (PDF) published last month, network operators believe NFV is a key technology enabler for 5G.

While the meaning of “5G” is still to be defined, the evolved 5G network will be characterized by “agile resilient converged fixed/mobile networks based on NFV and SDN technologies and capable of supporting network functions and applications encompassing different domains, including serving remote areas and inside buildings,” the paper said.