GSMA supports operators’ initiative to develop an interoperable edge platform

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China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, EE, KDDI, Orange, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefónica and TIM have joined forces, in an attempt to make edge compute widely and easily available.

They plan to develop an interoperable edge platform in 2020 that will make a local operator’s assets and capabilities – such as low latency, compute and storage – available to application developers and software vendors to serve enterprise clients.

The operators are jointly to develop an Edge Compute architectural framework and reference platform, and the GSMA has launched an Operator Platform Project to support the initiative.

Initially, the platform will be deployed across multiple markets in Europe and progressively extended to other operators and geographies to achieve global reach.

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Unmatched proximity

The GSMA said in a statement that the platform will allow operators to offer enterprises “unmatched proximity to their customers and deliver high performance” and create an opportunity for enterprises to expand in local or international markets while complying with local regulatory and data protection laws.

The principles behind Telco Edge Cloud are to be open and inclusive, and provide data protection and sovereignty mechanisms, and offer “carrier-grade reliability, security, trustworthiness”.

It will use existing tech where appropriate, such as aggregation platform solutions like MobiledgeX, which was initiatied by DT, or interconnection mechanisms developed as part of the GSMA MultiOperator MEC experience.

“I welcome this operator initiative to take ownership of the edge opportunity by joining forces to deliver our capabilities in a federated edge service,” said Claudia Nemat, Board Member Technology & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “Leveraging

MobiledgeX as platform partner and aggregator in the federation puts operators on the best track to create scale, bring in the developer community and make a market impact.”

“The market needs an Edge Cloud that meets the enterprise demands to service their customers. Telecom operators are in an extremely good position to provide a trusted and open Edge Cloud, so enterprises can maximise their service offering and business opportunities being as close as needed to their customers,” said Enrique Blanco, Group CTO, Telefónica.

“Edge Cloud is a fundamental asset for the new requirements of many business segments and customers,” said Elisabetta Romano, Chief Innovation & Partnership Officer, TIM. “Edge Cloud will be a formidable enabler to transform the network from a ‘bit pipe’ to an effective digital business platform, thanks to flexible computing capacity and low access latency to computing resources.”.