Friday 5 February 2021

SK Telecom’s 5G MEC Status and Plan


Back in December, at '5G Connected Edge Cloud for Industry 4.0 Transformation – 2020 Spotlight Series', Kang-Won Lee, Vice President, 5GX Cloud Labs, SK Telecom gave a talk on SK Telecom’s 5G MEC Status and Plan. 

It was interesting to see that while the industry has changed the definition of MEC to Multi-access Edge Computing, SKT still refers to it as Mobile Edge Cloud. As SKT has now crossed over 10 million 5G subscribers, they have noticed a lot of demand for Edge compute capability. While there is a demand, enterprises, factories, buildings, etc. are not interested in managing their own infrastructure. They would rather somebody else provides the services. This is where SK Telecom sees new business opportunities in the future. Along with the high throughput, high capacity and low latency, security and privacy is very important as well. 

As the services move to edge, there is more predictibility on QoE and the latecny can be reduced to as low as 1ms which is a huge benefit to critical applications. While they are not there yet, they are moving towards that goal. There is also a huge opportunity for public cloud providers here.

SKT has 2 main deployment models as can be seen. The public edge where they have data centres distributed throughout the country and can hence provide MEC services to 5G users nationwide. On the other hand, On-site edge is useful for providing private MEC services to enterprise and government users. Ideal for smart factories, smart hospitals, offices, etc. In both cases, SKT are open to collaborate with the users, communities, open source, big companies, etc.

Finally, SKT MEC Architecture can be seen in the picture above. The 5G network and 5G-MEC gateway can be seen which is connected with the compute and storage resources which are in turn connected to SKT tech assets or other operator platform or public cloud platform as required. The video provides more details including the SKT MEC Architecture details.

The slides are available to the registered users here and the talk is embedded as follows:

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