Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1Mobile-Edge ComputingObjectivesThis white paper is authored by the founders of the Mobile-edge Computing (MEC) industry initiative.The objectives of this paper are to introduce the concept of Mobile-edge Computing and the related keymarket drivers, and to discuss the business, consumer and technical value/benefits that this technologyoffers. The paper discusses the enablers, the requirements and challenges for Mobile-edge Computingas well as the objectives of the MEC initiative.This white paper presents the high-level architectural blueprint of Mobile-edge Computing which,together with the scope of work, will form the basis for the first release of the work in the initiative. Inaddition, it highlights the relationships between and the interfaces with other industry efforts.The authors invite the various players in the value chain to actively participate in the work of theinitiative.Contributing Organizations and AuthorsHuawei: Milan Patel, Yunchao Hu, Patrice HédéIBM: Jerome Joubert, Chris Thornton, Brian NaughtonIntel: Julian Roldan Ramos, Caroline Chan, Valerie Young, Soo Jin Tan, Daniel LynchNokia Networks: Nurit Sprecher, Torsten Musiol, Carlos Manzanares, Uwe RauschenbachNTT DOCOMO: Sadayuki Abeta, Lan Chen, Kenji ShimizuVodafone: Adrian Neal, Peter Cosimini, Adam Pollard, Guenter KlasPublication date: September 2014Page 1

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1Table of Contents1Executive summary . 42Introduction. 632.1Trends and market drivers .62.2Evolution of the mobile base station .72.3Business and technical benefits .92.4Use cases .10The need for an industry initiative for Mobile-edge Computing . 143.1Rationale and objectives .143.2Mobile-edge Computing work under the auspices of ETSI ISG .144Deployment scenarios. 165Architectural blueprint . application-platform services . services . Network Information Services (RNIS) . Offload Function (TOF) .225.1.2MEC application platform management interface . management of the application platform . life cycle . O&M .235.267MEC Platform .19Scope of the ISG MEC work .23Key enablers . 256.1Cloud and virtualization.256.2High-volume standard servers .256.3Enabling the application and service ecosystem .26Technical challenges and requirements . 277.1Network integration .277.2Application portability.27Page 2

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 17.3Security.277.4Performance .297.5Resilience.297.6Operations .307.7Regulatory and legal considerations .308Relations and interfaces with other industry efforts (within and outside ETSI) . 329Call for active participation . 3310Conclusion. 3411Contact information . 36Page 3

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 11 Executive summaryMobile-edge Computing provides IT and cloud-computing capabilities within the Radio Access Network(RAN) in close proximity to mobile subscribers.For application developers and content providers, the RAN edge offers a service environment with ultralow latency and high-bandwidth as well as direct access to real-time radio network information (such assubscriber location, cell load, etc.) that can be used by applications and services to offer context-relatedservices; these services are capable of differentiating the mobile broadband experience.Mobile-edge Computing allows content, services and applications to be accelerated, increasingresponsiveness from the edge. The mobile subscriber’s experience can be enriched through efficientnetwork and service operations, based on insight into the radio and network conditions.Operators can open the radio network edge to third-party partners, allowing them to rapidly deployinnovative applications and services towards mobile subscribers, enterprises and other verticalsegments. Proximity, context, agility and speed can be translated into value and can createopportunities for mobile operators, service and content providers, Over the Top (OTT) players andIndependent Software Vendors (ISVs), enabling them to play complementary and profitable roles withintheir respective business models and allowing them to monetize the mobile broadband experience.This environment can create a new value chain and an energized ecosystem comprising applicationdevelopers, content providers, OTT players, network equipment vendors and mobile operators. Basedon innovation and business value, this value chain will allow all players to benefit from greatercooperation.The intention is to develop favorable market conditions which will create sustainable business for allplayers in the value chain, and to facilitate global market growth. To this end, a standardized, openenvironment needs to be created to allow the efficient and seamless integration of such applicationsacross multi-vendor Mobile-edge Computing platforms. This will also ensure that the vast majority ofthe customers of a mobile operator can be served. A new Industry Specification Group (ISG) is proposedto be set up in ETSI to allow the creation of industry specifications for Mobile-edge Computing (MEC).The ISG MEC will also work towards enabling and accelerating the development of edge applicationsacross the industry, increasing the market scale and improving market economics.Chapter 2 of this paper introduces the key market drivers for the evolution of the mobile base station aswell as the business and technical benefits of Mobile-edge Computing. Use case scenarios are presented.Chapter 3 raises the need for an industry initiative for Mobile-edge Computing.Page 4

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1Chapter 4 presents the deployment scenarios that will be supported in the first release and outlinesscenarios that may be considered in future releases of the initiative.Chapter 5 describes (a) the high-level architectural blueprint of Mobile-edge Computing that will formthe basis of the work in the ISG MEC, and (b) the scope of the first release.Chapter 6 outlines the enablers for Mobile-edge Computing.Chapter 7 discusses related requirements and technical challenges.Chapter 8 describes the relationships between and the interfaces with other industry efforts.Chapter 9 calls for the active participation of the different players in the value chain: mobile operators,equipment vendors, platform providers, Application Service Providers (ASPs) and OTT players.Chapter 10 presents the conclusion.Chapter 11 provides the contact information of the authors of the white paper.Page 5

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 12 Introduction2.1 Trends and market driversEnd users and businesses are demanding more from the telecommunication industry. While end usersrequest personalized services, better performance, better user experience, businesses need to get moreinformation about their consumers, easier and secured access to devices and greater flexibility forprovisioning new services. There is a key role to play for Equipment providers, Service Providers and ITplayers together to make this a reality by providing converged IT and Network infrastructure.The continuing growth of mobile traffic is well documented, driven mainly by consumer smart phones,streaming video, messaging and P2P applications. The growth in mobile traffic is set to increasedramatically as enterprises extend their business processes to smart mobile devices and as machine-tomachine solutions mature throughout vertical industries. Wireless sensors are key enablers to manymission-critical scenarios, from smarter traffic to video analytics. Wireless sensors are expected to growin their numbers exponentially over the next 10 years. The cellular network is the ubiquitous platformfor integrating these devices with vertical back office solutions.The worlds of IT and Telecommunications Networking are converging bringing with them newpossibilities and capabilities that can be deployed into the network (see Figure 1). A key transformationhas been the ability to run IT based servers at network edge, applying the concepts of cloud computing.We define this as Mobile-edge Computing. Mobile-edge Computing can be seen as a cloud serverrunning at the edge of a mobile network and performing specific tasks that could not be achieved withtraditional network infrastructure. Machine-to-Machine gateway and control functions are one example,but there are many others.Figure 1: IT and Telecommunications networking convergencePage 6

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1Typically, Mobile-edge Computing is characterized by: On-Premises: The Edge is local, meaning that it can run isolated from the rest of the network,while having access to local resources. This becomes particularly important for Machine-toMachine scenarios, for example when dealing with security or safety systems that need highlevels of resilience. Proximity: Being close to the source of information, Edge Computing is particularly useful tocapture key information for analytics and big data. Edge computing may also have direct accessto the devices, which can easily be leveraged by business specific applications. Lower latency: As Edge services run close to end devices it considerably reduces latency. Thiscan be utilized to react faster, to improve user experience, or to minimize congestion in otherparts of the network. Location awareness: When a Network Edge is part of a wireless network, whether it is Wi-Fi orCellular, a local service can leverage low-level signaling information to determine the location ofeach connected device. This gives birth to an entire family of business-oriented use cases,including Location Based Services, Analytics, and many more. Network context information: Real-time network data (such as radio conditions, networkstatistics, etc.) can be used by applications and services to offer context-related services that candifferentiate the mobile broadband experience and be monetized. New applications can bedeveloped (which will benefit from this real-time network data) to connect mobile subscriberswith local points-of-interest, businesses and events.2.2 Evolution of the mobile base stationIn the past, the edge of a mobile network was a place where only specialist processing was done. Ithoused specialized computing that was designed from the ground up to perform a function in theoverall architecture and was not able to be repurposed. Connectivity from the edge of the network backto the core was also a specific configuration, running over specialized protocols. The completeconfiguration was optimized in the pre smartphone era, where Voice quality was the key driver innetwork design and before the days where IP was the standard for network communications.IP has spread from the internet, to enterprise networks and with widespread adoption of LTE, throughthe edge of networks to the end devices themselves. This has enabled new applications to emerge thathave seen a transformation in telecommunication networks and their design. Single vendor radionetwork solutions are evolving into modular, open solutions that are able to integrate in an ecosystemof changeable components.Page 7

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1Edge computing in outdoor scenariosThere are different ways to implement Mobile-edge Computing, depending on the access technology.For outdoor, Macro cells vendors embed secured computing and virtualization capabilities directly intoradio access network elements. This integration of applications with radio equipment allows operatorsto rapidly deliver innovative network features, accelerate over-the-top (OTT) services and enable avariety of new high value services. Such flexible services are executed at a very strategic location in themobile network, making them much more essential than any other applications run at the core. Thisarchitecture is particularly relevant to: Improve mobile users’ Quality of Experience (QoE), by reducing latency, improving quality ofservice or/and providing customized services. Improve infrastructure’s efficiency, with more intelligent and optimized networks. Enable disruptive vertical services, particularly relevant for Machine-to-Machine scenarios, BigData management, Analytics, Smart Cities and much more. Tight integration with radio equipment, making it easy to understand traffic characteristics andneeds, deal with radio conditions, get device location information, etc.Edge computing in indoor scenariosWhen it comes to indoor, such as Wi-Fi and 3G/4G access points, edge clouds take the form of powerfulon-premises gateways, where dedicated intelligence serves local purposes. Through lightweightvirtualization, those gateways run multiple services applied to the particular location they are installedin, such as: Machine-to-Machine scenarios: Connecting to various sensors, Mobile-edge Computing servicescan deal with all sorts of monitoring activities (air conditioning, elevators, temperature,humidity, access control, etc.) Retail Solutions: Having the ability to locate and communicate with mobile devices, there is anopportunity to deliver higher value to the consumers and the malls. For example deliveringcontent based on location, implementing augmenting reality, improving the overall shoppingexperience, or dealing with secured online payment. Stadiums, Airports, Stations, Theatres: Specific services can help manage other types of crowedplaces, in particular to deal with safety, security, evacuation, or to provide new kinds of servicesto the public. For example, stadiums could provide live content to the public, airports couldguide passengers to their gate through an augmented reality service, and many more. All thesePage 8

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 1applications would leverage local content and conditions to be perfectly adapted to theiraudience. Big data and Analytics: Last but not least, the information gathered at this key point in thenetwork, can be leveraged as part of a bigger analytics initiative to serve customers better.2.3 Business and technical benefitsMobile-edge Computing provides a new ecosystem and value chain and the opportunity for all playerswithin it to collaborate and develop new business models they can each benefit from.Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can rapidly deploy new services for consumer and enterprisebusiness segments which can help them differentiate their service portfolio. Adding new revenuestreams from innovative services delivered from closer to the user can improve the MNOs bottom linewhilst improving end user QoE. New applications which are aware of the local context in which theyoperate (RAN conditions, locality, etc.) can open up entire new service categories and enrich the offeringto end users. Placing relevant applications on or near the base station not only offers advantages toconsumer and enterprise end users. It also reduces the volume of signaling offloaded to the corenetwork and could also reduce OPEX for the MNOs, compared to hosting in the core. The MNOs couldincrease their revenue by charging based on the resource usage (storage, NW bandwidth, CPU, etc.) ofeach content provider, if such resource usage could be obtained via specific APIs in MEC server.Software and application providers can serve the new ecosystem by developing and bringing to themarket innovative and ground breaking services and applications that can take advantage of theinformation on radio network capabilities and conditions available at the base station. The applicationspace is open to anyone: software and application providers, infrastructure vendors and MNOs.The use of open standards and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), as well as the use of familiarprogramming models, relevant tools chain and Software Development Kits are key pillars to encourageand expedite the development of new disruptive applications or the adaptation of existing services andapplications to the new Mobile-edge Computing environment.Page 9

Mobile-Edge Computing – Introductory Technical White PaperIssue 12.4 Use casesThis subsection depicts some examples of use cases and benefits that have already been demonstrated.Many other use cases can be defined and enabled by the MEC open framework.Use Case1: Active Device Location TrackingFigure 2: Example of active device location trackingFigure 2 shows an example of the active device location tracking use