Bridge Alliance, the leading mobile alliance covering 34 markets and TM Forum, the industry association driving digital transformation through collaboration, have entered into a strategic partnership that will simplify the adoption of edge computing for global telecom companies, enabling them to accelerate digital transformation efforts and leverage new business opportunities in emerging technologies.
The partnership will advance Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) as a growth engine for the telecom industry. MEC supports ultra-low latency applications by processing data closer to the user instead of sending it to the cloud, enabling new business models and the growth of use cases such as cloud gaming, drones, robots, autonomous vehicles and augmented and virtual reality applications.
Through the partnership, Bridge Alliance and its member telecom operators will be able to leverage TM Forum’s Open APIs to deliver open, transparent and accessible MECs at scale. This will pave the way for interoperability and standardisation of MEC globally. The operators could advance their MEC development and boost capabilities in areas such as location-based services and optimise content storage and distribution closer to their customers for faster response times. They will be better positioned to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with ‘hyperscalers’ for new business opportunities.
Dr Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance says: “MEC is an area of growth which many telecom operators are focusing on as our industry moves towards edge computing. Given the current fragmented regional telecom market, there is a need to work towards integration and interoperability as a common goal. We are delighted to work with TM Forum towards standardisation and an industry-approved architecture in MEC to drive the growth and deployment of MEC use cases. By sharing knowledge and resources, we will help our ecosystem of operators and service providers evolve with the developing edge computing market and compete globally.”
Nik Willetts, CEO of TM Forum comments: “Alongside AI and 5G, MEC is one of a ‘perfect storm’ of digital-infrastructure technologies that will unlock the potential of Industry 4.0 and exciting new B2B2x services. For the telecoms industry to seize these opportunities for growth, we need open standards that make it easy to partner, federate, operate and assure MEC solutions end-to-end. By working with Bridge Alliance, we have a unique opportunity to rapidly co-create, test and prove effective standards fit for the real world.”
Bridge Alliance is driving Proof-of-Concept and live deployments of MEC services through its Federated Edge Hub that connects MEC platforms across its member operators, allowing them to easily onboard their respective edge platforms and deliver on-demand edge computing services regionally to support their customers. TM Forum is exploring the integration, interoperability, and service management challenges associated with MEC through its Open APIs and Catalyst rapid proof-of-concept programs.