Edge computing gets one of our revered buzzword award nominations from Mobile World Congress this year (excluding 5G), primarily for telco applications but vendors were also making a case for moving video closer to the edge.
One vendor in particular speaking to us in detail about MEC (multi-access edge computing) was a US start-up called Alef Mobitech, who in fact kicked off proceedings by saying the term multi-access is in the process of being usurped by mobile, although we won’t throw the term multi-access on the fire just yet. The 70-person company has developed a software stack which includes business apps, infrastructure apps, NFVI and MEC services. Essentially, it has built an edge platform for making 3G services operate like 4G, and 4G operate like 5G, the company’s founder explained, with services enabling video caching use cases and some impressive content aware ad insertion capabilities.
Taking place at the Hewlett Packard (it uses HP video servers) stand, Faultline Online Reporter was given a quick demo in which two users some 10 km apart, each streaming the same piece of video content at the same time, were each then delivered a different ad specific to their respective locations. The edge enables telcos to do this, we were told, calling it context aware ad insertion. Alef Mobitech claims to be the only company today with optimized real-time bidding at 100 milliseconds. Others are generally around the 300ms mark, the vendor noted, while the standard definition of edge in the telco community is delivery to an end user or machine within 20ms.
This week Alef Mobitech revealed it reached a major milestone of serving over 11 million users and nearly 3 billion edge sessions. Alef’s Edge Solution leverages its plug-n-play Edge Operating System to realize both Edge Enhanced and Edge Native applications.
And how about this for a refreshing and cheesy strapline – “Alef has established that while 5G needs Edge Computing, Edge Computing doesn’t need 5G.”