On the Edge of a Better Normal

5G On the Edge of a Better Normal

By Kurt Michel

5G and Edge Computing —

With the rapid transition to remote work, distance learning, and telehealth, ubiquitous high-speed connectivity is now woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. It has become essential to the way we work, live, and play. The pandemic has only accelerated the demand for higher bandwidth, for both businesses and consumers who need faster, higher-capacity networks with ultra-reliable, ultra-low-latency connectivity. Fast broadband is no longer a nice-to-have, and 5G solutions which can meet that demand are now becoming available.

Also, 5G technology’s low latency and high speed make it ideal for many IoT applications. 5G promises huge data rates between the user, device, and the network. However, the additional bandwidth that 5G unleashes puts more pressure on the processing infrastructure that gathers and processes all of this data to provide useful information or actions. The Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) initiative anticipated this, recognizing that compute server capabilities placed as close as possible to end users and their devices is required to meet the demand for the low-latency, high-capacity processing that a new class of 5G-enabled applications requires.

MEC initiatives are focused on building out compute capacity in edge networks. With edge computing, cloud computing becomes more distributed, because local processing at the edge is not a replacement for the hyper-scale, data-center-based cloud: it complements it.

Remember a long, long time ago when PCs replaced dumb terminals? Edge computing will soon change things THAT dramatically.

Originally published on isemag.com October 1, 2020