SK Telecom has deployed its second 5G edge zone in Seoul, which enables 5G-connected cloud services with ultra-low latency using multi-access edge computing (MEC) [1.], the South Korean telecom company said on Tuesday. SKT’s 5G edge zone is based on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Wavelength [2,]. This 5G edge zone in Seoul is the second launched by SK Telecom, following the one in Daejeon established in December, 2020.
Note 1. MEC refers to technologies that bring computation capabilities and data storage closer to user endpoint devices. It is of critical importance in reducing end to end 5G latency.
Note 2. Amazon’s Wavelength embeds AWS compute and storage services at the edge of communications service providers’ 5G networks while providing seamless access to cloud services running in an AWS Region. By doing so, AWS Wavelength minimizes the latency and network hops required to connect from a 5G device to an application hosted on AWS. With AWS Wavelength and SK Telecom 5G, application developers can now build the ultra-low latency applications needed for use cases like smart factories, interactive live streaming, autonomous vehicles, connected hospitals, and augmented and virtual reality-enhanced experiences.
In 2019, Verizon, Vodafone, SKT and KDDI were among the first operators to partner with AWS to develop commercial edge computing services running on 5G networks.
SK Telecom said that its second edge zone will enhance the efficiency of 5G cloud services, as edge computing workloads will be shared out between the Seoul zone and the Daejeon zone.
The Seoul zone will cover network traffic coming from the top half of the country including the greater Seoul area while the Daejeon zone will cover the rest. Before the Seoul edge zone was set up, the Daejeon edge zone had covered all network traffics across the country.
SK Telecom said that its “SK Edge Discovery” system will automatically allocate the edge zone based on users’ current location.
SKT recently unveiled an enterprise 5G MEC solution called ‘Petasus‘ in collaboration with Dell Technologies. The Petasus 5G MEC solution combines SKT’s 5G MEC solution and Dell PowerEdge servers. It provides network virtualization features specialized for MEC and operational tools. Going forward, the solution will support integration with MEC solutions of other telcos and provide an app store-like feature for MEC services applications.
As a solution that reflects SKT’s extensive experience in 5G MEC commercialization and operation, the platform can be provided in a customized manner. Going forward, it will enable enterprises to deploy MEC in a prompt and stable manner by supporting interworking with public clouds.
SKT and Dell plan to provide the Petasus solution not only to global telcos, but also to businesses and public institutions throughout the globe that plan to adopt private 5G networks. In particular, they will strengthen their cooperation in 5G end-to-end business, which includes consulting, infrastructure deployment and maintenance services.