Mobile operator organisation Bridge Alliance has announced the successful completion of the first phase of a Proof of Concept (POC) for the edge cloud federation, or interconnectivity, involving Singtel’s and SK Telecom’s (SKT) Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) platforms. MEC supports ultra-low latency applications like cloud gaming, drones, robots, automated guided vehicles and virtual, augmented, or mixed reality by processing data closer to the user instead of sending it to the cloud. The POC successfully demonstrated cloud gaming on Singtel’s and SKT’s MEC platforms deployed through the Bridge Alliance Federated Edge Hub.
Bridge Alliance is a mobile alliance for premier operators and their customers in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Bridge Alliance’s members and partners include: Airtel (India, Sri Lanka and the Airtel subsidiaries in Africa: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia), AIS (Thailand), China Telecom (Mainland China), China Unicom (Mainland China), CSL Mobile (Hong Kong), CTM (Macau), Globe Telecom (Philippines), Maxis (Malaysia), Metfone (Cambodia), MobiFone (Vietnam), Optus (Australia), Singtel (Singapore), SK Telecom (South Korea), stc (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait), SoftBank Corp. (Japan), Taiwan Mobile (Taiwan) and Telkomsel (Indonesia).
The Bridge Alliance Federated Edge Hub interconnects multi-operators’ MEC platforms, enabling the alliance’s members to easily onboard their respective edge platforms and provide a one-stop-shop to deliver on-demand edge compute services regionally to support their customers.
The POC validated the MEC platforms’ capability to host and deliver edge compute resources across multiple geographies to support low latency applications such as cloud gaming. SKT successfully streamed World of Warships, an online game, using the federated platform through GameGrid, a game streaming provider. Through the Federated Edge Hub, the GameGrid application was deployed on the Singtel MEC platform and the cloud gaming experience was tested on a smartphone using Singtel’s 5G standalone network.
Dr. Ong Geok Chwee, CEO of Bridge Alliance said, “With the fragmented nature of the Asia-Pacific market, cross-country edge cloud use cases can be best deployed with a Federated Edge Hub. By working with our ecosystem of member operators and partners, we empower enterprises, partners and edge compute developers to easily enable resource ordering across multiple geographies through standardised interfaces such as ETSI and TM Forum, and also deploy use cases, with high performance and low latency.”
Dennis Wong, VP of Enterprise Mobility Product and Platform, Singtel said, “Cloud gaming has seen a boom during the pandemic and continues to grow in popularity as digital entertainment for our customers in the region. The POC paves the way for Singtel and our Bridge Alliance partners to deliver immersive, multi-player cloud gaming experiences through our respective 5G and MEC. Beyond cloud gaming, we are working towards an interconnected edge hub enabling enterprises and edge compute developers to seamlessly deploy latency-critical workloads and develop innovative 5G solutions across the region.”
“We are glad that we could contribute our experience and technologies to interconnecting global operators’ MEC,” said Lee Dong-kee, Vice President and Head of MEC Product at SKT. “Going forward, expect to interconnect MEC platforms of other Bridge Alliance Members and develop innovative 5G services in a collaborative manner.”
Sebastiaan Heijne, CEO Gameye, said, “We’re excited to be working with Bridge Alliance and Singtel. Our application deployment on MEC VM demonstrated the workload portability of the game server on MEC, and we delivered significantly lower E2E latency, enabling multi-player session-based gaming.”
Bridge Alliance will expand the federated MEC POC to include more members. The second phase will involve AIS in Thailand and Optus in Australia.