Verizon now has mobile edge computing (MEC) operational in two more markets. The company calls its MEC offering Verizon 5G Edge.
The two new Verizon 5G Edge markets, Dallas and Miami, join five others previously announced. Verizon expects to have MEC locations in 10 markets by year-end.
Mobile edge computing is important to realizing the full benefits of low-latency 5G technology, and it may be particularly important for Verizon, which has focused more attention than any other carrier on using the millimeter wave band for 5G. That band provides the fastest speeds but over relatively short distances in comparison with lower-frequency, also known as low-band, spectrum.
Verizon calls its 5G service that operates in the millimeter wave band “5G Ultra Wideband.”
Verizon 5G Edge comes via a partnership with AWS announced in 2019. The partnership focuses on what AWS calls “Wavelength” services, which are data center resources located in facilities owned by service provider partners.
Using this approach, Verizon and AWS are able to move computing services closer to end users to minimize latency. This approach is designed to enable applications such as an offering that Verizon announced in August that targets stadiums and entertainment arenas.
That offering provides capabilities such as leveraging analytics to estimate wait times at check-in locations, restrooms and concession stands and interfacing with digital signage and mobile applications to direct fans to alternative locations with shorter lines.
A press release about the two new Verizon 5G Edge markets includes some other examples of autonomous and connected vehicle use cases based on MEC and 5G Ultra Wideband that are currently being explored:
- An automotive data platform from Renovo intelligently indexes and filters vehicle data in near-real time to support safety features such as real-time alerts for vehicles in the vicinity of an emergency event.
- In another automotive application, Savari also is testing applications that provide warnings to drivers and pedestrians.
- LG is exploring a next-generation C-V2X platform that enables information sharing between vehicles, mobile devices and transportation infrastructures.
Verizon Chief Technology Officer Kyle Malady told financial analysts yesterday that mobile edge computing was one of two Verizon technology initiatives, along with indoor 5G, about which he was most excited.
The five Verizon 5G Edge markets previously announced are Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C.