Edge computing and the future of IoT

Edge computing will bring near real-time processing to the Internet of Things (IoT). Imagine what you could do with real time. 

The state of IoT

Industry specialists have been predicting exponential growth for the Internet of Things (IoT). And those forecasts seem to be coming true. Gartner saysthat, worldwide, the enterprise and automotive IoT market will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019. 

And what about all that data? According to IDC,2 IoT-generated data will reach nearly 80 zettabytes by 2025.  

Edge computing for IoT

How can enterprises make that much data actionable? For many applications, the answer lies in edge computing, which puts an IT service environment and cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of the network, reducing the need to send data to distant servers.

Multi-access edge computing (MEC) is particularly appealing for IoT applications, thanks to:

  • Reduced latency. MEC brings computing resources closer to where the data is generated. Combined with 5G, it has the potential to significantly reduce latency, enabling the delivery of mission-critical services known as Ultra Reliable, Low Latency (URLL)
  • Compute availability and security. MEC can bring cloud computing capabilities to remote locations, and provide local processing and storage when security is essential
  • Minimized network traffic. MEC can aggregate and process IoT data at the edge, reducing network traffic and transmission costs
  • Less compute on the device. By removing computing requirements from the device and putting at the edge, MEC can reduce energy consumption and enable new devices, like lightweight augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) headsets


Putting machine learning and AI at the edge

What else can MEC do for IoT deployments? This is big.

It can bring machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to the edge, to make IoT data actionable at scale. In near real time.

That means you can ingest, analyze and share vast amounts of actionable data; respond almost instantaneously to opportunities and challenges; and create powerful and effective training, meeting and customer experiences. 

We told you it was big. 

IoT + MEC = new possibilities

MEC enables new IoT possibilities and capabilities across nearly every industry, from customer-facing retail to back-end manufacturing. These could include:

  • Augmented reality for manufacturing safety. MEC can power AR and AI for hazard training and monitoring, so that organization can improve operation-wide safety
  • Shelf inventory management. Using in-store video data, MEC can audit and analyze inventory, which enables continuous on-shelf availability and reduces pricing errors
  • Predictive maintenance. Estimates show that MEC combined with sensors might be able to increase equipment uptime and availability up to 20%

5G and MEC: The future of IoT

Bringing 5G and MEC to IoT deployments is the next progression for the IoT. Together, MEC and 5G can deliver the ultralow latency and gigabits-per-second throughputs that are a precondition for applications that operate practically in real time.

And Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband is the logical choice for MEC-enabled IoT applications, thanks to:

  • Frequency

    Our millimeter-wave spectrum can deliver massive amounts of data quickly with very low latency, which doubles up on the low latency that MEC offers. 

    Read the white paper
  • Density

    5G is expected to be capable of supporting up to 1 million devices in a square kilometer.



    Read the white paper
  • Availability

    Verizon operates thousands of C-RAN and service access points that can run MEC services, and is currently integrating network and compute in areas throughout the network.


    Read the white paper

MEC and IoT resources

Verizon is uniquely positioned in the MEC space, giving us insights into both the far-reaching possibilities and the immediate requirements. 

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