What is MEC?

Looking to learn more about multi-access edge computing (MEC) and the benefits it could bring to your business? You’ve come to the right place. 

Implement. Innovate.

MEC is the next big thing for business—but many are still unclear on what that means. And until you fully understand what it is, you can’t begin to imagine what it can do for you. To help keep you ready to unlock the power of this emerging technology, we’ve created this brief introduction to edge computing, as well as a breakdown of some of its more impressive capabilities. 

Edge computing: The basics

Simply put, MEC delivers computing resources closer to where they’re needed. Instead of housing these critical resources in a big data center that could be hundreds—or even thousands—of miles away from where the data will ultimately be delivered, this new architecture puts it all right at the edge of the network.

And where, exactly, is a network’s edge? Well, it could be something like a content distribution network (CDN) that places data centers in key locations such as urban centers, but it really depends on the network’s individual structure. Wherever the edge is, running applications and performing processing tasks there is much quicker and more efficient—and it relieves a lot of cellular congestion.    

What MEC means for business

The behind-the-scenes aspects of MEC, such as quicker processing and less network traffic, are generally advantageous, but it’s the more tangible benefits that edge computing produces that really has businesses excited. Benefits like:

  • Super-low latency. Edge computing removes the latency that comes with compute/storage residing at faraway data centers. And with potential for single-digit latency, MEC opens doors to a whole new generation of possibilities—from lightweight VR to automated and orchestrated construction vehicles.
  •  Localized data. With MEC, data can be gathered and acted on right where it’s created—which can result in greater performance, contextually aware applications and improved security.
  • Expanded IoT potential. The edge is critical to meeting the rapid growth of IoT, and it can even address IoT challenges such as energy use and battery life. This is particularly the case when MEC is combined with 5G, since 5G is designed to handle massive IoT loads.  

The MEC Effect across industries

While edge computing is still an emerging technology, we have a few ideas for how industries can leverage it to innovate and transform. For instance, we think manufacturers could use MEC to bring the industry into the digital age, improving floor safety and customer experiences along the way. From autonomous checkout to in-transit product location, edge computing could go a long way in helping retailers develop more meaningful customer relationships. And as-it-happens data could open many new innovative opportunities for the healthcare industry to improve patient quality of care.   

Visit our library to get more specifics on these ideas and to explore even more use cases that range from what could be possible now to forward-thinking possibilities.

MEC and 5G: A powerful combination

As SDX Central says, “Both MEC and 5G are considered disrupting technologies on their own, but combined they will become a powerful force in the world of computing.”

And Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband stands out for a number of reasons, including:

  • Ultra-low latency. Low latency is a must for next-gen applications—and our 5G and MEC offering work together to take latency to new lows
  • Highly virtualized. From core to edge, we’re virtualizing our entire network, making MEC on demand possible
  • Extensive reach. MEC is all about location, and we have service points across the country

Introducing Verizon
5G Edge

We have partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to introduce Verizon 5G Edge, the first 5G MEC platform in the U.S. Verizon 5G Edge brings together our innovative 5G Ultra Wideband network with the cloud capabilities from the world’s leading cloud provider to unlock the power of 5G and bring compute power even closer to our customers. This partnership unites two key elements of MEC—infrastructure and software development.


For to MEC to succeed at scale, it’s key to have high-performance cellular networks, to be able to remotely manage hundreds of millions of devices and to have compute nodes close to the need. 

Software development

Then there’s the development side. This requires the ability to develop and deploy software and services as needed, where needed, with a full set of familiar developer tools to support that.

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