Home Page ContentPress Releases ETSI MEC completed Phase 3 Work and started Phase 4

ETSI MEC completed Phase 3 Work and started Phase 4

by Anthony Weaver

Leading to more effective and fruitful cross organization collaboration

Sophia Antipolis, 15 April 2024

In the last three months, ETSI ISG MEC has released its final set of Phase 3 specifications and made significant progress on Phase 4 with the opening of new Work Items. In particular, the last Phase 3 version of MEC 011 (Edge Platform Application Enablement) contains the updates related to the latest alignment with 3GPP on CAPIF, thanks to a fruitful collaboration with SA6, CT3 and SA3 groups. Also, ISG MEC produced an updated version of MEC 040 (Federation Enablement APIs), that carefully considered the relevant work of other industry bodies relating to MEC federation and all relevant work done in ETSI. This work is critical for supporting the requirements from GSMA OPG (Operator Platform Group) to enable inter-MEC system communication and allow 5G operators to collaborate among themselves, with service cloud providers and with other stakeholders. New APIs are introduced for the enablement of MEC federation, helping operators to “federate” edge computing resources by offering their MEC service capabilities for mutual consumption, application developers and end-customers (e.g. vertical markets).

Other great achievements of MEC Phase 3 (2021-2023) include the publication of updated MEC Architecture (MEC 003), terminology (MEC 001) and use cases (MEC 002), together with updated Application lifecycle, rules and requirements management (MEC 10-2), General principles, patterns and common aspects of MEC Service APIs (MEC 009) and Application Package Format and Descriptor Specification (MEC 037); an updated set of MEC services APIs (GS MEC 014 on UE Identity API, MEC 015 on Traffic Management APIs , MEC 016 on Device application interface, MEC 021 on Application Mobility Service API, MEC 030 on V2X Information Services API), new MEC Service APIs (MEC 045 on QoS Measurement API, MEC 046 on Sensor-sharing API, MCE 048 on Enablement API for Customer Self-Service); Studies on MEC Security (MEC 041) and on MEC Application Slices (MEC 044).

MEC activities related to Phase 4 (2024-2026) include a Study on Constrained Devices (MEC 036), on Abstracted Network Information Exposure for Vertical Industries (MEC 043) and on Distributed Edge Network (MEC 047), as well as reopening core MEC specifications such as MEC 002, MEC 003, MEC 009, MEC 010-2 and MEC 011 for new features and enhancements.

These years of Phase 3 work in MEC were a joint effort in collaboration with other bodies, with the clear goal to deliver together coherent standards to the industry” notes Dario Sabella, Chair of the ETSI ISG MEC. “The edge computing market is now more mature, and we can see it through the continuously growing ETSI ISG MEC membership and also thanks to the remarkable progress of the group, not only on the completion of MEC Phase 3, but also on the new Phase 4 activities started. The normative work in MEC (Multi-access Edge Computing) is maintaining its usual approach and commitment to deliver open standards in alignment with other SDOs, avoid duplication of work and promote collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including industrial associations and open-source projects”.

MEC Open Area

Additionally, the group is continuing to enhance its MEC Open Area (available here) by adding stable drafts for all specifications, and selected early drafts (such as the GS MEC 011), which is essential for the MEC work, especially in the view of the collaboration with other bodies like GSMA and 3GPP. This publicly accessible folder provides visibility to all stakeholders about ongoing ISG MEC progress on key deliverables.

MEC Hackathon, OpenAPI and MEC Sandbox

With Phase 4 having officially started, the working group DECODE is deeply committed to supporting the ISG and showcasing its work with existing and exciting new initiatives”, observes Walter Featherstone, Chair of WG DECODE. “The further enhancement of the MEC Sandbox during this phase is expected to provide a key platform for collaboration with groups both within ETSI (such as the SDG OpenCAPIF) and outside ETSI. It is also anticipated that this platform will be leveraged in upcoming hackathons. The continued development of the group’s testing support capabilities will also be a key theme during phase 4”.

As a further demonstration of the collaborations ETSI ISG MEC continues to nurture, 2023 saw ETSI partner with Linux Foundation (CAMARA project) to support for ubiquitous API exposure ensuring complementary work on standards / API definitions and open-source implementations. This MEC collaboration with CAMARA may pave the way for Phase 4, e.g. including joint activities to engage application development communities (e.g., to better attract application developers, increase the awareness on edge application and help creating API market demand).

OpenAPI-compliant descriptions are available for Phase 3 APIs at ETSI Forge, which now exploits an automated generation process directly from the MEC group specifications. The APIs are also available through the MEC Sandbox, which offers an interactive environment that enables edge application developers to learn and experiment with MEC service APIs from anywhere in the world. With an emulated edge network set in Monaco, the sandbox implements key MEC services and capabilities, including support for MEC platforms that are geographically distributed within the MEC Sandbox’s edge network. As part of the phase 4, work has already begun on further enhancing the sandbox through the ETSI funded Edge Native Connector Special Task Force (STF 678), where collaboration with the ETSI SDG OpenCAPIF software development group is anticipated.

Moving forward, ISG MEC will continue to foster its collaborations with other SDOs (e.g., 3GPP, ITU), industry groups (e.g., GSMA, 5GAA) and open-source projects (e.g., LF, Eclipse).

About ETSI

ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT systems and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a non-profit body, with more than 900 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 64 countries and five continents. The members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government, and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information, please visit us at https://www.etsi.org/

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