Vodafone Netherlands has launched an MEC-based service that integrates mobile devices and networks with Unified Communications and other enterprise IT applications.
The service – called Signal Plus Enterprise Connect – is founded upon the Multi access Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities provided by SpiderCloud Wireless’ small cell eRAN solution for the radio network and NEC’s gateways and service integration.
NEC, which is the Vodafone’s integration partner for the service, describes the service as one of the first MEC-based enterprise services to go commercial.
Yogarajah Gopikrishna, Head of Engineering and Strategy, NEC Europe, told TMN, “We have achieved a true integration between the mobile network and IT systems and equipment. Vodafone listened to customers in different verticals, healthcare, manufacturing and enterprise, and has gone the next step to deliver a solution to them.”
One key service will be integration of mobile phones to the enterprise Unified Communications platform, where the mobile phone becomes a part of the UC infrastructure on the premise – giving users the possibility of just having one phone. Vodafone is offering integration with One Net Enterprise, PCC and Skype for Business offerings.
Gopikrishna also stressed that NEC had worked with Vodafone to provide highly secure integration with other IT and infrastructure. An example would be alarms in healthcare or manufacturing IoT systems being directly delivered to a staff member’s mobile phone.
Of course, if you are selling the benefits of a single device, and the delivery of important alarms and data to mobile devices, then you need to secure the best coverage and capacity. That’s where the Spidercloud solution plays its role.
Spidercloud has for years proposed the benefits of localised, integrated enterprise solutions based on its architecture – and was an early proponent of MEC as a platform.
Gopikrishna said, “To have one of the first productisations of MEC is a great achievement.”
“We had always conceived that we would be coming to this point where we enter the apps-at-the-edge space. But we have done a lot of work on integrating the mobile network with the IT platform: on security, how performance management and support mechanisms will work from a technical and operational perspective, and the way the whole solution is managed as a single solution.”
The Netherlands has one of the more advanced enterprise wireless markets, with the regulator allowing a structure that allows large enterprises to act almost as private operators, owning their own SIMs by accessing a separate Mobile Network Code. MNOs such as Vodafone therefore face increased competition in areas such as IoT and in mobile-IT integration.