Verizon MEC: 5G’s new frontier
As the Director of Partnership Business Development and Co-Innovation, Cauchi’s role involves bringing new ideas to life. In August 2020, Verizon became the first company in the world to launch a Mobile Edge Compute service (MEC) with Amazon Wavelength called .
Cauchi explains what this service entails: “Edge computing is a network architectural model that brings technology resources, including compute and related infrastructure, closer to the end user or to where the data is generated. Rather than 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 closer to the end user, right at the edge of the network.”
“Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) is a type of edge computing that extends the functionality of networks, including 5G networks, with enhanced capabilities. It’s a transformational complement to 5G, as it provides both an IT service environment and cloud-computing capabilities at the edge of the mobile network, in close proximity to mobile subscribers,” Cauchi explains.
“The benefits of MEC for businesses are enormous” Cauchi explains. “You can think of them in three broad buckets: ultralow latency, localized data, and expanded IoT potential”.
- Ultralow latency. MEC reduces the latency that comes with compute/storage residing at faraway data centers. With low-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. MEC is ideally suited to facilitate the rapid growth of IoT, and it can even address IoT challenges such as energy use and battery life. These benefits are especially available when MEC is combined with 5G, a network designed to handle massive IoT loads.
“Enterprise businesses want to transform themselves in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, or how they manage their distribution warehouses. We are helping our customers bring these ideas to life, and with the SAP partnership, we can help our customers innovate and leverage their existing SAP applications. Our joint customers realize the intelligent enterprise.”
With SAP Edge Services running on Verizon MEC, together,Verizon and SAP can provide near real-time alerts and actions at the edge. In addition, customers gain a complete end-to-end solution as relevant data is seamlessly integrated into SAP running in the cloud.
Cauchi adds that 5G is only as good as the network it’s built on. “Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network combines end-to-end fiber resources throughout the network, a large deployment of small cells and significant spectrum holdings, particularly in the millimeter wave bands. We believe you can’t have a great 5G network without a great 4G LTE network.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.