SoftBank begins nationwide deployment of 5G MEC in Japan

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

Japanese operator SoftBank has opened its first 5G multi-access edge computing (MEC) site in the Kanto region as part of its national deployment of MEC servers.

SoftBank 5G MEC provides a low-latency and high-quality network leveraging the company’s 5G standalone (SA) services that launched late last year. The platform gives customers the ability to experience high-speed application deployments on 5G SA networks at reduced server access times.

The platform also operates on a Kubernetes-based container environment, which has become a de facto standard for application development.

5G MEC sites will be automated, whether that’s for physical infrastructure set-up or application deployment and distribution.

This means applications on the 5G MEC platform are more fault-tolerant and allow for faster service rollout with reduced complexity.

Ultimately, this improves a variety of industry services such as emergency notifications, IoT-based network deployments, factory automation, multi-user network gaming and automated driving, among others.

Keiichi Makizono, SoftBank SVP and CIO, said: “This deployment of 5G MEC is a major milestone for SoftBank. Its compatibility with SRv6 MUP and network slicing, along with its automation of operation features, make it unique across the industry. With our partners, we’ll develop a multi-industry ecosystem to become a complete digital platform provider by harnessing the capabilities of our 5G MEC solution.”

SoftBank had initially launched commercial 5G services in Japan through NSA architecture in March 2020.

Masahiko Kokubo, director, EVP and CTO at Yahoo Japan Corporation, said: “Yahoo! JAPAN is proactively trying to adopt new technologies to provide safe, secure, and comfortable services to a wide range of customers. Therefore, we are paying close attention to the expansion of SoftBank 5G MEC, which will enhance the possibility of our services by providing CSP infrastructure closer to our customers’ mobile devices with higher network reliability, significantly reduced processing speed, and ease of deployment through container infrastructure.”

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