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5G Future Forum calls for members

Hoping to provide “a beacon of opportunities previously untapped”, 5G Future Forum is seeking new members to bolster ecosystem of expanded 5G partnerships and establish global edge market that drives innovation, collaboration and competition

The global industry group focused on driving rapid adoption of 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC) has embarked on a programme to attract new members, specifically targeting mobile network operators, which will be at the heart of enabling the advantages of 5G MEC.

The 5G Future Forum (5GFF) was established in January 2020 by América Móvil, KT Corporation, Rogers, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone to develop 5G interoperability specifications to accelerate the delivery of 5G and MEC solutions around the world.

At inception, the six forum founders said they were collaborating to develop interoperable 5G specifications across key geographic regions, including the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, focusing on creating uniform interoperability specifications to improve speed to market for developers and multinational enterprises working on 5G-enabled systems.

The forum members aim to create a common platform to enable a global ecosystem of applications to exploit 5G at its full potential, contributing to the transformation of societies and economies and reaffirming customer satisfaction. They see their 5G and mobile edge computing ecosystem as enabling global organisations to deliver transformative business and consumer use cases such as machine learning, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, internet of things (IoT), and augmented and virtual reality.

Forum participants are also committed to developing public and private marketplaces to enhance developer and customer access to 5G, and will share global best practices in technology deployment.

In August 2020, 5GFF publicly released abstracts of its technical specifications for MEC Experience Management and MEC Deployment. The six member companies have adopted and continue to refine these specifications as they deploy 5G and MEC into their respective networks to deliver new, innovative 5G services in an efficient, seamless and assured manner.

“We look forward to welcoming new members to 5GFF, as wider adoption of the specifications will benefit our customers and the entire industry”
Rima Qureshi, Verizon

New members will gain access to existing specification documents and the opportunity to contribute technical input as additional specifications are developed. Network operators interested in joining the 5GFF should visit by 26 April 2021.

Verizon has been one of the leading proponents of 5GFF and one of the first to offer 5G services in the US. Commenting on what the technology could deliver for the forum and its members, Verizon chief strategy officer Rima Qureshi said: “The 5G Future Forum has made important progress in developing specifications that are accelerating the 5G and MEC ecosystems. We look forward to welcoming new members to 5GFF, as wider adoption of the specifications will benefit our customers and the entire industry.”

Vodafone Business CEO Vinod Kumar said: “Edge computing will be a catalyst for innovation across industries, delivering new solutions and allowing businesses to rethink how they work. To truly unlock this important part of the 5G ecosystem, ease of use across geographies and devices is vital. New members of the 5G Future Forum will help to continue the progress toward this goal.”

Ángel Alija Guerrero, chief operating officer at América Móvil, remarked: “América Móvil is pleased to welcome the inclusion of new members to the 5G Future Forum. We believe this will enhance and accelerate the work we have developed to bring more innovation to the MEC ecosystem and the 5G network. By accelerating a mature 5G environment and achieving its benefits, it will be possible to reach a larger number of industries and subscribers, and this requires a joint effort by the entire telecommunications sector, therefore it is important for the 5G Future Forum to invite additional members.”

Nikos Katinakis, Telstra group executive for networks and IT, said: “Collaborating with a strong and global ecosystem of partners – including service providers, cloud providers, technology partners and large enterprises – is crucial to bringing MEC to life and unlocking a range of new applications that will prove vital for economic momentum in these uncertain times. By combining our 5G leadership and capabilities, 5G Future Forum members will foster and develop new technologies that can be deployed and utilised in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.”

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