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Aetos to deploy Singtel MEC for security operations

Security firm Aetos will use Singtel’s multi-access edge computing platform to run applications such as surveillance robots, drones and video analytics at its security command centre

Singapore’s Aetos Holdings has become one of the first enterprises in the city-state to use Singtel’s 5G network and multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform to run its security operations.

The security firm will deploy applications such as surveillance robots, drones and video analytics on Singtel’s 5G network and take advantage of network slicing capabilities to achieve low latency for real-time remote surveillance and decision-making.

Alfred Fox, CEO of Aetos Holdings, said the move will enable the company to achieve smarter and more sustainable security outcomes for its clients, and that harnessing 5G capabilities will help accelerate efforts to transform the security industry.

Singtel is counting on its investments in its MEC platform to stand out in the enterprise market for 5G services, as deployment of the next-generation mobile network ramps up in Singapore and the region.

Also known as the telco edge, MEC typically integrates 5G’s ultra-low latency and high bandwidth capabilities with hybrid cloud capabilities provided by hyperscale cloud suppliers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Dennis Wong, Singtel’s vice-president for 5G enterprise and cloud, told Computer Weekly that with a latency of under 10 milliseconds, MEC is suited for applications that require low-latency performance in areas such as video analytics in security applications, robotics, and autonomous guided machines, vehicles and drones.

Wong stressed that because Singtel’s MEC platform is connected to its mobile core network, enterprises can expect consistent service levels as opposed to connecting to public cloud services through the internet, where latency performance may vary.

Read more about 5G and edge computing in APAC

  • China and Japan will account for the lion’s share of Asia-Pacific’s edge computing market as more organisations in the region look to streamline processes and improve productivity.
  • Amazon Web Services rolls out Outposts in Australia, enabling enterprises to run a consistent version of the AWS platform at locations that require low latency.
  • More edge datacentres will be needed in the Asia-Pacific region to cope with greater adoption of edge computing and IoT when 5G networks are up and running.
  • 5G will account for a fifth of mobile subscriptions by 2025 in Southeast Asia and Oceania, underscoring the keen adoption of emerging technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Singtel’s MEC platform supports deployments of AWS Outposts, which can be accessed from the closest Singtel site to help businesses seamlessly operate their applications that use AWS tools and require ultra-low-latency data processing.

Microsoft Azure users can also opt for a flavour of Singtel MEC that comes with the Azure Stack, Microsoft’s family of on-premise systems that enables enterprises to use Azure cloud services at remote branch offices and edge locations.

Asked if Singtel had made efforts to connect its backend directly to the two cloud providers to improve performance, Wong declined to share infrastructure details, adding that the telco will strive to provide the best customer experience.

“If connecting is the right thing to do, we will connect, but I think it all depends on the whole architecture, commercial arrangements, as well as how we structure our offerings,” he said.

Besides Aetos Holdings, Singtel is pitching its MEC offering to organisations in the public sector, logistics and healthcare. In 2019, it set up a testbed facility with Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic to build and test 5G use cases, among other efforts to grow the partner ecosystem, which Wong said was key to the success of enterprise 5G adoption.

Singtel’s MEC platform is being sold as a bespoke offering tailored to the needs of enterprises. Wong said the telco has not established any price plans, but it will keep prices competitive with that of public cloud services.

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