Six of the largest telecom operators in the world have put together a new group, the 5G Future Forum, which is focused on interoperability and adoption of 5G and mobile edge computing.

The founding members of the 5G Future Forum are América Móvil, KT, Rogers, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone.

According to a statement from the carriers, the 5G Future Forum “will focus on the creation of uniform interoperability specifications to improve speed to market for developers and multinational enterprises working on 5G-enabled solutions.” Additionally, they said, they will “develop public and private marketplaces to enhance developer and customer access to 5G, and will share global best practices in technology deployment.”

“This partnership will deliver the most competitive and continuous services based on 5G infrastructure to our customers, and provide developers with edge platform to deploy solutions around the world,” said Dr. Hongbeom Jeon, CTO of KT.

“This forum of global leaders in 5G marks an important step in ensuring edge computing works seamlessly for our customers,” said Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business. “These new specifications will allow us to offer services that work consistently across the globe and support devices moving between countries. 5G opens up a wealth of opportunities for new solutions and business models and we’re excited to play a role in bringing them to life.”

Joe Natale, president and CEO of Canada’s Rogers Communications, said that “these critical investments will form the foundation of 5G and unleash the future of Canada’s digital economy for consumers and businesses across our vast country.”

“5G is a key enabler of the next global industrial revolution, where technology will transform how we live and work. It’s critical that technology partners around the world unite to create the most seamless global experience for our customers,” said Hans Vestberg, chairman and CEO of Verizon, in a statement. “We are proud to join with our fellow 5G leaders to unlock the full potential of applications and solutions that will transform with 5G’s fast speeds, high reliability, improved security and single-digit latency.”

Daniel Hajj, CEO of América Móvil, called 5G “a powerful unprecedented technology. Through this forum, we will create a common platform to enable a global ecosystem of applications to exploit 5G at its full potential, contributing to the transformation of our societies and economies and reaffirming customer satisfaction.”

Telstra’s Group Executive for Networks and IT, Nikos Katinakis, said that the company welcomes the initiative.

“Telecommunications companies are in the driver’s seat when it comes to creating opportunities for their customers to take advantage of the world of possibilities enabled by 5G. We are proud to stand alongside these global 5G leaders, combining our experience and capabilities, as well as 5G leadership, to develop initiatives to bring mobile-edge computing to life,” he added.

It looks like 2020 could be a big year for edge computing initiatives. Verizon has already publicly talked about the key role of MEC in its 5G plans, and said that in 2020, observers should expect to see a more aggressive 5G build-out, dynamic spectrum sharing to increase spectral efficiency, and “advancements in Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) technologies and partnerships.” Meanwhile at AT&T (not a member of the 5G Future Forum), an AT&T Business executive has also declared 2020 will be “epic for the edge” and that the company is focused on building out 5G and edge computing in conjunction with each other. In addition, earlier this week SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group said that MEC and 5G will also come into play for their new, U.S.-based joint venture, Cast.era.


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