October 12, 2017
Edge Computing in the ePC --- A Reality Check
Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) has received much attention from the research community in recent years. A significant part of the published work has studied the telecom-centric MEC architecture, which assumes that the computing resource is located at the edge of the mobile access network (e.g., the Evolved Packet Core), typically at the first aggregation level. Many authors make a silent assumption in their analyses that the latency at this stage of the network is negligible. In this paper we show not only that this assumption false, but that in some common cases the latency of the first-aggregation stage dominates the end-to-end latency. We challenge the latency argument in the context of present-day access networks and discuss what must be done to pave the way for practical deployments of MEC.