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F5, SoftBank collaborate to provide advanced MEC services in Japan

SoftBank began nationwide deployment of MEC for 5G SA (5G MEC) in May 2022


F5 announced collaboration with Japanese operator SoftBank, to provide advanced Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) services in Japan and international markets.

SoftBank began nationwide deployment of MEC for 5G SA (5G MEC) in May 2022 in Japan and has selected F5 Distributed Cloud Services to host and protect MEC applications for use cases such as IoT, smart buildings, smart retail, gaming, and AR/VR.

F5 said that its Distributed Cloud Services can be rapidly deployed to provide platform-based managed cloud services and offer unified support for IT, enterprise, and 5G applications. F5 also noted that the solutions adopted by SoftBank will enable enterprise customers to move more of their business-critical applications to multiple edge locations and enjoy the benefits of reduced latency, enhanced security, and flexible application deployment.

The expected reductions to application deployment timelines and time to market will benefit not only SoftBank but customers from a wide range of industries for use cases such as autonomous driving, smart building management, factory automation, multi-user network gaming, and others, the company added.

SoftBank has been using F5 Distributed Cloud Services for internal applications as part of its transformative modernization plan. Distributed Cloud Services have been engineered to support all applications and associated capabilities relevant to service providers, including internal IT applications, enterprise workloads, partners’ content and services, and even network functions.

Keiichi Makizono, SVP and CIO of SoftBank, said: “Our work with F5 to architect and manage an unprecedented edge computing environment is critical to our customers’ digital transformation success. F5 has demonstrated that it can solve crucial operational challenges for service providers that want to take full advantage of cloud innovation for IT, enterprise, and 5G applications. We look forward to continuing to work with F5 to develop low-latency capabilities that leverage MEC’s strengths in delivering faster and more flexible services.”

Last month, SoftBank announced that it opened a 5G Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) site in the Kanto region and started the nationwide deployment of MEC servers in Japan.

SoftBank noted that its 5G MEC delivers a low-latency and secure service experience by using 5G SA commercial services.

The operator also said that its 5G MEC offering now makes it possible for customers to experience high-speed services through the deployment of applications close to user devices within the 5G SA network, which significantly reduces server access times.

SoftBank’s 5G MEC platform provides a Kubernetes-based container environment, which is a de facto standard for application development. From physical infrastructure set-up to application deployment and distribution, 5G MEC sites are automated. Such features make applications on the 5G MEC platform more fault-tolerant, and they also enable faster service rollout with reduced complexity, improving a variety of industry services such as emergency notifications, in-building IoT-based network deployments, factory automation, multi-user network gaming and automated driving, among others.

In October 2021, SoftBank announced that it had started to offer 5G Standalone services.


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