The data growth generated by pervasive mobile devices and the Internet of Things at the network edge (i.e., closer to mobile users), couple with the demand for ultra-low latency, requires high computation resources which are not available at the end-user device. This demands a new network design paradigm in order to handle user demands. As a remedy, a new MN network design paradigm has emerged, called Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), to enable low-latency and location-aware data processing at the network edge. MEC is based on network function virtualization (NFV) technology, where mobile network functions (NFs) that formerly existed in the evolved packet core (EPC) are moved to the access network [i.e., they are deployed on local cloud platforms in proximity to the base stations (BSs)]. In order to reap the full benefits of the virtualized infrastructure, the NFV technology shall be combined with intelligent mechanisms for handling network resources. Despite the potential benefits presented by MEC, energy consumption is a challenge due to the foreseen dense deployment of BSs empowered with computation capabilities. In the effort to build greener 5G mobile network (MN), we advocate the integration of energy harvesting (EH) into future edge systems.
Part of the book: Mobile Computing