SK Telecom Scales Up 5G MEC Reference Architecture

CoSP reference architecture for multi-access edge computing demonstrates performance improvements using Intel® Optane™ PMem.

At a Glance:

  • SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea. Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating value in media, security, and commerce.

  • SKT and Intel collaborated on testing the next generation SKT 5G MEC reference architecture to demonstrate performance improvements for packet forwarding, in-memory database workloads, and asymmetric core frequency configurations on edge routing functions.



SK Telecom (SKT) and Intel collaborated on testing of the next generation of the SKT 5G MEC reference architecture. This platform is designed to be highly scalable, flexible, reliable, and to meet service level agreements (SLAs). SKT has designed this MEC platform to be deployed in a variety of scenarios, including at a central office, at the network edge, or on a customer premises. The platform is based on network functions virtualization (NFV) infrastructure (NFVI) for flexibility. The tests described in this paper show performance impact on the SKT 5G MEC from applying Intel® Speed Select Technology – Base Frequency (Intel® SST-BF), a feature that is available on select models of 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, and Intel® Optane™ persistent memory. Intel Optane persistent memory is a new technology designed to fill the capacity, cost, and performance gaps between traditional dynamic random access memory (DRAM) and solid state drives (SSDs).

Key Object of Test
This document details testing of the SKT 5G MEC software running on Intel® architecture server boards, and it includes benchmarking data and instructions on how to replicate the tests. Telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) can use the implementation guidelines from this work to optimize and further develop solutions for high-performance production-level implementations.

Test objectives were:

  • Demonstrate packet forwarding performance improvement with Intel® Xeon® Gold 6252N processor.
  • Show performance improvement of Intel Optane persistent memory on multiple in-memory database (IMDB) workloads (IMDB from Redis Labs).
  • Validate performance improvement with Intel SST-BF by changing asymmetric core frequency configuration on SKT 5G MEC Edge Routing Function.

Read the white paper: Case Study of Scaled-Up SKT 5G MEC Reference Architecture Identification