Private 5G networks and mobile edge computing are two of the hottest up-and-coming enterprise technologies, but they’re not as easy to adopt as they could be. Equipping a company with all the necessary hardware typically requires separate purchases from different vendors. To streamline that acquisition and deployment process, Dell, its VMware subsidiary, and 5G pioneer SK Telecom today announced a “single box” solution called OneBox MEC, giving enterprises a turnkey private 5G and edge computing platform built by respected names in the networking and server arenas.

OneBox MEC is significant for technical decision-makers because it promises to markedly improve the security, latency, and reliability of enterprise networks and IT systems, creating a modern wireless infrastructure for data aggregation and processing. The solution combines a Dell EMC PowerEdge XE2420 server with VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform and SK Telecom’s 5GX MEC Platform, allowing businesses to quickly set up private 5G networks with local edge computing resources that can be accessed and managed remotely via the cloud. Dell suggests that OneBox MEC will “give enterprises new options to quickly act on data where it resides.”

The turnkey solution arrives at a point of major transition for enterprises, as businesses across multiple industries are beginning to adopt high-speed, low-latency private 5G networks to replace or augment prior-generation wired and Wi-Fi infrastructure. An STL Partners study commissioned by Dell, SK Telecom, and Intel suggests that nearly 70% of 750 surveyed architecture, engineering, and construction companies believe their current networking technology isn’t secure enough, while over 60% of polled hospitals complained of performance issues, and 40% of all enterprises in the study had latency issues.

Initially, SK Telecom plans to offer OneBox MEC as an ultra-low latency infrastructure solution for health care, retail, and construction enterprises, enabling companies to quickly move fully into the digital realm. Dell and VMware are now positioned to offer similar turnkey 5G private network and edge hardware bundles in partnership with other communications service providers, leveraging their individually preferred 5G radio and software technologies for regionally or nationally customized solutions.

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