Vodafone Business deepened a collaboration with AWS to deploy multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology in Spain, expanding its European footprint after launching the services in Germany and the UK two years ago.

The operator stated it created a pilot using AWS Wavelength which is available to business customers in several cities across the province of Andalusia, southern Spain.

It first began to deploy MEC services in the UK and Germany in 2021 through a series of pilots, innovation hubs and a commercial centre in London.

The operator explained MEC is a key component to unlocking the potential of 5G as it moves cloud-based IT services to the edge of the network, removing latency which would result from multiple hops between aggregation sites and across the internet.

In “optimum conditions”, latency could be as low as single-digit milliseconds between the mobile base station and MEC infrastructure, and is therefore judged critical in providing time-sensitive services.

The company cited a range of applications which could benefit, including remote surgery, connected industrial robots, biometric security, autonomous cars and critical IoT.

Jennifer Didoni, head of cloud, edge and mobile private networks, said “5G and edge computing will help our customers transform their industries”.

“By bringing these services closer to the customer across Germany, Spain and the UK, they can access apps on tap in more places, in high definition, at machine speed, with performance that wasn’t possible before.”

Vodafone plans to target road safety as one of the first applications of MEC in Spain, connecting drivers directly with each other and transport authorities for safety information, hazard warnings and traffic updates in real-time.