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For decades, the wireless network evolution has been driven by a strive for higher data rates. Indeed, the whole premise of 4G networks had been on delivering higher rate and high network capacity. However, the advent of the Internet of Things and associated services, such as autonomous vehicles and virtual reality, has radically changed the wireless landscape. In particular, we are witnessing a major shift from data rate-centric wireless networks, to networks that require very low latency and high reliability. In this new latency-centric landscape, cognitive networking approaches will inevitably play a key role. In this regard, this TCCN Newsletter will delve into two key emerging technologies that pertain to the paradigm of highly reliable, low latency communications: a) ultra reliable low latency communication (URLLC) and b) mobile edge computing (MEC). Both URLLC and MEC will be critical components of emerging 5G networks and major contributors for the shift from rate-centric systems to latency-centric systems. Consequently, exposing their challenges and opportunities is essential. In order to do so, this first issue of the TCCN Newsletter of 2018 will bring together two feature topics on URLLC and MEC. Within each feature topic, we review the state of the art and provide an in-depth exposition of some of the recent research contributions. For URLLC, we also provide two expert interviews with Drs. Mehdi Bennis and Marios Kountouris, that provide the academic and industrial perspectives on URLLC. In the context of MEC, beyond also reviewing key papers, we provide two expert interviews with Drs. Kaibin Huang and Yang Yang.

That said, we would like to thank our two feature topic editors: Dr. Daniel Benevides da Costa from UFC – Brazil and Dr. Jie Xu, from Guangdong University of Technology, for their efforts in arranging the paper reviews and expert opinion. Moreover, we want to thank all interviewees for sharing with us their useful experience and future outlook on the discussed areas. I would finally like to acknowledge the gracious support from the TCCN chair, Dr. Jianwei Huang and all TCCN officers. As always, if you have any suggestions, feel free to contact me at: walids@vt.edu. We hope that you enjoy the material provided here!

Dr. Walid Saad
Vice Chair, IEEE ComSoc TCCN
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech, USA