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InterDigital Takes 5G to the Edge

August 17, 2017

5G is finally well on its way to fruition. For years, projections, forecasts and fortune tellers continue to reassure to the public that 5G is coming. And today, it is turning heads with successful testing, added developer attention and the beginnings of beta deployment.

This week, InterDigital announced the successful testing of mobile edge computing 5G network architecture. The mobile technology research and development company calls this an industry first, with the trial based on new IP networking technology assumed to comprise part of the 5G network architecture.

The trial put InterDigital’s Flexible-IP services (FLIPS) on display, highlighted by performance improvements as a result, which are critical to MEC services. The three week trial touts reduced latency and network utilization when accessing MEC services.

“Latency reduction, higher bandwidth utilization, and the ability to deploy such services very close to end users rather than in some distant cloud are crucial to the success of MEC services,” said Dirk Trossen, Senior Principal Engineer, InterDigital. “This trial showcases the solutions, developed under the leadership of InterDigital, that can deliver those performance improvements under realistic conditions and with real users fulfilling the highest criteria of trials in the 5G world.” 

The test was gamified, open to anyone with an android device wanting to participate. Working in teams, this Internet-enabled treasure hunt challenged participants to solve riddles by watching video – highlighting the low latency. At the finish, the trial showcased an exponential boost in efficiency when compared with standard IP technology. The software solution does not require a fully fledged IP network in place.

“Deploying services so close to end users is crucial to enable new services at the network edge but even more important is doing so without the need for deploying own infrastructure in operators’ networks,” said Stuart Porter, CTVC, who commissioned the trial application being showcased.

The successful trial is certainly a step in the right direction, utilizing future-forward innovation to enable the era of 5G. But only time will tell when 5G is all systems go.

Edited by Alicia Young

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