Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) or as Cisco calls it Fog Computing, is as part of 5G a network architecture concept that enables cloud computing capabilities and an IT service environment at the edge of the cellular network. MEC provides a distributed computing environment for application and service hosting. It also has the ability to store and process content in close proximity to cellular subscribers, for faster response time. For many future premium applications such as Augmented Reality (AR) response time under 20 ms will be crucial for practical reasons. For those sensitive AR applications such as remote field surgeries, AR gaming etc, customer expectation of real time will drive the market. In this content MEC is probably a must-have than a choice. The first trials are very promising:
InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC), a mobile technology research and development company, today announced the successful result of the world’s first Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) trial based on new IP networking technology expected to form part of the 5G network architecture.
The three-week, real-world joint trial with Bristol is Open and CTVC Ltd. showcases InterDigital’s Flexible-IP services (FLIPS) solution and demonstrates significant performance improvements that are crucial for the success of MEC services. The demonstrated FLIPS technology will improve on experienced latency for such MEC services, while reducing the overall network utilization when accessing such services. This trial is part of the approved ETSI MEC Proof-of-Concept with an earlier demonstration given at MWC 2016 and ETSI MEC World Congress.
Designed as an internet-enabled treasure hunt in the central part of Bristol, the trial was open to anyone with an Android device with interest in testing new technology. Participants worked in teams to uncover hidden treasures in the city and were required to solve riddles related to their location. The video delivery, as part of the game’s riddle solving, experienced video latency reductions from several tens of milliseconds to link local latency of several milliseconds. In addition, the replication applied for video distribution proved six times more efficient than standard IP technology. The successful trial is realized as a pure software solution over standard computing hardware and commercial SDN-based switches without requiring a fully-fledged IP network in place.
“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.”
“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.
While the trial is a major milestone demonstrating the innovations of the European H2020 project POINT, the FLIPS solution is also the major innovation driving the FLAME platform in the European H2020 project FLAME, targeting to provide a significant leap forward for media delivery supporting personalized, interactive, mobile and localized (PIML) workflows. To learn more about both European H2020 projects, visit https://www.point-h2020.eu/ and https://www.ict-flame.eu/.
InterDigital develops mobile technologies that are at the core of devices, networks, and services worldwide. We solve many of the industry’s most critical and complex technical challenges, inventing solutions for more efficient broadband networks and a richer multimedia experience years ahead of market deployment. InterDigital has licenses and strategic relationships with many of the world’s leading wireless companies. Founded in 1972, InterDigital is listed on NASDAQ and is included in the S&P MidCap 400® index.
InterDigital is a registered trademark of InterDigital, Inc.