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Mobile technology company InterDigital this week said it achieved significant reductions in latency and improved distribution efficiency in what it claimed was the first trial of Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) based on 5G IP networking technology.

The trial reportedly utilized InterDigital’s Flexible-IP services (FLIPS) solution over standard computing hardware and commercial software-defined networking-based switches. The setup was deployed in the U.K. city of Bristol, and researchers invited anyone with an Android device to take part in an internet-enabled treasure hunt.

Teams of participants worked to uncover hidden “treasures” in the city by solving video riddles related to the bounty’s location. InterDigital reported video delivery in the trial achieved latency of several milliseconds – down from several tens of milliseconds – as well as a sixfold improvement in network efficiency over standard IP technology. These marks were reached without requiring a fully-fledged IP network to be 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,” InterDigital Senior Principal Engineer Dirk Trossen commented. “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 company noted the experiment was an extension of an approved ETSI MEC Proof-of-Concept that was demonstrated at Mobile World Congress last year.

InterDigital reported the FLIPS achievement marks a “major milestone” in Europe’s H2020 project POINT, which aims to “develop technology, innovations, and business value chains for commercially viable IP-over-ICN deployment, based on the hypothesis that many current IP-based applications can run ‘better’ on an ICN-based network than on current IP networks.” FLIPS is also part of H2020’s project FLAME, which seeks to develop a future media internet delivery platform that supports personalized, interactive, mobile, and localized (PIML) workflows with lower latency distributed computing and a programmable infrastructure enabled by 5G.

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