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Interdigital and 5G-CORAL Consortium Complete Their First Trial of Integrated Fog and Edge Virtualized Radio Access Network

Demos in Taipei Shopping Mall Feature Multi-Tier Fog and Edge Equipment and Flexible Deployment to Power AR/VR, Robotics, and Other 5G Use Cases; Trial Paves Way for More Flexible, Cost-Effective and Accessible Network Topology

InterDigital, Inc.IDCC, +0.64% a mobile technology research and development company, and other members of the 5G-CORAL consortium recently conducted their first 5G trial at Global Mall Nangang Station Store in Taipei, Taiwan. The trial was significant in demonstrating how 5G can effectively work across a modern end-to-end network deployment from the cloud down to the extreme network edge to advance the next generation of connected services.

Members of the 5G-CORAL consortium, including ADLINK, AZCOM, Ericsson, InterDigital, ITRI, NCTU, RISE, Telecom Italia, and UC3M, participated in the trial. Together, they showcased how a distributed and virtualized computing hierarchy can be relatively simply deployed using dense low-cost fog nodes at the extreme edge of the network (in the mall) connected to a sophisticated remote data center approximately 100 km away in Hsinchu City.

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The trial demonstrated several applications such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and edge cloud robotics delivered in a real-world environment over the 5G-CORAL integrated fog and edge virtualized radio access network solution. The series of demos exhibited how 5G can effectively work across multiple tiers of virtualized and distributed computing.

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“5G is about more than just radio and speed,” said Alain Mourad, Director, InterDigital Europe. “It’s also about cost savings and flexible deployment to bring ultra-high speed and ultra-low latency services into as many applications as possible. That may be its most important contribution, long-term. We’re excited about the potential of fog and edge computing along with 5G to create smarter wireless solutions and enable new services – some even yet to be imagined. By distributing more intelligence to the fog and edge, this 5G-CORAL trial is charting a course towards micro-services-based networks that can optimize for specific use cases and local environments such as the mall.” View a video of Alain Mourad introducing the 5G-CORAL trial.

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The keys to the demo: low cost and ease of deployment. The 5G-CORAL trial employed low-cost fog and edge nodes in the mall that were easily deployed and automatically controlled along with their interaction with the remote high-cost data center. The low cost of the nodes some under $500 contrasts with current network architectures requiring multi-million-dollar data centers and complex deployment and management.

Participants and passersby at the mall were able to view the following demonstrations:

  • Virtual Reality (InterDigital) – View a video of this demonstration.
  • Edge Robotics: Cooperative Parcel Delivery (UC3M) and Cleaning Services (InterDigital) -View a video of this demonstration.
  • Multi-RAT IoT Gateway (Ericsson)
  • Augmented Reality (ITRI)

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