Members of the 5G-Coral consortium recently conducted their first 5G trial in Taiwan to demonstrate how 5G can effectively work from the cloud down to the extreme network edge using low-cost multi-tier fog and edge equipment.
Members of the 5G-Coral consortium – including Adlink, Azcom, Ericsson, InterDigital, ITRI, NCTU, RISE, Telecom Italia, and UC3M – participated in the trial, which showcased how a distributed and virtualized computing hierarchy can be deployed relatively simply using dense low-cost fog nodes at the extreme edge of the network (in the Global Mall Nangang Station Store in Taipei) connected to a remote data center approximately 100 km away in Hsinchu City.
The fog and edge nodes were automatically controlled along with their interaction with the remote 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.
The trial demonstrated several applications such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and edge cloud robotics delivered in a real-world environment.
The series of demos exhibited how 5G can effectively work across multiple tiers of virtualized and distributed computing, said Alain Mourad, director of InterDigital Europe.
“5G is about more than just radio and speed – 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,” said Mourad. “That may be its most important contribution, long-term. 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.”