Mobile technology research and development company InterDigital has announced that ETSI’s Industry Specification Group for Mobile Edge Computing (ISG MEC) has officially accepting its proof of concept for “"FLIPS — Flexible IP-based Services."
“FLIPS reinvents the approach to IP-based services through the introduction of a software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) enabled network fabric,” a statement from InterDigital said.
The proof-of-concept will enable carriers to speed up content, especially streaming media, over cellular networks. This could significantly speed up services like Netflix over mobile networks as well as spur the transition from 4G to 5G.
The idea is to place content servers closer to mobile customers, ideally at the access point where the device connects to the network. This is a lot faster than having to pull content from a provider’s own servers directly, though a large provider like Netflix has content delivery networks scattered across the world.
In addition to streaming media, it could also enable deployment of Internet of Things technologies, since network devices will poll local servers rather than central servers that could be half a world away, reducing network congestion.
FLIPS is a joint project that consists of InterDigital, Bristol is Open, Intracom, CVTC and University of Essex. It was demonstrated on a smaller scale last July.
There are plans for three proof of concept demos this year: at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this February; a live demo at Bristol Is Open in May in Bristol and another demo at the MEC World Congress in Munich, Germany in September.
If implemented, FLIPS could tilt media consumption habits even more toward “cord cutting,” where TV viewers abandon cable and satellite providers toward IPTV. As mobile networks support video streaming, they may shift their viewing towards smartphones and tablets and away from set-top boxes like the Roku and Apple TV.
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