OREANDA-NEWS. The race to 5G is generally focused on breathtaking speeds and new, exciting services, but one very important aspect of 5G gets less attention: the effort to develop affordable next-gen services that improve connectivity and capabilities for all. Today, InterDigital, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDCC), a mobile technology research and development company, announced that the RIFE (aRchitecture for an Internet For Everybody) project has deployed a live consumer-facing trial of a 5G network architecture in the small community of Tarragona, Spain, geared towards affordability and access. RIFE is part of the European H2020 funding framework.

The trial features InterDigital’s software-based Flexible IP-based Services (FLIPS) platform and community-supported hardware through Guifi.net in Catalonia, Spain, the world’s largest community network with 40,000+ nodes. The deployment is a fully software-based switching and routing solution, based on information-centric networking (ICN) principles, in a real-life setting. The deployment team expects the solution to drive cost reduction, increases in bandwidth utilization in the fronthaul network and towards the peering links – typically the expensive part in a community network – and the ability to easily host community services. The Tarragona deployment is a pure software installation, seeking to radically optimize existing infrastructure.

“This trial highlights another facet of 5G. It is not just all about bandwidth improvement or new AR/VR services, but also a focus on the societal challenge of bringing affordable internet to more people,” stated Dirk Trossen, Senior Principal Engineer, InterDigital. “We have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate our fully software-based solution, based on information-centric networking principles, in a real-life setting while making strides towards the ultimate goal of making the internet affordable to everyone.”

The RIFE project aims to address the major societal challenge of providing affordable internet access to those who cannot afford it by solving the technological challenge to increase the efficiency of the underlying transport networks and the involved architectures and protocols. The trial will initially be conducted for a month, with plans to extend the trial to a full 12 months. RIFE is a consortium of eight partners from six different countries including Martel Innovate, Aalto University, University of Cambridge, InterDigital Europe, Thales Alenia Space, Avanti, guifi.net, and Technical University of Munich.