Poor Internet performance currently undermines the efficiency of hyper-responsive mobile apps such as augmented reality clients and online games, which require low-latency access to real-time backend services. While edge-assisted execution, i.e. moving entire services to the edge of an access network, helps eliminate part of the communication overhead involved, this does not scale to the number of users that share an edge infrastructure. This is due to a mismatch between the scarce availability of resources in access networks and the aggregate demand for computational power from client applications.
Instead, this paper proposes a hybrid edge-assisted deployment model in which only part of a service executes on LTE edge servers. We provide insights about the conditions that must hold for such a model to be effective by investigating in simulation different deployment and application scenarios. In particular, we show that using LTE edge servers with modest capabilities, performance can improve significantly as long as at most 50% of client requests are processed at the edge. Moreover, we argue that edge servers should be installed at the core of a mobile network, rather than the mobile base station: the difference in performance is negligible, whereas the latter choice entails high deployment costs. Finally, we verify that, for the proposed model, the impact of user mobility on TCP performance is low.