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The ever-increasing demand of mobile Internet traffic is pushing operators to look for solutions to increase the available bandwidth per user and per unit of area. At the same time, they need to reduce the load in the core network at a reasonable cost in their future 5G deployments. Today's trend points to the deployment of extremely dense networks in order to provide ubiquitous connectivity at high data rates. However, this is hard to couple with the current mobile networks' architecture, which is heavily centralized, posing difficult challenges when coping with the foreseen explosion of mobile data. Additionally, future 5G networks will exhibit disparate types of services, posing different connectivity requirements. Distributed mobility management is emerging as a valid framework to design future mobile network architectures, taking into account the requirements for large traffic in the core and the rise of extremely dense wireless access networks. In this article, we discuss the adoption of a distributed mobility management approach for mobile networks, and analyze the operation of the main existing solutions proposed so far, including a first practical evaluation based on experiments with real Linux-based prototype implementations.