Interdigital demos world’s first service-based 5G control plane
InterDigital, a mobile technology research and development company, released details of a successful demonstration of a 5G control plane based on service-based architecture (SBA) principles.
When compared to existing 4G control plane principles, the demonstration showed how network control functions can be wholly created and run in cloud environments as web service-like implementations using standard servers, reducing cost but also dramatically improving scalability, velocity and flexibility in creating virtual control plane services. The demonstration was given at the NGMN Forum in Paris, hosted by Orange, on April 17th & 18th.
The first such demonstration of its kind, InterDigital showed its solution for 3GPP’s common communication enabler (COEN), which governs the control plane services in a 5G control plane. The demonstration showed how a service-based model for a 5G control plane can utilise the communication model of today’s web services to create multiple software instances within a “cloud infrastructure”. This approach supports the evolution of future telecoms infrastructure towards fully software defined networks and virtualised compute resources.
“The majority of 5G effort and focus to date has been on radio access development, but fully virtualised and dynamic core infrastructure is vital if 5G is to accomplish its latency, throughput and capacity goals,” said Dr. Robert DiFazio, vice president, InterDigital Labs. “Web service firms like Amazon and Google have successfully used a service-based approach to create highly scalable cloud infrastructures, and our demonstration shows that adopting such techniques can solve many of the cost and efficiency challenges ahead for 5G.”
InterDigital’s COEN was based on its SBA – Service Based Architecture – technology suite, which combines the ability to flexibly route and quickly redirect service requests to virtualised service instances residing in localised micro data centres. InterDigital’s solution works through dynamic web servers, which can be spun up or down according to user need, dramatically reducing latency and throughput in line with 5G specifications.
In this solution, visibility and registration of new service instances can be achieved in less than 20ms, bringing significantly higher resource efficiency and speed to the delivery of IP-based services. The solution utilises an edge IP architecture that deploys a topology manager, rendezvous points, a surrogate manager that redirects resources within the edge network, and SBA network access points that interface with the standard internet. InterDigital’s SBA solution can be licensed by vendors to operators.