Consortium to develop platform for cloud-native 5G systems

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Nokia Bell Labs says it will spend the next two years leading a consortium of industry vendors, operators, IT companies, SMEs and European academic institutions to build a “next generation platform-as-a-service” (NGPaaS) for 5G apps and services.

The NGPaaS consortium aims to address the parallel development and adoption of cloud platforms, which will also play a role in 5G services. Nokia Bell Labs says that because innovations have to be cloud-native in order to succeed, the telecoms sector must move beyond the current telco infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model to a PaaS model – specifically, a platform that can optimally support cloud-native 5G systems.

Such a platform requires two key features: (1) it must facilitate building, shipping and running virtual network function (VNF) applications with ‘telco-grade’ quality in terms of latency, reliability and capacity, thereby delivering the promise of 5G performance, and (2) it must combine all sorts of third-party applications with those VNF, thereby creating more versatile and powerful cloud objects breaking silos between connectivity (to humans, robots, sensors, etc.) and computing (machine learning, big data, video applications).

“The consortium’s ambition for developing a next generation PaaS is to enable developers to collaborate within the 5G ecosystem (operator, vendor, third party) in order to ignite new businesses; thereby increasing market scale and improving market economics,” said Bessem Sayadi, consortium project leader and research manager for Nokia Bell Labs.

The consortium is part of the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership (5G-PPP), launched in 2014 as an initiative between the European Union and telecom concerns. Apart from Nokia Bell Labs, members include ATOS, BT, Orange, Virtual Open Systems, Vertical M2M, B-COM, ONAPP, the University of Milano-Bicocca, Danmarks Tekniske Universite and, IMEC.

Nokia Bell Labs says it is active in various events such as ICC, MWC, OpenStack Summit and OPNFV to discuss with the research community how to achieve the consortium’s NPaaS goal.

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