Ericsson leads 5Gex project for unified service orchestration layer

Ericsson’s latest foray into 5G research comes with the launch of the 5G Exchange (5GEx) project, one of several in which the Swedish vendor is engaged under the European Commission’s 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) R&D program.

Ericsson will lead the 5GEx initiative, which aims to enable a unified European 5G infrastructure service market that integrates multiple operators and technologies. Therefore its main areas of focus will be cross-domain service orchestration over multiple administrations, or multi-domain single administrations.

Orchestration will be compatible with NFV specifications and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, said Ericsson and will work across multivendor and heterogeneous environments.

The aim is to support automated service provisioning with reduced time to market for operators and content providers; while enterprise and vertical industry users gain the flexibility to define and control services on-demand, and to move key infrastructure, such as firewalls, into a virtualized, cloud-based and ‘as-a-service’ platform.

Sara Mazur, head of Ericsson Research, said: “A unified European 5G infrastructure service market will be a strong enabler for feature-rich services that can have a positive impact on people, business and society.”

The targeted deliverables include an open platform enabling cross-domain orchestration, with a set of open source software tools; a sandbox network to support experimentation and validation of architectures, mechanisms and business models;

a proof-of-innovation platform to model 5G use cases and realistic scenarios.

The resulting concepts will be submitted to standards body processes and the participants will promote the adoption of 5Gex solutions to the wider industry.

The 5GEx project will run from October 2015 to March 2018, and Ericsson will work with a range of academic and industry partners. These include the operators Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica I+D and Telenor; and fellow vendors Atos, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Huawei and RedZinc. The academic partners are

Athens University of Economics and Business, Berlin Institute for Software Defined Networks, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Carlos III University of Madrid, European Center for Information and Communication Technologies, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and University College London.