Nokia Bell Labs is to lead a consortium of industry vendors, operators, IT companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and European academic institutions to build over the next 24 months the Next Generation Platform-as-a-Service (NGPaaS) for the 5G era. 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.
5G standard is emerging at a particular time in technology history when the cloud is deeply transforming many industries and services. As such, innovations have to be cloud-native in order to be successful and this means adopting a model beyond the current telco Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model: a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model.
Such a 5G cloud-native platform has two key features:
An ideal 5G cloud-native platform 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.
It must also 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).
Such a platform does not exist today. With NGPaaS, the consortium’s goal is to realise the vision of adopting the PaaS model to optimally support cloud-native 5G systems.
Bessem Sayadi, consortium project leader and research manager for Nokia Bell Labs, said: “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.”
Industry and academia players included in the consortium
Vendors and IT: Nokia Bell Labs France (FR), Nokia (IL), ATOS (ES),
Operators: BT (UK), Orange (FR)
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: Virtual Open Systems (FR), Vertical M2M (FR), B-COM (FR), ONAPP (UK)
Academia: University of Milano-Bicocca (IT), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), IMEC (BE),
Nokia Bell Labs has been a major force in driving and participating in 5G research and industry collaboration. It looks at PaaS as an essential stepping stone for service providers seeking to gain the greatest benefit from the carrier cloud as they evolve their networks. In addition to leading the NGPaaS consortium, Nokia Bell Labs is also cooperating with key academic partners and is active in various events such as ICC, MWC, OpenStack Summit and OPNFV to discuss with the research community how to achieve this goal.