Nokia Bell Labs leads project for 5G platform-as-a-service

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NGPaaS project, part of 5G-PPP initiative, aims to develop customisable platform supporting acceleration and flexibility of 5G development

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 the Next Generation Platform-as-a-Service (NGPaaS) for the 5G era. The consortium, working on the project over the next 24 months, 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, said Nokia. As such, innovations have to be cloud-native in order to be successful, claimed the company, 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; and 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, Nokia noted. 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 are: 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); and academia: University of Milano-Bicocca (IT), Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), IMEC (BE).

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