The 5G Exchange (5GEx) project, one of 19 initial projects instigated by the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) research and innovation project, was launched today (27 October 2015), Ericsson announced. 5GEx aims to enable a unified European 5G infrastructure service market that integrates multiple operators and technologies.
The project will focus on supporting cross-domain service orchestration over multiple administrations or multi-domain single administrations. Orchestration will be compatible with Network Functions Virtualisation and software-defined networking technologies. End-to-end network and service elements will be able to mix in multi-vendor, heterogeneous technology and resource environments.
For operators and content providers, this results in automated service provisioning with reduced time to market. Services can be deployed programmatically through a one shop-stop approach.
At the same time, enterprise users and vertical industries gain the flexibility to define, deploy and control service architectures on-demand. Businesses can gain efficiencies by migrating network services such as firewalls and routers to a virtual platform and maintaining only physical networks.
The 5GEx project runs from October 2015 to March 2018, and Ericsson will drive the project in cooperation with a range of industry partners. Ericsson is also working on a number of other 5G research initiatives, including 5G for Europe and METIS II.
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 programme's deliverables include:
• an open platform enabling cross-domain orchestration of services over multiple domains, with a set of open source software tools and extensions that can be utilised outside the scope of 5GEx
• a sandbox network enabling experimentation and validation of architectures, mechanisms and business models
• a proof-of-innovation multi-domain platform enabling multiple 5G use cases and realistic scenarios that demonstrate the orchestration of complex end-to-end Infrastructure as a Service across multiple operators
• contributions of concepts to standards bodies
• promoting the adoption of 5GEx's open solutions by ICT industry stakeholders.
The 5GEx programme partners are: Ericsson, Atos, Athens University of Economics and Business, Berlin Institute for Software Defined Networks, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Carlos III University of Madrid, Deutsche Telekom, European Center for Information and Communication Technologies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Orange, RedZinc, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Telecom Italia, Telefónica I+D, Telenor and University College London.
5G PPP has been initiated by the EU Commission and industry manufacturers, operators, service providers, SMEs and researchers. The partnership aims to deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the ubiquitous next-generation communication infrastructures of the coming decade.
5G PPP has set up 19 projects for the first phase on investment, including 5GEx. These will be followed by a second set, building on the work from the first phase, which is due to be called for in 2016 and launched in 2017.