Open5GCore – The Next Mobile Core Network Testbed Platform
The Fraunhofer FOKUS Open5GCore toolkit is a practical implementation of the carrier-grade network towards the 5G environment. It mirrors, in a prototypical form, the pre-standard advancements on the core network, radio network integration, distributed management and virtualisation.
The Open5GCore aims at providing support and speeding-up research, facilitating know-how transfer from Fraunhofer FOKUS towards partners. It serves as a consistent basis for research projects with meaningful results, enabling fast and targeted innovation, hand-on fast implementation, realistic evaluation and demonstration of novel concepts and technology opportunities.
Open5GCore represents a complete reset of the OpenEPC related activities addressing, in a more pragmatic way, the needs of R&D in realizing the 5G revolution, both for supporting our research activities as well as our partners'. Open5GCore Rel. 1 enables a realistic running testbed beyond 3GPP Rel. 11 including:
- LTE/5G protocol stack – enabling the bridging of radio and core network research and the demonstration of novel heterogeneous radio and self-backhauling concepts;
- Benchmarking tool – providing the means for quantitative evaluations of novel concepts within the core network;
- Functionality co-location – for designing a uniform and highly distributed core network control plane;
- Data path flexibility features – short infrastructure data paths, single switch data path, load balancing and offloading, etc.;
- Runtime flexibility – enabling efficient GTP and Diameter load balancing;
- Control-data plane split – based on OpenFlow 1.4 and GTP extensions within the switches;
- A basic EPC frozen at 3GPP Rel. 11 stage enabling the interconnection with real LTE eNBs and off-the-shelf smartphones (Android) and Linux OS devices and the support for a comprehensive running testbed.
For being able to run the experiments and demonstrations, the Open5GCore can integrate with LTE/LTE-A (LTE/LTE-A spectrum license required), emulate the LTE radio with WiFi, emulate only the LTE PHY, or directly by using the benchmarking of the core network (no radio involved). Support for WiFi, as a trusted non-3GPP access network, can be offered under demand.
In particular, the Open5GCore toolkit is designed to enable local and highly customized core network testbed instantiations, at the premises of various organizations. The source code licensing option pluses the offer with ultimate flexibility for enabling easy customizations and prototype developments.
Through the integration with OpenSDNCore, various implementation architectures can be automatically deployed and quantitatively evaluated on top of cloud based infrastructures, in a matter of minutes.