With 5G, deployment of network functions as software programs on top of virtualization infrastructures became the norm. With the success of the initial deployments, a set of key research items become important for the technology consideration phase.
- Assessment of the hardware capabilities for support different services – a very high interest especially towards the local/edge nodes and high capacity compute is the possibility to assess the hardware capabilities. With the adoption of new hardware architectures and acceleration capabilities, there is a very large differentiation on what the components of the different providers can offer;
- End-to-end virtual networks – deployment of software networks across multiple domains and the transparent stitching of the different parts considering the security and privacy of network domains and the intermediary backhaul;
- Edge networking deployments – especially concentrating on the management of a large number of edge nodes across unreliable or resource constraint backhauls. It is foreseen that most of the edge nodes deployed will not have guaranteed backhaul resources or enough capacity for an effective local-only management.
- Edge networking services – integration of the specific services offered by the edge node with the main slices and services such as location services, backhaul management, caching, local communication support and broadcasting, etc.