Ericsson to promote 5G unification through 5GEx project

Ericsson has launched an initiative to unify 5G’s infrastructure in Europe. The 5G Exchange (5GEx) project aims to integrate multiple operators and technologies through cross-domain service orchestration. The goal is to get every player in the market speaking the same language across every single and multiple domain and administration, wherever they are in Europe.

The project, which is described as a Phase 1 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP) on research and innovation, will aim to create compatibilities between different network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) technologies.

The 5GEx project runs from October 2015 to March 2018, with Ericsson driving developments in cooperation with a range of industry partners.

The goal is to create an omnipotent open platform that spans all domains and services and uses a set of open source software tools and extensions that can be used outside the scope of 5GEx. The idea is to promote the adoption of 5GEx’s open solutions by industry stakeholders and to encourage more contributions to standards bodies.

The project will also devote resources to an engineer’s play area, a ‘sandbox network’ where experiments can be carried out on hypothetical architectures, mechanisms and business models.

The subsequent ‘proofs-of-innovation’ on multi-domain platform will help to create industry wide confidence in multiple 5G use cases, according to Ericsson. By demonstrating realistic examples of the orchestration of multiple operators into one complex end-to-end infrastructure service, the proving ground will catalyse a faster development of 5G, according to Ericsson.

Telco partners in the 5GEx programme include Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefónica I+D, Telenor and Deutsche Telekom. Researchers from a variety of academic institutes, including Athens University of Economics and Business, Berlin Institute for Software Defined Networks, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Carlos III University of Madrid and the European Center for Information and Communication Technologies, will also take part. Ericsson’s vendor partners in the project include Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Orange and RedZinc.

“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,” said Sara Mazur, Head of Ericsson Research.

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