Deutsche Telekom in cloud-native 5G and edge trial
Deutsche Telekom has taken a clear step towards the adoption of cloud-native 5G services, working with one of the main suppliers to the emerging open RAN business.
The company says its use of cloud-native 5G user plane function (UPF) will support multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications, tailored to each use case.
Alex Jinsun Choi (pictured), Deutsche Telekom senior VP for strategy and technology innovation, said: “The UPF can run inside the operator’s owned network, inside a private 4G/5G network, inside the roaming network, or in the public cloud.”
Deutsche Telekom has worked on the project with Mavenir, which said that “the reference design is fully cloud-native, abstracted away from underlying cloud architecture, infrastructure vendor and operating owner”. It is coupled with the MobiledgeX edge-cloud platform.
Choi, who joined Deutsche Telekom from SK Telecom in 2017, said: “The ability to dynamically and seamlessly orchestrate traffic across our own footprint and the footprint of others opens up the possibility for new connectivity solutions for customers.”
Mavenir said that, since the introduction of mobile packet data in 3G, all data traffic has been tunnelled back to a limited number of fixed packet gateway anchor points inside the mobile networks — irrespective of source, destination, and requesting application.
“This is increasingly inefficient, non-performant, and prone to bottlenecks,” said the vendor, which MTN last week picked as one of five companies for its transition to open RAN technology.
The company said that the UPF can be placed on different clouds from different vendors with different ownership. “Service provider control, security, and privacy are maintained by a customer’s owning operator at all times, even when roaming,” the company added.
“This is a successful milestone for cloud-native 5G Core traffic routing, giving Deutsche Telekom the freedom to deliver a point of interconnect/local breakouts anywhere in the world, on any cloud,” said Mavenir chief strategy officer, Bejoy Pankajakshan.
“Cloud-native design of 5G network functions integrated with orchestration tools makes it possible to achieve a new level of flexibility in network function placement. Automation, agility, and flexibility are at the heart of this project.”