NEC and partners in Europe to develop converged cloud-based 5G network

5G - 1A new consortium of technology vendors and academics is collaborating on a project to build future 5G mobile networks on superfluid (AKA cloud) principles.

The Superfluidity Project is part of the European H2020 5G Public-Private Partnership (5G PPP) initiative. The stated aim of the project is to define and develop a converged, cloud-based 5G virtual network and service platform. According to a statement, the network will be distributed over the mobile edge and core of 5G networks extending up to data centres.

The collaborators in the project include a number of top IT brands, including NEC, Citrix, Intel, OnApp and Red Hat. Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel Lucent is to act as a technical coordinator. Among the telcos taking part in the project are British Telecom, PT Inovação e Sistemas and Telefónica. A number of research and academic bodies across Europe are also joining the consortium, including CNIT (which will be project coordinator), the University of Ben Gurion, the University of Liège, the University of Technology in Dresden and the University Politehnica of Bucharest.

There will also be input from a trio of small and medium sized enterprises. EBlink, Telcaria Ideas and Unified Streaming will all help shape the development of the superfluid 5G network of the future.

The goal is to create a superfluid set of properties for the network, which would have location, time, scale and hardware independence. These properties would be exemplified through unlimited growth potential, instant service migration and complete transparency of services.

The work, which will have a planned 30 month project lifecycle, began on the 1st of July 2015.

If successful the Superfluidity project will tackle crucial shortcomings in today’s networks and improve on the long and wasteful provisioning processes that are employed today to meet demand for mobile operator networks, according to a statement from NEC.