At the Mobile World Congress held in Shanghai in June 2017, China Mobile and Huawei jointly showcased the world’s first 5G core network prototype on a service-based architecture (SBA). The showcased prototype adheres to the Third-Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP’s) 5G SBA standard.
China Mobile has recently led the development of the SBA. The architecture has won extensive support from industry, especially global carriers, and has been recognized by 3GPP as the standard architecture for 5G core networks.
The SBA is also one of the major technical challenges that need to be met according to the International Mobile Telecommunications-2020’s core network testing plan phase-2, which was launched at the 5G World Summit on 12 June 2017. The SBA defines core network functions as loosely coupled, combinable services that can be scheduled flexibly based on standard interface protocol.
Traditional core network elements are designed to be closely coupled in a black box. The SBA defines the 5G core network functions as multiple service elements that are self-contained, reusable, and able to be independently managed.
For the first time, the prototype enables key 5G core network functions that are consistent with the 3GPP’s SBA. These functions include service framework (service registration, discovery, and authorization), service operations (deployment, upgrade, and capacity expansion and contraction for 5G core network services), and service-oriented 5G basic business processes (device registration, connection establishment and release, and other key services). The prototype marks an important milestone in SBA development.
Future networks will have to provide broadband access wherever needed and support a diverse range of services. To fit these requirements, 5G New Radio (NR) is designed with physical layer components that are flexible, ultralean, and forward compatible.
Qualcomm Incorporated has announced, through its subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, which the company intends to collaborate on 5G NR-enabled small-cell technologies with the Industrial Technology Research Institute, a nonprofit organization engaged in applied research and technical services.
The effort is expected to accelerate delivery and global commercialization of 5G NR small-cell products and infrastructure by Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs).
Full article: IEEE Vehicular Technology
Magazine, Volume 12, Number 4, December 2017