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Connecting people and things in the connected world A cloud-native architecture will be key for

Connecting people and things in the connected world

A cloud-native architecture will be key for 5G NGC

White paper

All the new technologies enabled by 5G—the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality—require a new network approach, both for the access network and for the next generation core (NGC). The core will need to be designed and built using all the capabilities of the cloud, and must adopt a more agile and distributed architecture to achieve the faster service definition and delivery required to support new socioeconomic models and behaviors.

This paper discusses the cloud-native architecture needed to deliver expanded service capabilities, scalability, agility and new network functions, so organiza- tions are able to move to an application-driven mode of operation to monetize 5G technologies across multiple industry verticals.

.

Contents A new industrial revolution 3 A cloud-native core network 5 5G NR and NGC

Contents

A new industrial revolution

3

A cloud-native core network

5

5G NR and NGC architectures

7

Network slicing

9

5G standards timeline

11

Conclusion

11

Acronyms

12

A new industrial revolution We are at the beginning of a revolution that is changing

A new industrial revolution

We are at the beginning of a revolution that is changing how we live, work and relate to each other. According to Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) will be characterized by a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, robotics and virtual reality (see Figure 1). These technologies will fuse together physical, digital and biological domains to increase their agility and provide higher capacity, and will significantly impact global economies and industries.

5G and the cloud will be integral parts of the 4IR, improving business processes and driving new applications in an expanded range of markets and sectors. These technologies will herald greater automation with augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and AI, with programmability to ensure efficient and timely execution and delivery of activities, goods and services.

Envisioned as a societal game changer that goes far beyond consuming high- definition video, 5G technology will enable the delivery and management of interactive, intelligent, energy-efficient and smart applications and services. These 1 will be delivered to any connected device or sensor, in any market or sector, in near real-time and with the required reliability.

Figure 1. 4th Industrial Revolution powered by 5G

Social and

human impact

Economic flexibility and social mobility

Industrial change

DriverEconomic flexibility and social mobility Industrial change Enabler Artificial intelligence, cloud, robotics, VR 5G

Enablerflexibility and social mobility Industrial change Driver Artificial intelligence, cloud, robotics, VR 5G PCs,

Artificial intelligence, cloud, robotics, VR 5G PCs, automation IT Mass production Electricity Mechanization
Artificial intelligence,
cloud, robotics, VR
5G
PCs,
automation
IT
Mass
production
Electricity
Mechanization
People
Steam
& Things
1770
1870
1970
2020
1st Industrial
2nd Industrial
3rd Industrial
4th “Industrial”
revolution
revolution
revolution
revolution

1 “The Fourth Industrial Revolution”, Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum, 2016.

Preparation for 5G will be very different to previous technological change because it begins with

Preparation for 5G will be very different to previous technological change because it begins with the setting of business goals that translate into multiple services and applications to realize lucrative new business opportunities. For this reason, there is considerable interest in 5G beyond communications service providers (CSPs), including evolving enterprise vertical segments such as healthcare, manufacturing, energy and transportation, as well as government. These organizations will use 5G to manage and integrate applications that address the challenges faced at a socioeconomic level.

5G trends

5G brings significant network improvements in capacity, connectivity, latency and reliability. As shown in Figure 2, this will lead to an entire range of new services that can be broadly classified into three categories.

The first is extreme mobile broadband. This takes what we are already familiar with as a mobile data service, but significantly boosts performance for high bandwidth needs. It will deliver new enterprise services and applications along with the exploding consumption of multimedia and collaborative working and social communications, such as AR/VR and video in all its various forms and formats. These frequent, collaborative and interactive communications occur between people as well as intelligent devices, and generate exabytes of data each day.

Figure 2. New user demands—with extremely diverse requirements

Devices Smart factories 1.5 GB/day 1 PB/day Billions of sensors Autonomous driving connected 1ms latency
Devices Smart factories 1.5 GB/day 1 PB/day Billions of sensors Autonomous driving connected 1ms latency

Devices

Smart factories

1.5 GB/day

1 PB/day

Devices Smart factories 1.5 GB/day 1 PB/day Billions of sensors Autonomous driving connected 1ms latency
Devices Smart factories 1.5 GB/day 1 PB/day Billions of sensors Autonomous driving connected 1ms latency

Billions of sensors

Autonomous driving

connected

1ms latency

c e n ” e i r e p x r e o v F
c
e
n
e
i
r
e
p
x
r
e
o
v
F
e
e
100 Mb/s
r
<10 Gb/s
peak data rates
whenever needed
Capacity
Latency
y
10,000
Extreme
I
x more traffic
mobile
1,000,000
broadband
t
devices per km²
<1 ms
radio latency
d
n
Ultra-low cost
for massive
Massive
Critical
h
machine coms.
machine
machine
Ultra reliability
<10 ⁵ E2E outage
communication
communication
Connectivity
Reliability
s
i
e
10 years
Zero
on battery
mobility
interruption
n
t
t
g
i
a
m
n
i
t
l
n
a
U
c
t
i
o
n
i a ” m n i t l n a U c “ t i o

Design and architecture principles:

flexible | scalable | automated | cloud native software centric | dynamic network slicing

The second category is massive machine communication (MMC), which is another name for IoT. The tremendous connectivity and scalability afforded by 5G will give rise to smart homes, smart cities and smart factories, all containing billions of sensors that require access to a flexible and scalable infrastructure.

The third, which is part of MMC but more demanding, is the rise of critical

The third, which is part of MMC but more demanding, is the rise of critical machine communications requiring very high reliability and very low latency; for example, in public safety, autonomous vehicles and telemedicine.

Need for a different network approach

To deliver the network requirements demanded by this broad range of services will require the continued evolution of radio access, including 4G, unlicensed and shared spectrum technologies, and the introduction of 5G New Radio (NR) access.

5G will require fundamental change to all aspects of network architecture. It is more than just a radio access technology. 5G will support both fixed and wireless access, which opens the potential for a wider range of services and applications. The core will need to be designed and built using all the capabilities of the cloud, and must adopt a more agile and distributed architecture to achieve the faster service definition and delivery required to support new socioeconomic models and behaviors.

A cloud-native core network

To meet the more demanding and varied service characteristics and network requirements of 5G will require a fundamental change to the 5G core architecture. The 5G core now becomes an intelligent interconnection hub residing at the heart of the network, forming a global interconnected fabric and acting as an anchor point for multi-access technologies. It needs to deliver a seamless service experience across fixed and wireless access technologies, with the advanced 5G NR being an important new radio access technology.

Traditional packet core networks have provided mobile broadband connectivity for smartphones, tablets and laptops, and were designed around a well- defined call model. This call model will no longer apply because the core network will need to support a broader range of new services and applications with a variety of different characteristics that don’t follow a conventional consumer call model.

The packet core is already undergoing an evolutionary change with network functions virtualization (NFV) to support LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services and the first wave of IoT/machine type communications (MTC) devices. Many organizations have already adopted NFV and virtualized their packet cores, but this is only the first step in the transformation that is needed to support these new services today, and moving forward, 5G services.

A

cloud-native architecture is essential for a 5G NGC. As shown in Figure 3,

it

builds on the network investment required today for LTE-A and IoT/MTC

services, to support the 5G NGC with expanded service capabilities, scalability, agility and new network functions.

Figure 3. Cloud-native core architecture delivering innovation now and on the path to 5G Virtualized

Figure 3. Cloud-native core architecture delivering innovation now and on the path to 5G

Virtualized packet core

• Inefficient resource utilization

• Inflexible capacity scaling

• Inflexible resiliency

VNF VNF VNF 1 2 3 Hypervisor Hardware
VNF
VNF
VNF
1
2
3
Hypervisor
Hardware

Cloud-native packet core

• Cloud native architecture

• Multi-access connectivity

• Cellular IOT optimizations

• Connectionless services

• Cellular IOT optimizations • Connectionless services 5G NGC • New network functions • New QoE

5G NGC

• New network functions

• New QoE mechanisms

• Expanded network slicing

• Evolved connectionless services Extreme mobile broadband 5G Massive Critical machine machine communication
• Evolved connectionless services
Extreme
mobile
broadband
5G
Massive
Critical
machine
machine
communication
communication

Cloud-native architecture to deliver massive scalability, performance, flexibility and reliability to meet the economics of IoT/MTC and broadband evolution, and a foundation for 5G

At Nokia, we’ve gone beyond the basics by re-architecting our packet core to be cloud-native.

The following attributes are built into the Nokia Cloud Packet Core (CPC) solution to realize the economics of delivering diverse and demanding services and applications:

• Leveraging a common data layer to hold subscriber/session data, thereby providing greater resiliency and flexibility

Stateless functional software elements with state-efficient processing to achieve greater resource efficiency and webscale capacity

• Software disaggregation that moves beyond control plane and user plane separation

• Centralized and distributed deployment architectures

• Network slicing for service management and monetization

• Cloud agile operations, allowing the automation and life cycle management of individual CPC disaggregated software.

5G NR and NGC architectures 5G will need to be flexible to benefit from all

5G NR and NGC architectures

5G will need to be flexible to benefit from all available spectrum options, utilizing licensed, shared access and unlicensed spectrum. There will be a need to balance the requirement for high data rates or low latency with massive device densities as well as wide geographic coverage. The 5G NGC will need to be architected to deliver the performance, massive scalability, reliability and agility to realize the economics of delivering diverse and demanding services and applications of the new connected world.

5G NR architecture

As shown in Figure 4, a 5G network can be deployed as a standalone solution (SA) using 5G NR and a new 5G NGC. 5G can also be deployed as a non- standalone (NSA) solution with dual connectivity to LTE, where the device has two parallel radio connections: LTE and 5G. Some dual-connectivity approaches in 3GPP Release 15 5G standards use an existing 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC) with enhancements to support 5G NR.

Figure 4. 5G NR deployment options

Standalone (SA)

Non-standalone (NSA)

5G radio cells

Directly used by 5G device

Only available as a secondary carrier* under the control of an LTE base station

Core choice

5G NGC

4G core or 5G NGC

Organization perspective

Simple, high-performance overlay

Leverages existing 4G deployments

5G core 5G radio
5G core
5G radio

* In the longer term, 5G NR may also act as Master with LTE as secondary.

4G or 5G core 4G radio 5G radio
4G or
5G core
4G radio
5G radio
5G NGC architecture 3GPP has defined a new architecture for the 5G NGC to help

5G NGC architecture

3GPP has defined a new architecture for the 5G NGC to help address the massive scalability, low latency, high capacity, reliability and service agility needed to deliver new services and applications. The new network architecture enables services to be delivered over fixed, mobile or converged networks using any available access type.

The 5G NGC will consist of the functional elements shown in Figure 5. Some of these core functions perform similar roles as the existing EPC while others, such as the Network Functions Repository Function (NRF), are new.

Two models have been defined for the interaction between control plane elements. The primary model is a cloud-aligned Service Based Architecture (SBA) that allows reusability, flexible interconnections and service discovery between control plane functions. A secondary alternative, more aligned to the traditional packet core, is a point-to-point architecture with functions interconnected with specific interfaces.

Figure 5. 3GPP Rel. 15 5G SA end-to-end architecture

NEF PCF AF Control plane 5G user plane UDR DN N6/SGi Service N4 UDM SMF
NEF
PCF
AF
Control plane
5G user plane
UDR
DN
N6/SGi
Service
N4
UDM
SMF
UPF
based
N3
N2
AUSF
AMF
CU: NR gNB
CU: eLTE eNB
Xn
CU: NR gNB
CU: eLTE eNB
N1
N2
UDSF
NRF
NSSF
N3IWF
Fs
Nwu
Y2
NR
LTE
WLAN
DU
DU
5G RAN
Y1
AP
Non-
N1
3GPP
5G UE

5G

NGC advantages

A number of architectural improvements in the 5G NGC have been adopted in the 3GPP specifications. These improvements provide the flexibility, scalability and agility needed to deliver 5G services and applications.

Table 1 summarizes the key differences between a 5G NGC and an EPC.

Table 1. Comparison of 5G NGC and EPC Feature EPC 5G NGC Session and Preserve

Table 1. Comparison of 5G NGC and EPC

Feature

EPC

5G NGC

Session and

Preserve IP address forever or use selected IP traffic offload, i.e. “break” and then “make”

A new Session and Service Continuity Mode 3 allows “make” before “break”, required for uRLLC and session relocation

service continuity

Authentication

Access-dependent procedures

Unified architecture and procedures for 3GPP and non-3GPP access

and session

management

QoS model

QCI-based bearers linking paired latency and reliability limits

Flow-based QoS

Short packet

Connection oriented only

Connection oriented, including inactive mode; also connectionless (after Release 15)

support

Cloud-native

Possible but not a necessary condition: functions are transparent to implementation

Explicit linkage to cloud-based mechanisms; compute-storage separation

solution

Network

Need to upgrade MME, SGW and PGW each time a QoS or session parameter is changed

Clean architecture with no overlapping responsibilities

evolution

Service Based

Point-to-point architecture resulting in copying common functionalities for each reference point (Gx, Sd, St)

SBA in the control plane, enabling reusability and flexibility; definition of network functions services

Architecture

Access network

S1 with per-UE assigned MME and assigned SGW; access-specific S1 interface

Control plane (N2) and user plane (N3) interfaces common to all access types

core interface

Network slicing

Single slice per UE (MME, SGW and multiple PGWs)

End-to-end slicing with multiple slices per UE

Network slicing

The role of network slicing is to support very diverse and extreme requirements for latency, throughput, capacity and availability. Network slicing will create end-to-end logical networks that have isolated properties and are operated independently. As new services get layered onto the network, a cloud-native core will be able to create an instance, or slice, of an entire network virtually. The slice will be fully customized with network resources (dedicated if needed) allocated by use case, subscriber type or application from a common infrastructure.

As shown in Figure 6, network slicing offers an effective way to meet the requirements of a multitude of services and applications over a common network infrastructure, including smartphones, tablets, VR, personal health devices, critical remote-control equipment and automotive connectivity.

Figure 6. 5G end-to-end and policy-driven network slicing Slicing across radio, transport, core edge and

Figure 6. 5G end-to-end and policy-driven network slicing

Slicing across radio, transport, core edge and central clouds Cloud scalability Autonomous driving and efficiency
Slicing across radio, transport,
core edge and central clouds
Cloud scalability
Autonomous
driving
and efficiency
Flexibility to meet
diverse requirements
Self-service
Utility
Health
Health
Smart meter
Full automation and self-optimization

Network slicing (see Figure 7) provides much-needed security mechanisms to segregate enterprises or differing MMC-application-dedicated services from each other. It also ensures that SLAs and QoS for that service are maintained. Dynamic, application-based Quality of Experience (QoE) detects and differentiates short-lived sub-service flows, which is not possible in today’s LTE networks.

Figure 7. Flexible network slicing

One efficient cloud network

One efficient cloud network

Network as a service: Vertical slice

MBB Voice Media Cars mHealth Logistics Enterprise
MBB
Voice
Media
Cars
mHealth
Logistics
Enterprise

Vertical and horizontal slicing

Cust. A Cust. C Cust. E Cust. G Cust. B Cust. D Cust. F
Cust. A
Cust. C
Cust. E
Cust. G
Cust. B
Cust. D
Cust. F
A Cust. C Cust. E Cust. G Cust. B Cust. D Cust. F Today’s network serving
A Cust. C Cust. E Cust. G Cust. B Cust. D Cust. F Today’s network serving

Today’s network serving all services and devices

Vertical slicing for service verticals, device segments and cuctomer segments

Vertical and horizontal slicing for MBB service plus customer-specific customization

5G standards timeline To support an early rollout of 5G standards and expedite the industry’s

5G standards timeline

To support an early rollout of 5G standards and expedite the industry’s desire to focus on the delivery of particular new and richer 5G services, the standards work related to 5G has been split into two phases: 3GPP Release 15 is Phase 1, and Release 16 is Phase 2.

As shown in Figure 8, Phase 1 includes the specifications for the overall system architecture that encompasses the 5G NGC. Phase 1 also includes specifications needed to support enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and the low-latency aspects of ultra-reliable low latency communications (uRLLC). Phase 2 includes specifications for massive IoT and further enhancements to uRLLC services.

The first pre-5G commercially defined offers will be available in 2017. 3GPP 5G Phase 1 standards will be available in 2018. Phase 2 and full standardization will be available in 2019, with Phase 1 being fully compatible with Phase 2.

Figure 8. 3GPP 5G standards timeline

5GTF/KT SIG

industry specifications

5G standards roadmap

3GPP 5G Phase 1 eMBB, FWA Low Latency Critical (LLC) apps

3GPP 5G Phase 1 eMBB, FWA Low Latency Critical (LLC) apps
 

NSA

SA

 
 
 

3GPP 5G Phase 2 Massive IoT Enhanced LLC apps

3GPP 5G Phase 2 Massive IoT Enhanced LLC apps 3GPP 5G Release 17 MBMS Optimized standard

3GPP 5G Release 17 MBMS

Optimized standard

3GPP 5G Phase 2 Massive IoT Enhanced LLC apps 3GPP 5G Release 17 MBMS Optimized standard

completing full

   

5G vision

 

>52 GHz

 
     
 
     
 

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

5G industry roadmap

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 5G industry roadmap Pre-standards 5G start First standards-based 5G

Pre-standards

5G start

2021 2022 5G industry roadmap Pre-standards 5G start First standards-based 5G deployments Standards-based 5G

First standards-based

5G deployments

5G start First standards-based 5G deployments Standards-based 5G mass rollout Conclusion The advent of 5G

Standards-based 5G mass rollout

Conclusion

The advent of 5G goes much further than just faster speeds and higher capacity for video. 5G is a revolutionary technology that will enable much more than just broadband services from CSPs. A multitude of organizations will be able to offer a variety of joined-up services across a range of verticals, accessible from any device over any connectivity medium. All of this will re-shape society and fuel industrial revolution.

5G will enable the delivery of high-bandwidth, low-latency experiences and enhanced productivity through an adaptable network. This will require flexible and scalable compute and processing power located in a centralized and distributed cloud-based network architecture that forms a global connected nervous system and a connected world. 5G will utilize policy management and analytics for a fast, agile and personalized experience across any access type.

At the heart of the network is a multi-access interconnection hub, which acts as the

At the heart of the network is a multi-access interconnection hub, which acts as the anchor point for all wireless and fixed access types. Nokia already supports this new reality today with its Cloud Packet Core solution.

The Nokia Cloud Packet Core solution provides software designed specifically for the cloud. It’s not just core software that has been virtualized to run on a server; it has been optimally designed to take full advantage of a cloud environment. Its cloud-native capabilities and operations deliver the performance to support increasing capacity, massive scalability, deployment flexibility and service characteristics such as low latency. With these capabil- ities, organizations can realize the economics of efficiently and reliably delivering diverse and demanding consumer, residential, enterprise and LTE-A/IoT/MTC services and applications.

Nokia’s Cloud Packet Core provides a solid foundation for organizations to profit from today’s opportunities, and to evolve with confidence toward a 5G NGC.

For more information visit our Nokia Cloud Packet Core web page.

Acronyms

3GPP

3rd Generation Partnership Project

4IR

4th Industrial Revolution

5G TF

5G Technical Forum

AF

application function

AI

artificial intelligence

AMF

Access and Mobility Management Function

AP

access point

AUSF

Authentication Server Function

CPC

Cloud Packet Core

CSP

communications service provider

CU

central unit

DN

data network

DU

distributed unit

eLTE

enhanced LTE

eMBB

enhanced Mobile Broadband

eNB

LTE Evolved Node B

EPC

Evolved Packet Core

FWA

fixed wireless access

gNB 5G New Radio base station HLR Home Location Register HSS Home Subscriber Server HW

gNB

5G New Radio base station

HLR

Home Location Register

HSS

Home Subscriber Server

HW

hardware

IoT

Internet of Things

KPI

key performance indicator

LLC

low latency communications

LTE

long term evolution

MBB

mobile broadband

MBMS

Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service

MTC

Machine Type Communications

mMTC

massive Machine Type Communications

NB-IoT

NarrowBand IoT

NEF

Network Exposure Function

NGC

Next Generation Core

NR

New Radio

NRF

Network Repository Function

PCF

Policy Control Function

PGW

Packet Data Network Gateway

QCI

QoS Class Identifier

QoE

Quality of Experience

QoS

Quality of Service

RAN

radio access network

SA

standalone

SBA

Service Based Architecture

SGi

LTE interface between PGW or UPF and the data network

SGW

Serving Gateway

SLA

Service Level Agreement

SMF

Session Management Function

UDM

Unified Data Management

UDR

Unified Data Repository

UDSF

Unstructured Data Storage Function

UE user equipment UPF User Plane Function uRLLC ultra-reliable low latency communications VNF

UE

user equipment

UPF

User Plane Function

uRLLC

ultra-reliable low latency communications

VNF

virtualized network function

VR

virtual reality

WLAN

wireless local access network

Xn

Radio interconnect interface (n)

Yx

Non-3GPP access interface (x)

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Product code: SR1708014726EN (September)