Google Cloud and Intel partner for 5G Cloud Native Core & Edge Networking

Google Cloud and Intel plan to collaborate to develop cloud-native 5G core, 5G services and edge networking for network operators, enterprises, and the growing pool of vendors involved in mobile networks.

The partnership spans three main areas focused on:

  • Accelerating the ability of communications service providers to deploy their virtualized radio access network (RAN) and open RAN solutions with next-generation infrastructure and hardware.
  • Launching new lab environments to help communications service providers innovate for cloud native-based 5G networks.
  • Making it easier for communications service providers to deliver business applications to the network edge.

“The next wave of network transformation is fueled by 5G and is driving a rapid transition to cloud native technologies,” said Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group, in a press release. “As communications service providers build out their cloud infrastructure, our efforts with Google Cloud and the broader ecosystem will help them deliver agile, scalable solutions for emerging 5G and edge use cases.”

The partnership’s cloud native 5G objectives will be “across the telecommunications stack, with application providers, carriers and communications service providers, hardware providers, and global telecoms,” according to the press release, to decrease the cost and time-to-market needed for the telecommunications industry.

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Last March, Google Cloud announced a telecommunications industry strategy that focused on cloud capabilities with 5G connectivity and this builds upon that plan.

Google Cloud recently announced an initiative to deliver 200+ partner applications to the edge via Google Cloud’s network and 5G.

Opinion:

Partnerships like this one will be increasingly necessary to build 5G cloud native core networks and services (like network slicing), because there are no implementation specific standards (more below).

Ericsson wrote in a blog post:

“Of course, the implementation of a fully cloud native network will take considerable time and the new and legacy infrastructure will have to co-exist in a hybrid mode to begin with. Nevertheless, depending on your market requirements, it is important to start the journey towards a cloud native 5G Core now and focus future investments in accordance with the new target architecture. This is also the reason why we have re-designed our EPC software to also be cloud native and created a solution we call the Ericsson dual-mode 5G Core.”

“The new 5GC will live together with EPC for a considerable time and it’s important to define an evolution path that is smooth and cost efficient, while still supporting your business strategy and ambitions. We have developed a solution we call dual-mode 5G Core, where 5GC and EPC live together under one common O&M system for efficient TCO. This enables a smooth migration at your own pace and in accordance with your business needs.”

Images Courtesy of Ericsson

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3GPP High Level Specs on 5G Network Architecture/5G Core:

The high level 3GPP technical specs for 5G Core (5GC) call for a service based architecture (SBA), which is designed for cloud native deployment.

These three 3GPP Technical Specs (TS’s) are the basis for 5G core networks, but they do not specify implementation details:

  • 23.501 System architecture for the 5G System (5GS)
  • 23.502 Procedures for the 5G System (5GS)
  • 23.503 Policy and charging control framework for the 5G System (5GS); Stage 2

The ETSI standard is a transliteration of 3GPP TS 23.501: https://www.etsi.org/deliver/etsi_ts/123500_123599/123501/15.03.00_60/ts_123501v150300p.pdf

From section 4.2.1:

“The 5G architecture is defined as service-based and the interaction between network functions is represented in two ways.

– A service-based representation, where network functions (e.g. AMF) within the Control Plane enables other authorized network functions to access their services.  This representation also includes point-to-point reference points where necessary.

– A reference point representation, shows the interaction exist between the NF services in the network functions described by point-to-point reference point (e.g. N11) between any two network functions (e.g. AMF and SMF).

Service-based interfaces are listed in clause 4.2.6.

Reference points are listed in clause 4.2.7.

Network functions within the 5GC Control Plane shall only use service-based interfaces for their interactions.”

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References:

More information on use cases and the full news release can be found on Google’s website.

More Context: 5G & Wireless Communications at Intel

Intel Partner Stories: Intel Customer Spotlight on Intel.com | Partner Stories on Intel Newsroom

https://cloud.google.com/blog/topics/partners/speeding-up-cloud-native-5g-networks-with-intel-and-google-cloud

https://www.ericsson.com/en/blog/2020/10/building-a-cloud-native-5g-core-the-guide-series

 

Intel, Google Cloud Aim to Advance 5G Networks, Edge Innovations

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