Contact Person
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Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz
Fraunhofer FOKUS, Director NGNI
Business Unit NGNI
+49 30 3463-7229

Software-based Networks

What we do

The FOKUS Business Unit "Software-based Networks" (NGNI) develops efficient, scalable and application-optimised communication technologies and architectures for the Digital World. We provide the necessary expertise and the communications infrastructure in the form of modular software tools and flexible technology test beds. Thus we enable the practical and expeditious implementation of our costumers' and partners' innovative products, solutions and ideas, as well as the realization of portable demonstrators and realistic reviews of the latest concepts and technologies.

Our Solutions

The NGNI experts have been working for more than 15 years, at international level, on future network infrastructures based on the latest technical developments, including the convergent evolution of fixed and mobile broadband networks (Heterogeneous Networks) up to the emerging fifth generation of mobile networks (5G), the increasing software-based implementation of networks (SDN) as the virtualisation of network functions (NFV) in cloud-based data centres for cost-effective and scalable human-to-human (H2H) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, with the aim of establishing the seamless connectivity for everyone and everything (Internet of Things) in a digital world.

Via dedicated, state of the art testing environments based on innovative, modular software platforms the most important technological questions can be addressed, either in our premises (Testbed as a Service), or at our customers (Testbed to Go), and / or if necessary, overlooking the digitally networked world of tomorrow, in association. In doing so, any hardware environment is supported, ranging from the smallest laboratory to a large data centre.

The Open5GCore Toolkit is the world's first practical implementation of a flexible configurable carrier grade core network for heterogeneous access networks, including DSL, WiFi, LTE, Satellite, as well as future 5G radio technologies. The Open5GCore represents the advancement of the internationally successful OpenEPC Toolkit geared to flexibility and efficiency, reflecting the progress of the pre-standards for 5G core networks, wireless network integration, distributed control, self-organisation and network virtualisation. An optional, configurable ("pluggable PHY") base station enables a cost-effective implementation of the most innovative mobile concepts.

The OpenSDNCore Toolkit is a software platform for the dynamic provisioning of any virtualized network and service platform components, including Open5GCore, vEPC, vIMS, and especially virtualized M2M / IOT servers in distributed data centres, enabling practical SDN / NFV realizations of future telecommunications networks and services. Based closely on the work of the "Management and Orchestration (MANO)" ETSI NFV Industry Special Group; as well as on the realization of the latest version of the OpenFlow Protocol and overlooking the limited capabilities of OpenStack; scalable cloud-based service concepts (eg VoLTE) and innovative network architectures, such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) can be tested and optimized.

The Open5GMTC (5G Machine Type Communication) Toolkit takes into consideration the drive of M2M and IOT application scenarios on the definition of the 5G infrastructure, enabling the practical testing of Industry 4.0 Industrial and Internet applications within a 5G environment. It offers advanced functionality for the device and connectivity management of a very large number of wireless devices in confined spaces and allows the establishment of appropriate instrument-oriented testing environments. An integration with the OpenMTC Toolkit enables an optional addition of standardized M2M protocols and functionalities.

The OpenMTC Toolkit provides an ETSI M2M / OneM2M standards-compliant middleware platform for the efficient realization of any machine-to-machine (M2M) service and application. The flexible integration of proprietary devices and communication protocols allow transferring the so-far-closed M2M solutions to Smart City applications. Current applications range from Smart Home, Smart Grids to Industry 4.0 solutions.

The 5G Playground represents the world's first real available, non-proprietary and expandable Testbed instance for the practical testing of 5G network architectures and applications on the basis of directives of the NGMN Alliance and the 5GPPP requirements for the nascent 5G infrastructures. As an extension and specialization of the world's known FUSECO (Future Seamless Communication) Playground, the 5G Playground integrates the aforementioned OpenXXX toolkits setting the basis for efficient testing, validation and unbiased evaluation of innovative concepts, protocols, components and applications.

The worldwide network with emerging 5G test beds in Europe and Asia guarantees investment protection and the global sustainability of developments and pilot projects.

The mentioned test beds and toolkits are also part of the 2009 established Fraunhofer FOKUS FUSECO Playground, a comprehensive and flexibly configurable testbed for the research and development of future seamless communication technologies. In addition to demand-driven integration and providing the aforementioned OpenXXX tools, the FUSECO Playground offers further tools for functional testing, performance evaluations, interoperability testing, test automation, remote use and federation with external testing environments.

Our customers

Our customers include researchers and engineers from well-known network operators, manufacturers, integrators, service providers, as well as scientists from renowned research institutes and universities from around the world.

NGNI is one of the most committed sources of ideas for the European initiatives in the ICT sector, such as Europe's Future Internet Research and Experimentation Initiative (FIRE), and Europe's Future Internet Public Private Partnership Programme (FI-PPP). Through FIRE we offer, in alliance with international test partners, testing and experimentation environments to the European research community. Via cutting-edge federation tools we make our prototypes available to European researchers. Within the framework of FI-PPP several of our results will be used to implement the Future Internet core platform, which supports a large range of application fields, including Industry 4.0, critical applications, eHealth, smart transportation, smart energy, smart cities, among others.

In addition, we are in close cooperation with the NGNI chair at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the TU Berlin. Part of this cooperation is the training of Masters and PhD students, as well as the research and development of the software fort he above mentioned platforms.

Related Links:
The NGNI Playgrounds
Fraunhofer FOKUS