The FLEXCARE project adds significant value to the EU FP7 FLEX project, by providing highly relevant new capabilities to experimenters in the field of LTE research and beyond (5G). It is addressing the following two objectives.
Extension of the FUSECO Playground mobile broadband testbed for interworking with the FLEX infrastructure (federation of LTE testbeds across Europe) by using Advanced Open LTE interfaces, that will be made interoperable with the existing FIRE control and management tools utilized by FLEX and
Enhancement of the FUSECO Playground testbed management software, by means of experiment control tools that are supporting advanced experimentation within the LTE testbed and across the federation of FLEX's LTE testbeds. These tools will be fully integrated with the existing experiment control tools of the FUSECO Playground.
FLEXCARE aims at extending the FLEX infrastructure with a new LTE testbed facility, namely the FUSECO Playground testbed. This allows significant extension and enhancements of the FLEX project infrastructure allowing for new possibilities of mobile broadband (2G, 3G, LTE, WiFi) experiments. Within the FUSECO Playground, the OpenEPC, the core of a realistic, state-of-the-art operator network, based on the 3GPP Evolved Packet Core (EPC) architecture standard, enables a truly state-of-the-art mobile broadband testing facility. By interconnecting with standard radio technologies and by offering IP connectivity services through a completely controllable small operator environment, various enhanced mobile broadband experiments will be enabled, reaching from standard LTE connectivity experiments, to QoS related experiments and hand-over scenarios (between 2G, 3G, LTE, WiFi) as well as policy-/location-based access network selection scenarios.
Furthermore, FLEXCARE adds new capabilities supporting 5G research within the fields of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN). These capabilities are realized through our OpenSDNCore and Open5GCore toolkits that will allow to dynamically instantiate and orchestrate virtualized LTE core network functions (e.g. PDN-GW, S-GW, MME) as well as to separate the control plane from the user plane using the OpenFlow technology.
The major goal of the integration of the FUSECO Playground into the FLEX architecture is to provide remote access to these resources and services to FLEX experimenters. The FUSECO Playground is powered by the FITeagle toolkit which is developed by TUB, who are also leading and participating in the standardization efforts for the next GENI/FIRE APIs and resource descriptions.