The first session “Radio and Core Network”, chaired by Prof. Dr. Aki Nakao from the Tokyo University, discussed new concepts for the evolution of Radio and Core Network elements towards 5G. The session was opened by Luis Miguel Contreras Murillo, from Telefonica, presenting 5G Backhauling, emphasizing the requirements and use cases of 5G networks and motivating the need for a “Mobile Backhaul” where “SDN control” will play a fundamental role in the orchestration of network resources. This topic was further explored by Prof. Kuklinksi from Orange Poland in his presentation “Generalized Orchestration”. According to him, the “Zoo of Orchestration” creates a considerable problem in the NFV ecosystem since currently available solutions offer little interoperability among each other. He presented some definitions of what Orchestration is in the NFV domain and compared those definitions with what Orchestration means in other domains. Jonathan Hart from BT presented 5G network architecture concepts that drive the 5G evolution while Hans Einsiedler, Deutsche Telekom, presented how novel system concepts for control planes allow serving the diverging needs of different verticals. Prof. Raymond Knopp, from EURESCOM, presented results from the softwarization of RAN components and how Open-Source cloud software is impacting the cloudification of the RAN. From his perspective “RAN should be more tightly integrated in cloud computing frameworks”. The first session was closed by Adam MacHale from Cisco. Mr. MacHale talked about service and application diversity in the upcoming years and the importance of 5G platforms for supporting their requirements.
The second session, chaired by Antonio Manzalini from Telecom Italia, started with a presentation by Martin Herbst from Multikom about Opossum an “OpenFlow-based communication system for multi-energy domains”. Eiji Kawai from the Network Testbed R&D Laboratory of NICT presented the IoT Testbed in JGN. The “RISE” testbed is one of the largest SDN/OpenFlow testbeds in Japan currently integrating with “JOSE” providing facilities to verify and evaluate new smart ICT service technologies. Alexandra Mikityuk from T-LABS talked about “Cloud Browser RTEs and APIs”. She presented the benefits of moving network functionalities into the cloud providing the possibility to address also legacy and low-end devices. Lauri Isotalo from Elisa presented “Telco business in the era of SDN and NFV” emphasizing that “new types of ecosystems emerge with multiple complementing vendors working closely to guarantee end-to-end service quality”. Prof. Dr. Thomas Bohnert from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences presented results from the Mobile Cloud Networking project. Several Open Source frameworks for NFV prototyping have been presented: Hurtle (for orchestration) and Cyclops (for rating, charging and billing) are just two of the tools provided to the community for building an end-to-end network “as a service”. Their usage was presented by the next speaker, Simone Ruffino from Telecom Italia, who showed how those different tools were used together with the OpenEPC platform provided by Fraunhofer FOKUS for building an end-to-end virtualized mobile core network. Robert Mullins from TSSG presented work from the European project CogNet that applies Machine Learning and Data Analytics to Network Management. The session was terminated by a talk by Werner Eriksen from Telenor Digital presenting their innovative “recipe” for building a public cloud based virtualized software telco.
The workshop ended with a panel session moderated by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bohnert where all the speakers participated. Discussions topics ranged from technical to social issues. Due to network softwarization there will be a complete change in required skills. Most of the telco operators in the panel indicated that there is a new need for hiring people able to program their network.
With respect to virtualization and clouds the role of the Service Delivery Platforms (SDPs) in the upcoming years was addressed. For the operators the infrastructure is becoming a commodity, and OTT is pressing with very low time to market. Therefore, telcos have to find more business-oriented services for monetizing their platforms in the upcoming years. On the other hand telcos are affected by regulations, and most of the time they cannot even make use of a lot of “big data” that is produced in their infrastructures. Indeed, all the data collected from their infrastructures could improve the way services are provided to customers.
Operators in the panel stated that in the upcoming years SDN will be the main software development for them and that they will start their own software companies for building software network infrastructures.