Bringing 5G control plane functions to the cloud

SEAN KINNEY | July 5, 2018

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5G, as it continues to develop and be built out, is envisioned as a flexible connectivity medium that trades off proprietary equipment for a cloud-native architecture supported by low-cost, white box server hardware. A service-based architectural approach will break down a 5G service chain into individual components capable of communicating with one another through implementation-independent interfaces; microservice can be distributed within a 5G network to make it easier for operators to spin-up new services quickly, much in the way webscale players like Amazon or Baidu. A key aspect of this is the virtualization of network functions and software-defined networking with separation of the control and data planes. At a high level, the control plane essentially routes data traffic through a network and the data plane forwards the traffic along the path established by the control plane. Decoupling these two sets of functions allows for more efficient, automated management of increasingly complex networks.

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