Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally posted on the VanillaPlus 5G webinar blog on December 13, 2018.
As we approach 2019, we are on the cusp of 5G roll-out. Some operators, notably AT&T and Verizon in the US, have already begun their deployments but these are typically contained, limited efforts that focus more on setting the scene for full 5G with emphasis on fixed-wireless access. As 5G mobile devices start to become available and services that need the low latency and massive throughput of 5G begin to emerge, this picture will change. In addition, as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues its development, we will start to see volumes of devices increase from the thousands to the millions. This uptick in the number of required connections, which will ultimately add tens of billions of devices and machines to networks, matches another 5G attribute, the ability to support large volumes of devices per cell.
5G remains a new area and one that is less than fully understood so VanillaPlus hosted a recent webinar to examine an important area – the data platform requirements for 5G core. Speakers Seeta Somagami, a solutions architect at VoltDB, and Derek Hosty, the general manager of Openet’s cloud and data hosting division, used their presentations to take the audience deep into 5G core’s data requirements of 5G core and how these often complex requirements can be addressed going into 2019 and beyond.
An area of understanding that was explored was how 5G core redefines how data is represented, collected, stored and used. This is a very different environment than seen in previous mobile generations and provides the platform for mobile operators to bring new revenue generating services to market while simultaneously resetting their cost bases to a sustainable level.
The most important issues to consider, which are set to influence the data processing in 5G core greatly, can be summed up in the following seven key points, detailed by Hosty in the webinar:
- Consolidation of data layers to store both structured and unstructured data
- The REST API based interface for service composition
- Software enabled and virtualised network functions
- The Request/Response model of interaction
- The Subscribe/Notify model of interaction
- Being cloud native and having container compatibility
- Security – both policy-based and role-based
Addressing these requirements needs a data platform that goes beyond the simple data storage needs of previous cellular technology generations. 5G core therefore necessitates a platform that can ingest event data, store it for querying, process it for decision making and send out notifications conditionally, explained Somagami. All of the above needs to be analysed according to identified anomalous behaviour, network load distribution, policy enforcement, billing and accounting. In addition, it must integrate with machine learning technologies to make use of the insights generated to make the decision-making increasingly more intelligent.
To learn more about this complex yet essential area for the deployment of 5G Core, listen to the pre-recording.