Nokia's research and scientific development arm has announced that it will collaborate with a group of IT companies and academic institutions in Europe to kick off the development of the next-generation 5G platform-as-a-service, a major leap from the current Infrastructure-as-a-Service model. Nokia Bell Labs will serve as the lead of the 5G NGPaaS consortium, with the work being expected to run for at least a year as a part of the 5G Infrastructure Public-Private Partnership between the European Union and telecom companies. Launched in 2014, the alliance includes some of the members of the 5G NGPaaS consortium such as B-COM and French telecommunications firm Orange SA, with the broader goal of reconsidering the current infrastructure of communication networks and services and developing the next-generation platform.
The consortium intends for the platform-as-a-service model to be a solution that naturally resides in the cloud, noting how this virtual environment is increasingly changing the way companies and organizations operate at present. With that being said, the Nokia-led consortium aims to develop a 5G platform that significantly reduces latency for operating virtual network function (VNF) applications while making them more reliable and capable to perform their intended function. Another feature that the group wants to bake into the 5G platform is the ability to integrate third-party applications into those VNF applications. While the 5G platform-as-a-service solution is quite a new concept, the consortium seeks to implement the model in order to provide support to cloud-based 5G technologies. According to Bessem Sayadi, consortium project leader and research manager for Nokia Bell Labs, the wider goal of the initiative is to facilitate collaboration within 5G environments for developers.
Nokia has been devoting a huge amount of resources to the advancement of 5G recently. At the Mobile World Congress event this year held in Barcelona, Spain, Nokia launched a partnership with MediaTek to jointly develop a commercial 5G ecosystem. During the same event, Nokia also announced that it was developing a new product called 5G FIRST, designed to let operators use initial specifications for 5G networks by utilizing the Finnish company's radio access network, packet core, and mobile transport systems. Nokia is expected to reveal more details and updates about its 5G initiative in the coming months.