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5G Project to enhance efficiency of idea-to-market process

2 February 2021

An exciting new Smart Internet Lab project, being funded by H2020, ‘5G Application & Services experimentation and certification Platform’ (5G ASP) commenced on 1st January 2021. Smart Internet Lab has a key role in the project by offering our state-of-the-art 5G facilities and know-how to the project, and by providing a unique opportunity for testing new concepts in the upcoming telecom landscape, such are Open RAN.

The 5GASP project aims to shorten the idea-to-market process by creating a European testbed for SMEs that is fully automated and self-service to foster rapid development and testing of new and innovative Network Applications (NetApps) built using the 5G NFV based reference architecture. Building on top of existing physical infrastructures, 5GASP intends to focus on innovations related to the operation of experiments and tests across several domains, providing software support tools for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) of VNFs in a secure & trusted environment for European SMEs capitalizing in the 5G market. 

As 5G approaches a very high maturity level, the testing and validation of the innovations achieved in 5G by integrators and verticals service providers have become of utmost importance. Verticals have very different needs, such as the case of the Automotive industry and Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR). Therefore, this will require different levels of support in taking their applications and services from concepts to prototypes and finally to products. However, it is also more and more frequent that services in different verticals need to exchange data, particularly mobility services such as those found in connected automobiles and PPDR.  

5GASP targets the creation of an Open-Source Software (OSS) repository and of a VNF marketplace targeting SMEs with OSS examples and building blocks, as well as the incubation of a community of NetApp developers assisted with tools and services that can enable an early validation and/or certification of products and services for 5G. We focus on inter-domain use-cases, development of operational tools and procedures (supporting day-to-day testing and validation activities) and security/trust of 3rd party IPR running in our testbeds. 

5GASP’s main technical objective is therefore to build and operate an Open 5G NFV-based European network of experimental facilities that provides the means for the instantiation of fully softwarised architectures of vertical industries (e.g. Automotive, cooperative mobility and PPDR) for testing, validation and pre-certification, in a closest to real-life 5G environment. 

One of 5GASP innovative solutions for business is a showcase portal of registered network applications (NetAppStore) providing operational information collected automatically during the NetApps independent testing on the 5GASP platform. The NetApp Store is complemented by the NetAppCommunity portal supporting NetApps developers and users.

Overall, the following constitute the overall objectives (addressing both technical and impact aspects) whose success shall bring to life the 5GASP concept; we identify the innovations contained in each objective and KPI we will use measure our success:

  1. Acceleration of the development, testing and certification of NetApps through creating a common platform, DevOps tools and a certification roadmap.
  2. Provide state-of-the-art testbeds where applications for relevant verticals can be tested and validated cost-effectively.
  3. Innovate technically by addressing inter-domain use-cases, security and trust aspects associated with NetApp deployment and Operation.
  4. Automate the process of testing and validation, lowering the cost associated with testing and certification of NetApps in telecommunication environment.
  5. Provide all the community with state-of-the-art tools for test deployment, test automation, continuous integration and monitoring of testbeds, mainly through Open Source Software tools.
  6. Create a practice community, where developers can share knowledge about 5G NetApps 
  7. Create a business model around a marketplace of NetApps, by which all stakeholders can share revenue. 


Further information

The Smart Internet Lab at the University of Bristol is one of the UK's most renowned Information and Communications Technology (ICT) research centres which addresses grand societal and industrial challenges.

Our 200 experts on 5G radio/wireless, optical communications and networks challenge the complexity of tomorrow's world by fusing research expertise and innovation in a range of research areas such as: IoT, 5G & Beyond, Future Transport Networks, Smart Cities, Autonomous Netoworks, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Network, Convergence, Mobile Edge Computing and Network Softwarization.

Our unique offering across optical, wireless, IoT and cloud technologies enable us to bring together end-to-end network design and optimisation and impact regional, national and global ICT innovations.  

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