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Setting up and managing 5G mobile network functions on AWS allows for global scalability, cost reduction, elasticity, and hundreds of augmenting features. This paper highlights the best practices for designing and deploying 5G mobile network functions on AWS.

03 Jul, 2020

Design scalable, secure, reliable, and cost-efficient cloud-native core and edge network on AWS

5G is transforming the connectivity landscape, allowing lower latency and higher bandwidth across a larger scale of devices. Setting up and managing 5G mobile network functions on AWS allows for global scalability, cost reduction, elasticity, and hundreds of augmenting features (for example, AI, Analytics, IoT, DevOps). This paper highlights the best practices for designing and deploying 5G mobile network functions on AWS.

Intro

The advent of 5G brings dramatic improvements to both the radio access network (RAN) and its core network. Besides with the most important and significant change in the radio technology, such as using millimeter wave spectrum (mmWave) for better throughput of and less latency in data transmission, network architectures of Core and RAN become to have an easier transition to the modern innovations of cloud-native software technologies such as microservices, containerized, service-based, and stateless architecture.

For the Core Network aspect, 3GPP1 defines 5G standalone (SA) Core Network to have decomposed architecture with the introduction of a service-based interface (SBI) using HTTP/2 as a baseline communication protocol, and control plane and user plane separation (CUPS). This function decomposition, SBI, and CUPS of 5G network function software strongly favor cloud-native container-based implementation. Even though 5G network function can be built based on the legacy generation of architecture such as virtual machine (VM) based monolithic architecture, the real benefits in terms of agility, fast innovation, hyper scalability, elasticity, and simplified operations and lifecycle management (LCM) can be realized only when the 5G network functions (NFs) are designed and implemented on a cloud-native container-based microservices architecture.

In the case of RAN, decomposition of Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU), the use of enhanced Common Public Radio Interface (eCPRI), and Open RAN (O-RAN) concept make traditional Baseband Unit (BBU) to be more easily transformed to a virtualized network function or containerized network function. This can bring the benefit of scalability and cost-efficiency in terms of both, operating expenditures and capital expenditure.

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