5G-Ready NGNI IoT
The 5G core network from Fraunhofer FOKUS enables, for example, special networks for augmented reality applications for factory personnel and automated machine control. istock/ gorodenkoff

5G-ready: Interoperability of the Fraunhofer FOKUS software-based core network successfully tested with Nokia AirScale base station

Release from Thu., February 14, 2019

This year, the Bundesnetzagentur will allocate frequencies for local networks for the first time in Germany. With the fourth version of its “Open5GCore”, Fraunhofer FOKUS offers one of the world's first standards-based and manufacturer-independent 5G core networks. Thereby enabling Fraunhofer FOKUS to provide a technically mature test infrastructure for private and industrial 5G networks.

5G offers high data rates with minimal latency, made possible by major advances in radio technology. At least as important are the changes in the core network, which facilitate the development of demand-specific and efficient network infrastructures. This is achieved in 5G through a virtualized, software-based core network. The “Open5GCore” from Fraunhofer FOKUS is a prototypical, licensable software for test environments. By means of virtualization, network functions can be dynamically combined into a customized special network – according to the required latency time, security level and the number of devices to be interconnected. Parallel, virtual special networks in a physical network can be realized by so-called network slicing, for example, a fail-safe network with low latencies for the machine to machine communication in factory plants or a network with high bandwidth for augmented reality applications for the staff.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Magedanz, director of the business unit Software-based Networks at the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS, explains: “We support industrial enterprises in setting up and testing their own campus networks for safety-critical applications. Especially for security and time-critical applications, the Open5GCore offers edge computing technologies that allow data to be processed in microcomputing centers near the point of use.”

Dr. Wolfgang Hackenberg, Head of Sales Deutsche Telekom at Nokia, adds: “It is important for industrial enterprises to gain their own experience with campus networks, especially with regard to the 5G technology and the productive benefits that they can draw from it. That's why Nokia supports the test infrastructure of Fraunhofer FOKUS. With our unique end-to-end 5G solution portfolio and strong expertise in secure networks, we are well positioned as a partner for the German industry.”

The Open5GCore Rel. 4 has the following features:

  • is based on the 5G standard 3G PP Rel. 15, which was defined in summer 2018,
  • separates control and application data for lower latency and higher throughput,
  • Backward compatible: Enables the operation of a network exclusively with 5G base stations (stand-alone) as well as with a combination of 4G and 5G base stations (non-stand-alone).