Its capabilities range from integrating legacy equipment to providing future-oriented micro-services to manage services for radio access networks (RANs).
New approaches to network design and architecture are needed to meet the requirements for services, applications and business models surrounding 5G. Mobile network operators (MNOs) need to be able to integrate new technologies quickly in order to satisfy customer expectations. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) offers the right technology. One of the measures required to ensure economic efficiency is to integrate or transfer network legacy technology into new architectural forms in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
SDN enables flexible and efficient configuration, optimization and maintenance of a customer- and service-oriented mobile network. MicroNova is addressing precisely these requirements with its new COM5.SDN product line. An initial focus is on migrating existing technology to the new structures. This enables the valuable integration of new network and service technologies into the network operators’ ecosystem while protecting investments already made.
Consolidated Architecture for Mobile Networks with COM5.SDN Mediator
Following on from the successful RAN planning and configuration solution COM5.Mobile – in use at Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone Germany – MicroNova has now extended its portfolio to include a product family for the management of mobile networks. “COM5.SDN Mediator” is the first point of entry into the world of managing software-defined networks. The solution establishes the basis for the successful integration of existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks into an SDN/NFV or Open-RAN-compliant architecture.
COM5.SDN Mediator is based on the mechanisms developed in COM5.Mobile to automate integration and optimize use-cases, including the existing manufacturer-specific network adapters for equipment from Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei. A fully functional, fully configurable NETCONF/YANG server (YANG: “Yet Another Next Generation”, a data modeling language) provides the northbound interface. An internal policy and parameter engine integrates not only manufacturer-specific specifications, but also the customer’s network design and parameter guidelines, superimposes them on top, and provides a consistent database.
Roadmap is ready
While the Mediator variant provides network-side addressing, the roadmap variant “COM5.SDN Radio Controller” provides full FCAPS functionality at management or orchestration level for the new, disaggregated radio access network. An open, standardized O-RAN interface provides the basis. The connection or integration of methods from the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) lays the foundation for the “COM5.SDN Radio Intelligence Controller”, which will round off the COM5.SDN suite for the future. These additional modules enable mobile network operators to support new services and business models with an even shorter time-to-market thanks to a high level of automation.
“We are pursuing a long-term plan in the software-defined network environment. COM5.SDN Mediator is one building block of it,” explains Ingo Bauer, Head of Product Management Telecommunications at MicroNova AG. “The services and features provided by the 5G standard, such as network slicing while providing quality of service, have set new benchmarks for wireless networks. Mapping this dynamic and agility to the network requires a high degree of experience in dealing with automation solutions such as those we have developed with COM5.Mobile. Added to this is the integration of new approaches such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Our system is based on an open architecture and provides for expansion possibilities through so-called RAN apps, allowing 5G-like functionality to be provided to existing networks using 2G-, 3G- and 4G-related RAN apps.”