Mavenir and MobiledgeX Enable Global Edge Connectivity with Deutsche Telekom


As the “telco-cloud” world moves rapidly toward cloud-native edge-to-edge orchestrated solutions, ecosystems are hard at work collaborating on conceptualizing, designing, developing, testing, and validating disruptive new ways to bring enterprises, businesses, and consumers a truly low-latency real-time, on-demand, web-scale, automated and intelligent extension and eventually replacement of dated legacy mobile networking.

Industry initiatives like the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge project, O-RAN for Open Ran, multiple IEEE projects, Industrial Internet Consortium testbeds, and edge orchestration solutions like the one ZEDEDA rolled out last year feature agile, automatic, and intelligent operations, monitoring, and management.

We are watching history being made, with comprehensive cloud adaptation of networks, operating systems, and micro-services is a prerequisite for this much anticipated digital transformation that will be a big part of the theme at next week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Today, two industry disrupters, Mavenir and MobiledgeX, announced their successful integration enabling Deutsche Telekom to roll out simplified and harmonized Global Edge Connectivity.

Their innovations in the lab, supporting the cloud-native dynamic deployment of a 5G core driven by emerging application needs including 4G/5G Private Networks, have “demonstrated and validated the reference design for deploying cloud-native 5G User Plane Function (UPF) to support Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) applications, tailored to each use case need for proximity and performance,” according to their announcement.

The reference design is fully cloud-native, abstracted away from underlying cloud architecture, infrastructure vendor, and operating owner.

“We are excited to partner with Mavenir and MobiledgeX to demonstrate dynamic cloud-native deployment of 5G Core UPF for users where it is needed,” said Alex Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation Deutsche Telekom. “The UPF can run inside the operator’s owned network, inside a private 4G/5G network, inside the roaming network, or in the public cloud. The ability to dynamically and seamlessly orchestrate traffic across our own footprint and the footprint of others opens up the possibility for new connectivity solutions for customers.”

“This is a successful milestone for cloud-native 5G Core traffic routing, giving Deutsche Telekom the freedom to deliver a point of interconnect/local breakouts anywhere in the world, on any cloud,” says Bejoy Pankajakshan, Chief Strategy Officer, Mavenir. “Cloud-native design of 5G network functions integrated with orchestration tools makes it possible to achieve a new level of flexibility in network function placement. Automation, agility, and flexibility are at the heart of this project.”

“The MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform enables our operator customers to dynamically manage and allocate UPF functionality across their own cloud infrastructure independent of vendor, in roaming partners mobile networks, in private 4G/5G networks, and in public clouds, all through one pane of glass and in one trusted and secure operation,” says Sunay Tripathi, Chief Technology Officer & EVP of Engineering & Product, MobiledgeX. “Cloud-native UPF operation transforms traffic patterns in mobile operator networks, making the telecom operator the largest customer of their own edge cloud offering, which is necessary to be a true cloud leader. We are very excited that Deutsche Telekom has taken the initiative to lead.”

A service-based, cloud-native UPF is at the core of the reference design. In addition, MobiledgeX has emphasized the importance of mobile operators running critical 5G functions on their own edge networks. Validating UPF in this environment represents a step toward mirroring the successful application deployment strategies of the major global cloud companies.

The User Plane Function (UPF) is one of the network functions (NFs) of the 5G core network (5GC). The UPF is responsible for packet routing and forwarding, packet inspection, QoS handling, and external PDU session for interconnecting Data Network (DN) in the 5G architecture.

Since the introduction of mobile packet data in 3G, all data traffic, irrespective of source, destination, and requesting application, has been tunneled back to a limited number of fixed (packet gateway) anchor points inside the mobile networks, the companies explained.

This is increasingly inefficient, slow, and prone to bottlenecks.

5G Core standards enable dynamic placement of the anchor point (the UPF) based on the application and network’s needs.

Mavenir officials said the combination of Mavenir’s widely deployed 4G/5G cloud-native Converged Packet Core solution, coupled with the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform, enables the UPF to be placed on different clouds from different vendors with different ownership.

This leads to greater control by CSPs, as security and privacy are maintained by the operator at all times, even when roaming.

This architecture helps optimal placement of the application’s backend servers, enabling a superior user experience and increased network efficiency by significantly reducing the distance the data needs to travel before it is processed.

MobiledgeX’s work with Mavenir follows the company’s announcement last week that it has updated its Edge-Cloud platform to version 3.0. The latest evolution provides a common interface to manage public and private edge cloud rollouts, laying the groundwork for telecom to diversify hyperscaler engagement – and take better control over where and how applications are deployed.

Further, according to the announcement:

“For this trial validation, the Mavenir 5G Core is running in Deutsche Telekom’s network. Two network and vendor-independent cloudlets located in Germany have been deployed as valid UPF placements in the 5G Core routing. For instance, a video application is started on a 5G phone connected to Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network in Berlin. The request is sent to the 5G Core that selects UPF placement in the Berlin cloudlet. Tunneling is established. The video request is passed to the local edge-placed video cache, and delivery commences. The identical request is made in Hanover. The traffic is then established to the Hanover cloudlet, and local fulfillment occurs there. The MobiledgeX Edge Cloud 3.0 platform dynamically controls the secure placement, lifecycle management, and video traffic routing of the edge-based UPF and the video application.”

In the 5G era, a single network infrastructure can meet diversified service requirements. A Cloud-Native E2E network architecture has the following attributes, according to a post by Cisco:

  • Provides logically independent network slicing on a single network infrastructure to meet diversified service requirements and provides DC-based cloud architecture to support various application scenarios.
  • Uses CloudRAN to reconstruct radio access networks (RAN) to provide massive connections of multiple standards and implement the on-demand deployment of RAN functions required by 5G.
  • Simplifies core network architecture to implement on-demand configuration of network functions through control and user plane separation, component-based functions, and unified database management.
  • Implements automatic network slicing service generation, maintenance, and termination for various services to reduce operating expenses through agile network O&M.

MobiledgeX is working with global mobile operators to deliver full control over multi-cloud edge deployments.

The company’s MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud platform provides a common interface for managing application workloads anywhere, abstracted from the underlying infrastructure, to maintain control over data, privacy, and security.

It also provides device native SDK and matching engines for the operator and third-party application developers to maximize performance and efficiency for cloud-native applications at the edge. MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud is proven in the market today via trials, proofs of concepts, and deployments that involve more than 20 global operators and a range of next-gen app developers.

MobiledgeX is an edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom AG and headquartered in San Jose, California.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Luke Bellos

Special Correspondent

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