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M-CORD Project Continues to Lead Open Source Innovation for Next-Generation 5G Mobile Networks

ONF’s M-CORD Project Showcases New 5G Capabilities at Mobile World Congress Americas

SAN FRANCISCO, September 12, 2017M-CORD, the leading open source platform for Carrier 5G Edge Network innovation, is today demonstrating a number of new, ground-breaking capabilities at Mobile World Congress Americas. Based on the CORD Platform and hosted by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), M-CORD is the leading platform for 5G innovation, addressing the needs of mobile operators by using cloud-native approaches to prototyping 5G innovations.

A spectrum of announcements and new capabilities are being demonstrated this week. Each of these alone is a significant achievement, and breadth of advancement being announced is a testament both to the traction of the M-CORD project and the productivity and commitment of the M-CORD community.

ONF’s partners and collaborators, including Cavium, Inc., Deutsche Telekom, Intel Labs, Netsia and Radisys, will be on-site at MWC Americas to showcase live demonstrations at the ONF booth, located at Hall North Stand N.332. Demos will include:

  • Disaggregation and Virtualization of Radio Access Network (RAN)
    • SD-RAN prototyped by implementing xRAN as an ONOS application
    • Commercial Small Cells integrated with M-CORD
    • CBRS spectrum support
    • LTE + WiFi Link Aggregation - pairing multiple radios with RAN Slicing
    • WiFi RAN slicing
  • Open Source Disaggregated Mobile Core (EPC) with VNF Acceleration
  • End-to-End Solution PoCs & Capabilities
    • Multi-Access CORD - supporting radio and fixed line access and in a single CORD POD
    • End-to-End Network Slice Stitching and rapid deployment of programmable service chains
    • Diversification of Hardware Platform Choices for M-CORD

CORD, and its mobile variant M-CORD, have emerged as a significant transformative force helping service providers reinvent the central office to bring data center economies of scale and cloud-style agility to their networks. In fact, a recent report by Heavy Reading predicts that "nearly 40% of all end-customers (residential, wireless and enterprise, collectively) will have service provided by COs or their equivalents using CORD by mid-2021.”

“M-CORD is getting stronger by the day,” said Oguz Sunay, M-CORD Chief Architect, ONF. “The breadth of activity, the number of contributions, and the growing footprint of lab trial activity among operators worldwide make it clear that M-CORD is the platform of choice for innovating with 5G technologies.”

Additional Demonstration Details

Disaggregation and Virtualization of Radio Access Network (RAN)

  • SD-RAN prototyped by implementing xRAN as an ONOS application: xRAN will be demonstrated by Radisys, with an M-CORD integrated SDN Controller (ONOS) controlling and configuring xRAN compliant base stations (eNodeBs).
  • Commercial Small Cells: M-CORD will be shown integrated with commercial small cells, making it now possible to deploy M-CORD field trials with outdoor-hardened RAN components.
  • CBRS spectrum: Unlicensed spectrum CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service) holds great promise as an enabler for private Enterprise wireless deployments. Netsia, in collaboration with Accelleran, will be showing M-CORD with CBRS support, integrating this with slicing to demonstrate a comprehensive Enterprise solution.
  • Multi-RAT M-CORD: Intel is demonstrating Multi-radio access technology (M-RAT), which enables dynamic steering of subscriber flows between WiFi and LTE access networks.
  • WiFi RAN Slicing: Demonstrated by Netsia, making it possible to dynamical partition WiFi utilization to support different applications and use cases on a common access network.

Open Source Disaggregated Mobile Core (EPC)

  • Mobile Core EPC: Intel is demonstrating the open source Evolved Packet Core (EPC) that they recently contributed to the M-CORD project. This significant contribution now makes it possible to build end-to-end solutions all based on open source. This contribution is seeding a new open source community within M-CORD, hosted by the ONF, with founding collaborators Intel, ONF, Radisys, and Sprint.
  • VNF Acceleration: DPDK capabilities, contributed and integrated by Intel, accelerate the Open Virtual Switch (OVS) that CORD runs on physical servers.  This has the potential to boost the performance of all service delivery functions including both the disaggregated RAN and EPC in M-CORD. The demonstration will highlight EPC acceleration that can be achieved in the CORD micro-service architecture.

End-to-End Solution PoCs & Capabilities

  • Multi-Access CORD: By connecting subscribers using a variety of a wireline and wireless access technologies from a single CORD installation, operators can streamline their operations and support all their customers from a single edge network. Deutsche Telekom, in collaboration with Radisys, will demonstrate Multi-Access CORD delivering a hybrid-access service with link aggregation support.
  • End-to-End Network Slice Stitching: Netsia will demonstrate programmable end-to-end network slicing, including programmatic slicing of the RAN and programmable LWIP-based link aggregation. Intel will demonstrate EPC slicing, and how the two can be sticked together for end-to-end slicing.
  • Diversification of Hardware Platform Choices for M-CORD: Suppliers are starting to respond to M-CORD’s success by making available diverse options for the various disaggregated hardware components needed to realize a deployment. Variants of servers, CPU types, switching options, and various radio choices are becoming available, and Intel and Cavium will be demonstrating server and switching options to highlight the price/performance choices available to operators. Additionally, different demonstrations will highlight the ability to size M-CORD deployments according to need with micro, mini and full CORD PODs being demonstrated by Netsia, Radisys/DT, and Cavium respectively.

Whether an individual or an organization, all are encouraged to get involved with the growing open source CORD and M-CORD communities.

Additional Resources

About The CORD Project

The CORD™ Project (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) brings datacenter economics and cloud flexibility to the telco Central Office and to the operator’s access network. CORD is an open source service delivery platform that combines SDN, NFV, and elastic cloud services for network operators and service providers. It integrates dozens of open source projects including ONOS, OpenStack, Docker, and XOS—all running on merchant silicon, white-box switches, commodity servers, and disaggregated access devices. The CORD reference implementation serves as a platform for multiple domains of use, with open source communities building innovative services for residential, mobile, and enterprise network customers.

The CORD ecosystem is hosted by the ONF and supported by The Linux Foundation and organizations that are funding and contributing to the CORD initiative. These organizations include operators AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutche Telekom, Google, NTT Communications, Turk Telekom and Verizon. Partner vendors include Ciena Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Intel Corporation, NEC Corporation, Nokia, Radisys and Samsung Electronics, Co. See the full list of members, including CORD’s collaborators, and learn how you can get involved with CORD at www.opencord.org.

About The Open Networking Foundation

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is an operator led consortium spearheading disruptive network transformation. Now the recognized leader for open source solutions for operators, the ONF first launched in 2011 as the standard bearer for Software Defined Networking (SDN). Led by its operator partners AT&T, China Unicom, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, Google, NTT Communications, Turk Telekom and Verizon, the ONF has now merged operations with ON.Lab to create a single organization driving vast transformation across the operator space. For further information visit www.opennetworking.org.