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OpenEPC – Open Evolved Packet Core

March 25, 2010

OpenEPC is a prototype implementation of the 3GPP Release 8 Evolved Packet Core (EPC) that will allow academic and industrial researchers and engineers around the world to obtain a practical look and feel of the capabilities of the Evolved Packet Core.

The software is not yet available. It was demonstrated during the 5th International FOKUS IMS Workshop on November 11-12, 2009, Berlin, Germany. The actual roadmap is available here.

OpenEPC can be integrated with various access network technologies and different application domains and thus provides an excellent foundation for own research activities and/or the establishment of Next Generation Mobile Network testbeds like the Fraunhofer FOKUS FUSECO Playground for FUture SEamless COmmunication.

The goal of the FUSECO Playground is to cover the entire technology spectrum of a Next Generation Mobile Network – from end devices across various access & core networks up to an open set of application platforms, supporting data, multimedia streaming and even mobile cloud applications.

Note that although this testbed is initially provided in the vibrant city of Berlin, the FUSECO Playground concept is “portable” and we envisage also to integrate other access networks and applications platforms from around the world. In particular, the OpenEPC toolkit is designed to enable local and highly customized FUSECO Playground instantiations around the globe at various organizations.

An Open Technology and Applications Testbed for Future Seamless Communication (FUSECO)

Paving the way for early prototyping of Future Internet technologies and applications

The Future Seamless Communication (FUSECO) Playground – located in Berlin – is a pioneering reference testbed, integrating various state of the art wireless broadband networks into a 3GPP Evolved Packet Core (EPC) reference platform, allowing the rapid validation of new networking paradigms, and prototyping of innovative Future Internet and smart city applications.

The current focus of standardization within the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is on building the foundation for future Telco networks to support coming wireless broadband access network types like Long Term Evolution (LTE) or WiMAX and concepts such as ABC (Always Best Connected), inter-technology handovers or (mobile) cloud computing. With the initial launch of Next Generation Mobile Networks of the NGMN Alliance based on the LTE/SAE (System Architecture Evolution) standard which was announced by many operators for 2010, the mobile industry demonstrates its efforts to move a true mobile broadband user experience from promise to reality. With this introduction, technology challenges have to be overcome and the focus of the industry is shifting to the key milestones such as testing and prototyping for deployment and operations, and to the availability of new services and devices.

Just like Next Generation Networks, also a Next Generation Mobile Network is quite complex in its setup and requires profound expertise. In order to enable end-to-end testing in many cases also massive investments for hard- and software and end devices and for gaining access to access networks and applications are required.

Thus inspired by the global success of the Open IMS Playground, the (Berlin) FUSECO Playground, which is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS in close cooperation with the Chair for Next Generation Networks (AV) of Technische Universität (TU) Berlin, represents a pioneering testbed infrastructure, integrating in one single place different state of the art Next Generation Mobile Network technologies from different local research institutions, such as the

OpenEPC_access_HHI_BOWL
The FUSECO Playground concept
  • OpenEPC, a prototype implementation of the 3GPP Release 8 Evolved Packet Core  from Fraunhofer FOKUS and TU Berlin AV, that will allow academic and industrial researchers and engineers around the world to obtain a practical look and feel of the powerful control capabilities of the Evolved Packet Core.
  • Berlin LTE-Advanced Testbed of the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute which serves for the early evaluation of LTE-advanced concepts in a realistic cellular environment and for the demonstration of key technology features to increase spectral efficiency, range, throughput and quality-of-service. The testbed is operated from three sites located at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI), Deutsche Telekom Laboratories and TU Berlin.
  • Berlin Open Wireless Lab (BOWL) of the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories at TU Berlin which provides an open research platform for the wireless networking community. The BOWL project maintains a reconfigurable wireless outdoor testbed with 50 nodes. The network can be configured to serve as both an infrastructure or a mesh network.

The goal of the FUSECO Playground is to cover the entire technology spectrum of a Next Generation Mobile Network – from end devices across various access & core networks up to an open set of application platforms, supporting data, multimedia streaming and even mobile cloud applications.

Note that although this testbed offer is initially provided in the vibrant city of Berlin, the FUSECO Playground concept is “portable” and we envisage also to integrate other access networks and applications platforms from around the world. In particular, the OpenEPC toolkit is designed to enable local and highly customized FUSECO Playground instantiations around the globe at various organizations.

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