Working paper Open Access

Onboarding Vertical Applications on 5G-VINNI Facility

Tranoris, Christos; Cattoni, Andrea; Warren, Dan; Mahmood, Kashif; Everett, Martyn; Ghassemian, Mona; Xie, Min; Grønsund, Pål; Gavras, Anastasius; Ghosh, Tirthankar; Lopez, Diego R.; Ordonez-Lucena, Jose; Rodrigues, João A.

The four main 5G sites of 5G-VINNI in UK, Norway, Spain and Greece are now operational. As stated in the project proposal, the target of these 5G sites was to demonstrate 1). that these sites can be accessed and used by vertical industries to set up research trials of innovative use cases and 2). that the key 5G PPP network KPIs can be met. This whitepaper sheds light on these two targets by providing 1). an in-depth tutorial on how to onboard vertical applications on 5G-VINNI facility and 2). by listing the initial KPI results from 5G-VINNI facility.

5G-VINNI adopts Network Slice as a Service (NSaaS) delivery model to offer customized service experience to verticals. The architecture which allows this model is based on guidelines from telecom industry organizations and the normative specifications from standards bodies to ensure interoperability and reproducibility. To this end, TM forum OpenAPIs are exposed towards the verticals from 5G-VINNI service portal and the service catalogue. The APIs allow the verticals to directly trigger necessary operations for service ordering from a 5G-VINNI service catalogue. Upon receiving the order, the customer is offered with a service instance which in case of 5G-VINNI is related to the 5G-VINNI Service Blueprint (SB). The 5G-VINNI-SB is a template capturing the complete description of a given service. This template is used as a reference to conduct service management procedures both at instantiation and at run-time.

To cover the necessities of any vertical with the use of a single service platform, 5G-VINNI has defined four (4) different exposure levels in order to provide customized access and insight into the slice instance. As a general principle, a higher exposure level offers more advanced capability to the vertical albeit requiring much more customization.

Onboarding a vertical on a 5G test platform is challenging as it involves various iterative and parallel steps. The problem is compounded by the introduction of experimentation aspects as it involves monitoring and testing of KPIs when the network slice is in operation. It is therefore of utmost importance that the different stakeholders of 5G system co-design and co-develop different parts of the onboarding process for a successful service operation and KPI testing. This white paper presents in detail the 5G-VINNI vertical onboarding process which can be summarized as consisting of co-design period to understand vertical needs and how to enable them, the co-development period which involves the vertical customer and the 5G facility provider to jointly develop the final service including testing-as-a-service and monitoring-as-a-service and, the operational and KPI testing period which allows the vertical customer to make repeatable and scheduled service orders of the developed service blueprint and perform KPI testing, monitoring and assessment.

The whitepaper concludes with initial KPI results from several categories of tests conducted on the 5G-VINNI facility. These tests, executed using state-of-the-art open source and commercial testing tools, have measured the current capabilities of the 5G-VINNI infrastructure that can be used by verticals as of today.

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