Open Source Efforts to Deploy the 5G Networks

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The next-gen wireless networks that are 5G, at AT&T® is being facilitated via a sequence of open source programs, comprising the cloud platform titled OpenStack. At Berlin’s OpenStack Summit, AT&T® executives talked about how they are expanding 5G networks and demoed a live 5G call, running atop an OpenStack deployment.

Amy Wheelus, AT&T’s VP of Network Cloud, said, “5G is a revolution, the capabilities that 5G will enable are things that will be a step function increase in latency, in reliability and resiliency with ultra low latency and at very high speeds. 5G is really more than just another generation, it’s more than just another G, because 5G is going to enable new services, new products, and even new industries that you and I haven’t even thought about that today.”

Wheelus pointed out, among the 5G use cases are autonomous vehicles and smart factories. The Dallas-based fastest internet provider also anticipates the technology to be used for not just entertainment but also for augmented reality, and critical functions like search and rescue operations or troubleshooting atop a tower.

She said, “There’s another thing that’s important and interesting about 5G and that is, it’s the first generation of mobile communication services that was born in the cloud. It is delivered and driven by software at AT&T® and, we are doing that on OpenStack, and we are deploying and managing it with Airship.”

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Airship is another open source project, launched by the best internet provider, which is also a pilot project under the Open Infrastructure initiative of OpenStack Foundation. Airship Core Reviewer, Matt McEuen explained that it is a platform for the entire lifecycle management of the open infrastructure.

McEuen said, “It treats containers and helm charts as the fundamental units of cloud software delivery.” He also explained that it takes declarative site manifests and uses them to drive both the provisioning as well as the deployment of the OpenStack cloud. The Associate VP at Network Cloud Engineering, Ryan van Wyk demoed how OpenStack-based cloud 5G deployment works. He said it is fully containerized.

Wheelus added, “We just showed you that AT&T® is really building out a standards based 5G deployment and we’ll launch it later this year. Our 5G core is a critical enabler and we’re building it on infrastructure delivered by OpenStack and deployed and managed by Airship.”

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