5G: Virtualization and Security
Emeritus Professor, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Life Fellow IEEE
Network virtualization and network security are the most relevant aspects of the 5G cellular systems.
The first aspect refers to the full virtualization of network functions in every section of the network: access, transport and core. Cloud computing is executed both in the core network and at the network edges: Core Cloud Computing and Edge Cloud Computing. Such feature allows, on one side, the Network Slicing techniques to optimize network performance of various vertical market applications. On the other side, Edge Computing is used to optimize network performance, in terms of improved throughput and quality of experience, as well as reduced latencies, and massive data storage. Such Distributed Cloud Computing is orchestrated throughout the edge data centers, the metro and the core data centers, and it is realized according to the paradigm of Cloud-Native Computing.
The second aspect is crucial to the successful deployment of 5G systems, in view of the mission critical applications of the Internet of Things: autonomous driving vehicles, drones, industrial robots, tele-surgery applications, etc. Such 5G applications can create risks to human life. Hence, network security is of supreme importance when deploying such mission critical IoT applications. Communications security services in 5G systems evolve from the classical attributes of confidentiality, integrity and availability, to include two new attributes: “visibility” and “centralized security policy”: both exploit the orchestration of cloud computing resources. Security visibility refers to the disposal of a centralized dashboard for the pervasive monitoring of network status and attacks. The centralized policy allows a kind of Security-as-a-Service to provide “on demand” various network security functions, such as, intrusion detection & prevention probes, DPI, firewalls, etc.
Maurizio Dècina is Emeritus Professor of the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He equally shared his 55-year career in telecommunications between industry and university. He was scientific consultant for AT&T Bell Laboratories in Chicago, scientific Director and founder of the CEFRIEL consortium, and Executive R&D Director of Italtel in Milan. Prof. Dècina was a Commissioner of the Italian Communications Authority, AGCOM, President of Infratel, President of the Ugo Bordoni Foundation, and Member of the Board of Telecom Italia, Italtel and several ICT Companies. Prof. Dècina was President of the IEEE Communications Society. IEEE appointed him Life Fellow for contributions to voice/data packet switching, and he received three IEEE Awards: International Communications, Third Millennium Medal, and ComSoc/KICS Global Service.
NTT’s Challenge toward Self-evolving Zero-Touch Network operation with AI
VP, Head of Communication Traffic& Service Quality Project
NTT Network Technology Laboratories, Japan
Toward 6G Era, network will serve as a critical social infrastructure that supports the cyber physical system with massive and diverse devices as well as service requirements. For maintaining such complex and huge system properly, autonomous network management will be the essential to provide network functions and resources flexibly and dynamically. NTT propose Self-evolving zero-touch network operation concept with AI. In addition, the key indicators of network value will expand from conventional parameters inside networks, such as throughput or latency, to the outside indicators such as user benefit or user behavior change. We introduce the concept and technologies concerning the self-evolving zero-touch and user-engagement as the direction of future network operation.
Masakatsu Fujiwara is the Vice President and Head of Communication Traffic & Service Quality Project, NTT Network Technology Laboratories, Japan. He received a B.E. in electrical engineering and an M.E. in applied systems science from Kyoto University in 1994 and 1996, and an M.B.A. from Cornell University, USA, in 2005. After joining NTT Network Service Systems Laboratories in 1996, he was engaged in research and development (R&D) of key technologies for network management systems during 1996-2007 and 2010-2013. He was involved in R&D strategy planning at NTT Research and Development Planning Department during 2007-2010. He was General Manager of NTT R&D European Representative Office in Frankfurt, Germany, during 2013-2017. Currently he is working on innovative network management and operation by AI and data analysis.
The Janus Bifrons and the Matryoshka: Radio Access Network Architecture for 5G
Gino Masini, MBA
Principal Researcher, Standardization, Ericsson AB, Sweden
3GPP RAN3 Chairman
The 5G Radio Access Network Architecture (RAN) as specified by 3GPP, is the result of a common effort by equipment manufacturers, operators, and all stakeholders to fulfill very diverse requirements, formulated while the industry was still consolidating the success of LTE. The new architecture had to support not only enhanced versions of today’s mobile broadband services, but also Ultra-Reliable, Low-Latency Communications (URLLC). It would need to accommodate centralized, distributed, and monolithic deployments, and support “cloudification”; furthermore, it would also need to allow full separation of Control Plane and User Plane of a centralized unit, to support their different scalability. In addition, cooperation and resource sharing with existing LTE networks was required, so that operators could continue to leverage their installed base, accommodating different migration strategies from 4G to 5G.
The resulting architecture can be described as a “Janus bifrons” and a “matryoshka”. It supports both “non-standalone” deployments with LTE, and “standalone” deployments (looking at both past and future, like the ancient Roman god); furthermore, the once “monolithic” base station is split into its components (nested one inside the other like the well-known traditional wooden dolls, but featuring standardized interfaces and protocols). The 5G RAN architecture is future-proof thanks to its flexibility, and it is the foundation for current and future services beyond mobile broadband: industrial automation, automated driving, E-health, and more.
Gino Masini is Principal Researcher with Ericsson in Sweden; he is the Chairman of 3GPP RAN WG3. In his 20+ years in telecommunications in both industry and academia, he has worked with microwave antennas and propagation, satellite communications, microwave circuit, backhaul networks, and radio access network architecture. He received his Electronics Engineering degree from Politecnico di Milano in 1996, and his MBA from SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milano in 2008. He was researcher in the Department of Electronics at Politecnico di Milano, working for the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency on millimeter wave propagation experiments. He later joined Ericsson, working with microwave radio links and MMIC development. Since 2009 he has worked with 4G and 5G radio access network architecture at the corporate R&D offices in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been active in standardization since 2001, having attended ETSI, ITU, CEPT, and others. Since 2009 he is active in 3GPP, where he is finishing his second term as RAN WG3 Chairman. He is the author of more than 50 patents (most of which standards-essential) and of several scientific publications. He holds a “Six Sigma” certification. He recently co-authored a book on 5G radio access networks.