NTT Docomo, NEC, AWS piloting 5G core network on hybrid cloud

Japanese mobile operator NTT Docomo and IT firm NEC have launched a proof-of-concept (PoC) testing to run the latter’s 5G core network (5GC) service in a hybrid cloud environment.

The undertaking will use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud. Through the PoC, Docomo, NEC, and AWS expect to prove the viability of cloud-native mobile networks leveraging a public cloud for network function virtualisation.

As the first step, 5GC network functions will run in the cloud on AWS infrastructure, and corresponding 5GC network functions will reside on Docomo’s on-premises infrastructure to verify availability and operational feasibility.

The second step will deploy the 5GC network function on AWS outposts (on Amazon EC2 compute instances, which use Graviton2 processors) on Docomo’s premises.

“We believe this collaboration will lead to the further evolution of networks and network virtualisation,” says Naoki Tani, Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Executive General Manager of the R&D Innovation Division of Docomo. “The PoC will realise a hybrid cloud environment for telecom operators.”

According to Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President of NEC Corporation, the test is proof that NEC 5GC is operable under a multi-platform environment.

“AWS Graviton2 processors accelerate a carbon footprint reduction and meet high-performance requirements for 5G SA networks,” added Adolfo Hernandez, Vice President and General Manager Telecom Industry Business Unit at AWS.