The 5GIC Test-bed Component

The UoS SoftFIRE testbed segment is part of the overall UoS 5GIC testbed. Located in the UK, the scope of the lab scope is to provide hands-on access to a 3GPP based campus RAN with indoor and outdoor coverage that is able to be inter-connected with a variety of virtualized core slices, in order to develop Core Network 5G evolutions and demonstrate 5G Use Cases running over the resultant ETE cellular network. In this manner the testbed can be used to build industry core competence in 5G. It is envisaged that experimenters using the facilities of the UoS SoftFIRE testbed will be able to show specific and concrete “proof” points related to the 5G RAN and Core evolutions and demonstrate applications running over this infrastructure.

Experimenter Activities supported
1.        Standard experimenter Demo
2.         Deep Dive on experimenter specific request
3.         PoC whilst connected to experimenters equipment or remote site
4.        Validation and Certification on Customer specific solution

The UoS testbed is a flexible environment where it is possible to combine different RAN hardware configurations and RAN and Core software configurations to support different delivery designs and policies.   There is also scope to evolve the testbed in cooperation with a given experimenter and/or customer.

ETE Architecture
The Architecture of the testbed is as listed below:

  1. OpenStack(Liberty) NFV controller system access to infrastructure that can be used to instantiate core slices for experimentation with the local RAN components that are connected using an OpenDaylight(Beryllium) SDN controller that manages the SDN switches at the edge of the RAN.
  2. Access to a segment of the 5GIC Testbed outdoor campus based LTE-A RAN
  3. Access to the 5GIC in-building LTE-A RAN
  4. Access to the 5GIC in-building Wi-Fi system for multi-access 5G use cases

RAN Capabilities
The RAN capabilities of the testbed are illustrated in the table below, these resources are fixed but able to be conmnected to any of the network slices instantated by the network.


Network Architecture
The network architecture of the testbed includes an ‘admin’ server which runs the NFV OpenStack controller for core network VNF and application instantiation a ‘compute’ server onto which the VNFs are instantiated and a ‘resource’ server which hosts the images, packages and network services which are tyo be instantiated.  The transmission is provided by a set of SDN switches which interconnect the RAN and core components whos flows are controlled by an Open Daylight controller mounted on the resource server.


Provided Network Services
The testbed supports the following base Network Services

Network Service Max # of instances on the  UoS Testbed vNF’s  included in Network Service Description
CPN 1 HSS, MME, integrated(SGWc, PGWc) This Network Service (NS) slice is instantiated as soon as any EPC is required to be instantiated on the UoS testbed for Control Plane connectivity via the UoS LTE-A RAN.
There is only ever one instance of the CPN NS for the whole UoS SoftFIRE network Segment.
UPN(CC) 4 CC, integrated(SGWu, PGWu) This Network Service is instantiated per experimenter for LTE User Plane service and extended 5G Context Awareness Association to a group of cells known as a “Cluster” via the newly proposed 5G node called a Cluster Controller (CC).
This slice provides best performance for Internet access.
Each authorized experimenter is enabled for instantiation of one of these NS, network slices on the UoS testbed.
UPN(CM) 8 CM, integrated(SGWu, PGWu) = a.k.a. “PPE” This Network Service is instantiated per experimenter for LTE User Plane service and extended 5G Context Awareness Association to a Cluster Member within a “Cluster” via the newly proposed 5G node called a Cluster Member (CC).This slice provides best performance for Intranet access via one of the Cluster Members.
Access to a local server instance that the experimenter may wish to deploy at the edge of the LTE-A network for optimum latency performance is enabled with instantiation of this slice.  Otherwise, the experimenter would need to deploy their test network server application north of the PGWu which is less optimal for test server access from the User Equipment (UE, Mobile).
Each authorized Experimenter is enabled for instantiation of up to two of these NS, network slices on the UoS testbed.


Provided Intranet Test Services
The testbed supports the following intranet connectivity services: Intranet Web pages, Intranet Video Content and Intranet served Applications.

Mobile Device Support
In order to test locally on the testbed the following mobile device considerations should be noted:

Aspect Specification Comment
OS Android Lollipop 5.x.x preferred Easier to develop research code with more parameters exposed than iOS
LTE Bands B38, B41 These bands are essential for outdoor and indoor operation at UoS.
Wi-Fi 802.11ac The UoS has 802.11ac and most previous generations of Wi-Fi support
Category 5,6 A minimum of category 5 is essential to support the Carrier Aggregated LTE-A RAN in order to get the best speeds from the deployed RAN.


For further information on the 5GIC testbed segment please contact the following key contacts:

Aspect Contact