The openair5GLAB@EURECOM provides truly open-source solutions for prototyping 5th Generation Mobile Networks and devices.
Open-source has made a very significant impact in the extremities of current networks, namely in the terminals due to the Android ecosystem and in cloud infrastructure due, in part, to the OpenStack ecosystem (http://www.openstack.org/). EURECOM has recently created the OpenAirInterface (OAI) Software Alliance (OSA), a separate legal entity from EURECOM, which aims to provide a similar ecosystem for the core (EPC) and access-network (EUTRAN) of 3GPP cellular systems with the possibility of interoperating with closed-source equipment in either portion of the network (for more information : www.openairinterface.org). In addition to the huge economic success of the open-source model, the Alliance will be a tremendous tool used by both industry and academia. The EPC software is known and openairCN while the access-network software goes under the name of openair5G. More importantly it will ensure a much-needed communication mechanism between the two in order to bring academia closer to complex real-world systems which are controlled by major industrial players in the wireless industry. In the context of the evolutionary path towards 5G, there is clearly the need for open-source tools to ensure a common R&D and prototyping framework for rapid proof-of-concept designs.
OAI currently provides a standard-compliant implementation of a subset of Release 10 LTE for UE, eNB, MME, HSS, SGw and PGw on standard Linux-based computing equipment (Intel x86 PC architectures). The majority software is freely distributed by the OSA under the terms stipulated by a new open-source license catering to the intellectual property agreements used in 3GPP which allows contributions from 3GPP members holding patents on key procedures used in the standard. The team is working closely with ETSI to harmonize the software license with the intellectual property policy of 3GPP. The software can be used in conjunction with standard RF laboratory equipment available in many labs (i.e. National Instruments/Ettus USRP and PXIe platforms), in addition to custom RF hardware provided by EURECOM, to implement these functions to a sufficient degree to allow for real-time interoperation with commercial devices. Some industrial users have working OAI-based systems integrated with commercially-deployable remote radio-head equipment (e.g. Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, China Mobile) and have provided demonstrations at major industrial tradeshows (Mobile World Congress Asia 2014, Mobile World Congress Barcelona in 2014/2015, IMIC 2013). The current major industrial users of OAI for collaborative projects are Alcatel-Lucent, China Mobile, TCL, Thales, National Instruments, Orange, Intel, TCS, Canonical, Ercom, Keysight, Malaysia Telecom, Telecom Italia, Swisscom, ARELIS (Thomson Broadcast). Leading research centers using and contributing to the software development include B-COM, Fraunhofer IIS, Frauhofer FOKUS, IMST, TNO, Winlab, ITRI, and many other university labs worldwide.
Profs. Christian BONNET, Florian KALTENBERGER, Raymond KNOPP, Navid NIKAEIN
Mobile Communications Department, EURECOM