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A converged cloud-based 5G network and service platform distributed over the mobile edge is closer than ever to becoming a reality. Unified Streaming, as a partner in the Superfluidity project, is helping to develop and define that reality.
With an all-star consortium of telecom and IT experts across Europe and Israel onboard, this European Commission initiative aims to imbue the 5G network with the property of superfluidity. That is, the state at which matter has zero viscosity and therefore flows – like fluid.
It may sound mystical, but Superfluidity’s objectives are concrete: to empower new business models that require rapid mobility of network and service functions close to end users, to enable innovative use cases and to reduce startup and operational costs. That implies the ability to instantiate services on-the-fly, run them anywhere in the network and shift them transparently to different locations.
Superfluidity is part of the 5G Public Private Partnership (5G PPP for short), under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
Unified Streaming’s crucial role in Superfluidity is to deploy video streaming software on top of the architecture and technologies being applied in the project. By doing so, Unified Streaming addresses widespread technical weaknesses, such as overprovisioning, and promotes optimisation overall.
According to Unified Streaming R&D engineer Rufael Mekuria: “The ‘Network 2020’ will facilitate on-the-go data center resource scaling and network location independent deployment of Unified Streaming products. These can then run as network functions in a virtualised cloud native network, enabling more resource efficient deployments. Further, we will use these technologies to realise more personalised and easier-to-manage video delivery network chains for the benefit of our customers.”
Unified Streaming recognises that video streaming has varying demands and a superfluid network architecture can bolster support of them. Superfluidity promises to revolutionise the old design by providing high-performance network components and services that decompose into reusable software units and are, in turn, embedded into a native, converged cloud-based network.
Benefits to a superfluid 5G network include:
Unified Streaming’s fellow consortium members include multinational telecom and IT companies, SMEs and academic institutions. They are: Citrix, Intel, NEC, Nokia (serving as Technical Coordinator), OnApp, Red Hat; British Telecommunications , PT Inovação – Altice Labs, Telefónica, I+D; EBlink and Telcaria; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, CNIT led by the University of Rome Tor Vergata (serving as Project Coordinator), Dresden University of Technology, Politehnica University of Bucharest and the University of Liège.