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Fujitsu and partners develop next-generation 5G core technology

Fujitsu and partners develop next-generation 5G core technology

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Consortium of Japan partners successfully promote domestic production and cost reduction for 5G core technology, the basis for next-generation communication standards.

The University of Tokyo, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), APRESIA and Fujitsu have successfully developed Open Source Software for the Private 5G/6G Mobile System, realizing a domestically produced, low-cost 5G core network (5GC), the core technology of the 5G mobile network.

The initiative was conducted by the partners as part of NEDO’s Research and Development Project of the Enhanced Infrastructures for Post-5G Information and Communication Systems Feasibility Study (Contracted).

5GC software plays a central role in controlling cell phone networks, but the need for domestic production and cost reduction represents on-going challenges to making related technologies, like private 5G, a reality.

With the development of this new technology, IIJ, APRESIA and Fujitsu developed a practical version of 5GC based on Open Source Software with commercial-level functionality, performance and stability based on Open Source Software. The University of Tokyo contributed a user plane function (UPF) that handles more advanced data transfer and route selection by combining 5GC with previously known properties and have applied for a new patent.

The partners anticipate that the eventual, real-world deployment of this technology will allow users to introduce private 5G systems at lower cost for use in practical settings, leading to the wider adoption of private 5G in various industries. Combining multiple private 5G networks and 5G services provided by major telecommunications carriers will ultimately make it possible to deliver more versatile communication environments than individual private 5G networks alone.

Future plans

APRESIA and Fujitsu will continuously release solutions for private 5G networks that combine the 5GC technology developed through this project and 5G base stations and terminal equipment manufactured by each company. IIJ will also promote the development of communication services that can use multiple private 5G networks using 5GC developed through this project and public 5G networks provided by IIJ as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) through roaming. Furthermore, the University of Tokyo plans to supply the results of this development to an integrated private 5G system of a university-launched venture company.

Going forward, the University of Tokyo will work together with companies to further promote industry-academic collaborations around the research of solutions and services that utilize the 5GC technology developed in this project, as well as conduct R&D on open base station equipment (NR: New Radio) that operates on the public cloud to accelerate efforts to further advance cloud-native 5G cell phone network technologies.

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