Vendor’s Bell Labs unit leads 12-member consortium in development of cloud-native, next-generation platform.

Nokia Bell Labs announced this week it is leading a consortium in the development of a next generation platform-as-a-service (NGPaaS) model for 5G networks.

The two-year project forms part of the European Union’s 5G Public-Private Partnership (PPP), and aims to establish a blueprint for a cloud-based, carrier-grade, DevOps-enabled telco platform.

In Bell Labs’ own words, NGPaaS should be able to combine third-party applications with virtual network functions (VNFs), "thereby creating more versatile and powerful cloud objects, breaking silos between connectivity (to humans, robots, sensors, etc.) and computing (machine learning, big data, video applications)."

Such a model does not exist today, Bell Labs said, adding that the NGPaaS consortium’s goal is to realise the vision of adopting the PaaS model to support cloud-native 5G systems.

"The consortium’s ambition for developing a next generation PaaS is to enable developers to collaborate within the 5G ecosystem (operator, vendor, third party) in order to ignite new businesses; thereby increasing market scale and improving market economics," said Bessem Sayadi, consortium project leader and research manager at Nokia Bell Labs, in a statement on Wednesday.

In addition to Bell Labs, Nokia Israel is also part of the consortium, as are Atos, BT, and Orange. The University of Milano-Bicocca, and the Technical University of Denmark are also members. The consortium also includes international R&D hub IMEC.

Other members include IoT company Vertical M2M, French research institute B-Com, cloud management firm OnApp, and virtualisation specialist Virtual Open Systems.

The development and deployment of next-generation network infrastructure, including 5G, is a key topic at Total Telecom’s upcoming Connected Europe event, which takes place in Lisbon on 11-12 October. Click here to find out more.