Open Mobile Evolved Core is part of the larger CORD project
In 2017, Sprint worked with Intel Labs on an open source mobile core dubbed C3PO–Clean CUPS Core for Packet Optimization with CUPS meaning Control and User Plane Separation. Now, Sprint took that work and used it to seed an Open Networking Foundation project that has resulted in what the group call the Open Mobile Evolved Core (OMEC).
Sprint’s initial work focused on seven network functions: serving gateway, packet gateway, deep packet inspection, child protection filtering, carrier-grade network address translation, static firewall and service function chaining classification. OMEC is based on 3GPP Release 13 and supports a wide range of evolved packet core and charging functions.
Ron Marquardt, Sprint vice president of technology, said in a statement, “We plan to conduct field trials using OMEC for edge applications this year, and we’re thrilled to be working with the ONF to build a broader community to leverage and build upon OMEC.”
In the long-term shift to 5G, operators are simultaneously investing in network virtualization and distributing network functions out to the edge. Using open source software and general purpose hardware takes cost out of network infrastructure and, in order to fully realize the low latency of 5G, there’s increasing investment in taking functionality normally associated with centralized data centers and moving it closer to the end user.
OMEC is part of the ONF’s large Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) project, which the group describes as “intent on transforming this edge into an agile service delivery platform enabling the operator to deliver the best end-user experience along with innovative next-generation services. CORD provides a complete integrated platform, integrating everything needed to create a complete operational edge datacenter with built-in service capabilities, all built on commodity hardware using the latest in cloud-native design principles.”
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