Samsung teams up with Amdocs to use ONAP for VNFs in 5G

Samsung and Amdocs partner to speed up service providers' deployments of 5G core components by using ONAP. (Pixabay)

Samsung Networks is going with Amdocs to accelerate the development of its virtual network functions for mobile operators by employing ONAP.

Along with AT&T, Amdocs was one of the pioneers of ECOMP before it was put into open source as the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP.) One of the sticking points to virtualization has been the onboarding of virtual network functions (VNFs) but with ONAP's orchestration and automation capabilities in hand, Amdocs will work on getting Samsung's VNFs onboarded and ready to use as part of mobile operators' 5G open cloud networks.

"Samsung is on the journey to virtualize some of the core network technologies and also begin enabling the consumption of those network solutions within software-defined networking platforms," said Yogen Patel, head of product and solutions marketing at Amdocs. "They have decided that they want to use the open network automation platform infrastructure as a primary tool set for orchestrating, managing and automating the network functions."

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Patel said Amdocs initially started working with Samsung's VNFs in the ONAP Casablanca release, which had the first set of 5G capabilities, but that work progressed into July's Dublin ONAP release that featured additional management functions.

In addition to onboarding the VNFs, ONAP will be used with Samsung's virtualized central unit (vCU) and virtualized infrastructure manager (VIM), but it will branch out into other core 5G elements, as well including virtualized RAN (vRAN.)

"So, it's starting with the more central mobile core components like VCU, but it will extend across to other pieces of the infrastructure that they have for 5G networks, including vRAN, where they have a pretty rich portfolio as well, and more."

Patel said Amdocs is also bringing its ONAP-based "service design and create" and "active and available inventory" expertise into the work with Samsung.

The partnership also includes exploring the use of related network function virtualization (NFV) from Amdocs by using ONAP. Patel said there's currently no timetable for the NFV enablement.

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In addition to Samsung, Patel said that Amdocs virtualization and ONAP customers include Bell Canada, AT&T, SES Networks and Comcast.

While ONAP has come under fire by some in the industry as being too complicated, Patel said the partnership with Samsung was another validation for the platform.

"Samsung is leveraging our capabilities in ONAP to start onboarding their network technologies and all that," he said. "So that's a commit from a large network vendor to ONAP, and it's actually putting money behind it to start having their functions be managed within the infrastructure that they see as being strategic to the future of software-defined networks."