Open Source Community Connects Global 5G Cloud Native Network

- Collaborative effort between LF Networking and global networking ecosystem shows open source approach to building cloud native 5G on top of Kubernetes

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 20, 2019 — (PRNewswire) —   KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America LF Networking (LFN), which facilitates collaboration and operational excellence across open networking projects, today demonstrated an end-to-end, global, 5G, cloud native network live on-stage at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America. As a thought leader in generating technology from multiple sources based on telecom 5G requirements, LFN's OPNFV community shepherded the cutting-edge Proof-of-Concept (PoC), which illustrates how to build, connect, and manage a global 5G network – including on-prem, cloud, and edge operations – on open architecture running network services using Kubernetes.

LFN (PRNewsfoto/The Linux Foundation)

As global communications providers gear up to deliver high-speed connectivity to support new services and use cases (e.g. autonomous vehicles, smart cities, specialized applications, IoT, AR/VR, and more), the need for low-latency, high-bandwidth, scalable networks is more important than ever. Conventional communications and connectivity hardware will not sustain next-generation mobile technology, so the need for cloud native architectures is essential for delivering the performance, capabilities, and automation that 5G requires.

The LF Networking community, comprised of major projects such as ONAP, OPNFV, OpenDaylight,,  Tungsten Fabric and more --  account for more than 70 percent of the world's mobile subscribers through participating carriers. It serves as the de facto open source umbrella for helping telcos evolve. 

Cloudifying the Network

It's no secret that Kubernetes has gained significant traction in the cloud and enterprise software ecosystem, but less widely known is how this momentum is now moving into global telco networks as the next major area of adoption. Benefits of cloud native adoption for telcos include operational consistency, application resilience, simplified and responsive scaling at the microservice level, simplified integration with enterprise-facing cloud native applications, and improved portability between public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. A team made up of volunteers from several project communities, companies, and network operators have taken a cloud native approach to developing an end-to-end 5G network Proof-of-Concept (POC) built on open source infrastructure.

The POC uses a prototype network to connect a live call over Points-of-Presence (PoPs) in San Diego, Montreal, Sophia Antipolis, and a hybrid public/private cloud to deliver a fully containerized 5G network live on stage. The demonstration illustrates both how the telecom industry is using cloud native software to build out their next gen networks, and also shows solution providers and developers what's possible in this exciting new space.

"I am incredibly impressed by the collaborative effort to build a 5G network from the ground up in the open source community with a cloud native approach. It's fully end-to-end, adheres to 5G specifications, and bridges the gap between the telecom industry and cloud native computing," said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community and Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation.

Power of Open source

The initiative was born in LF Networking's Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV) project, which brings the telco ecosystem together to test, iterate, and collaborate on a common NFV Infrastructure (NFVI). By working closely with standards organizations and integrating components from upstream projects, OPNFV conducts performance and use case-based testing on a variety of solutions. The community works upstream with other open source groups – including CNCF, ONAP, OAI, and more – to bring contributions and insights in the form of blueprints, patches, and new code. The project also supports the OPNFV Verification Program (OVP) that verifies labs, infrastructure, and virtual network functions (VNFs).

It's through this collaborative work that the end-to-end 5G Cloud Native Network POC came about. With over 100 individuals working on this initiative alone, it truly represents the power of open source: diverse groups coming together to begin integrating cloud native approaches to daunting industry challenges and optimizing 5G.

Also aligned with the efforts of the Common NFVI Telco Taskforce (CNTT) – a joint effort hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation operating as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework – the initiative allows for early proofs-of-concept and learnings that will feed into and inform the cloud native work of the CNTT, which is expanding  its portfolio of Reference Architectures. Focus areas include Containerization, Kubernetes-based Cloud Native stacks, and Container-based network functions' validation-based requirements.

LF Networking thanks all the organizations participating in this effort: A10 Networks, Alibaba, Altran, China Mobile, Commscope, Foxconn, Intel, Kaloom, Lenovo, Loodse, NetScout, OpenAirInterface, Red Hat, and Turnium.

Learn More and Get Involved

For those onsite at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, more information about the demo is available at these locations in the Sponsor Showcase: A10 Networks (booth S69), Lenovo (booth S100), Loodse (booth SE27), and Red Hat (booth D1).

Red Hat will host an open informational session November 19-21  at The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter, 910 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101 in the Plaza Meeting Room, 2nd floor. Stop by between 10:00 - 12:00 or  2:00 - 4:00 to speak with representatives involved with the PoC and learn more.

More information is accessible via the POC archive here where demo materials will be made available, as well as through the Virtual Central Office (VCO) mailing list:

During KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA 2019, the CNCF Telecom User Group (TUG) and CNTT will participate in two joint workshops. Part 1: Monday, November 18, 4:30pm - 6:30pm, San Diego Convention Center, Meeting room 17B, Mezzanine level; and Part 2: Wednesday, November 20: 4pm - 6pm, San Diego Convention Center, Meeting room 2, Upper level.

More information about participating in the CNTT is available here. A CNTT Face to Face meeting will take place in Prague as part of the LFN Developer & Testing Forum, January 2020. The Virtual Network Functions (VNF) testing hacking track team are open to CNF/PNF participants as well. Please contact: Email Contact

Community Support

"The demonstration of 5G cloud native network represents an important advancement for mobile operators looking to virtualize their networks and lay the groundwork for the transition to 5G. A10 Networks is honored to have a role in the infrastructure, providing our carrier-grade firewall, with its high-performance container solution for security and the carrier-grade network address translation technology," said Yasir Liaqatullah, vice president of product management at A10 Networks. "Our products are operating in this live ecosystem environment delivering proven interoperability across the user plane, control plane and networking plane of this 5G SA and NSA distributed cloud network."

"CNCF has collaborated closely with LF Networking and OPNFV for the last several years to help bring cloud native architectures to the telecom world. We're excited to see this 5G on Kubernetes demonstration on the keynote stage of the largest ever open source developer conference." said Dan Kohn , CNCF executive director. "We look forward to collaborating to deploy cloud native architectures into production."

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