Advanced communication networks, such as 5G and beyond, will be a complex ecosystem made of multiple physically interconnected elements, implying that the upcoming network will have to address capabilities such as flexibility, programmability and extensibility. This article, describes an Open and Extensible 5G Network Function Virtualization (NFV) based Reference ecosystem of experimental facilities, named 5GinFIRE, that integrates existing facilities with new vertical-specific ones but also lays down the foundations for instantiation fully softwarized architectures of vertical industries and experimenting with them. Additionally, we present 5GinFIRE as the forerunner experimental playground, together with three uses cases, wherein new components, architecture designs and APIs may be tried and proposed before they are ported to more industrially mainstream 5G networks that are expected to emerge in large scale.
- Experimentation platform
- Network function virtualization
- Network softwarization
- Vertical industry