5G Testbed @ CSE IITB

Introduction

The 5G testbed project is a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) funded multi-institute effort that is aimed at developing the 5G research and startup ecosystem in India. The goal of the testbed is to develop all components of a basic 5G system from the ground up in a production-grade standards-compliant manner, and open up these components to researchers and startups in India for their use in R&D efforts.

The 5G testbed team in IIT Bombay is part of the team that is developing various components of the 5G core. The 5G core connects the user equipment (UE) and the radio access network (RAN) to the wired Internet and other networks. The architecture of the 5G core, and its main components, are shown below.

Design Principles of 5G Core

Development of the 5G core at IIT Bombay is being done in line with the state-of-the-art design principles being followed in the industry.

  • All components of the 5G core are being built as scalable, fault tolerant, software network functions, in accordance with the principle of Network Function Virtualization (NFV).
  • The components of the 5G core follow a cloud-native design, and can be run on VMs or containers in a public or private cloud, on commodity hardware.
  • The 5G core components achieve high performance on par with industry-grade products. The control plane components support few hundreds of control plane procedures per CPU core, with performance scaling with number of cores. The data plane components are capable of forwarding traffic at few tens of Gbps.

Procedures supported

While the testbed is still under development, the following procedures are currently supported in our 5G core, and are being integrated and tested end-to-end with other components of the testbed.
  • User registration (initial, mobility, periodic) and deregistration
  • Session management procedures (setup, release, modification)
  • Active/idle mode transitions (AN release, service request, paging)
  • GTP-based data forwarding
  • Basic support for mobility, slicing, QoS, MEC, and other features

Contact

The testbed is under development and will soon be opened up to interested partners. We are exploring options around commercial licensing to Indian industry and startups to help in the growth of the Indian telecom ecosystem. Please contact Mythili Vutukuru (mythili@cse.iitb.ac.in) for further details.