The FLAME ecosystem has achieved an important milestone in its development of a FLIPS (Flexible IP Service) platform (read previous blog article here: https://www.ict-flame.eu/blog-post/standardization-flame-ecosystem/)
SBA platforms are being sought by operators to lower their deployment costs and make 5G service rollout cheaper and more flexible. It is one of the biggest changes that 5G brings at the level of network architecture.
The FLIPS platform’s SFR component is positioned as a so-called ‘SBA platform solution’ for 3GPP Rel16 – which is the next round of 5G specifications – current roll out is the previous Rel15. Relation to FLAME
FLIPS (at the level of the FLAME SFR component) provides HTTP routing for so-called ‘control plane services’ (such as for device attachment, enabling Internet sessions etc) and it does so in an innovative manner to do with indirection, which is hugely important in those cases where regional data centres are being used for 5G.
In the last 3GPP SA2 (which is the governing working group in the 3GPP Standardisation Organizations (SDO) meeting, a FLIPS-based deployment was added as a third ‘deployment choice’ for an ‘SBA platform’ in Rel16. The other two are (i) based on service mesh and (ii) based on an Ericsson solution.
With this, there are now three recognized deployment choices against which operators can deploy 5G based on Rel16 specification – FLIPS (FLAME SFR) being one of those three choices.
FLAME was not originally positioned as a 5G project, therefore placing solutions so centrally in a technical specification is a big achievement.