Research Lab


The 5G-Lab is a playground where new mobile networking solutions can be tested and validated in a controlled environment. The 5G-Lab is structured around three mains technology tracks:

  • A 5G-ready programmable multi-RAT radio access network implementing advanced Control User Plane Separation concepts. 5G-EmPOWER is utilized as SD-RAN controller;
  • A Multi-access Edge Computing platform leveraging on Kubernetes to automatically deploy, scale, and manage the Docker containers. Kubernetes is used as cluster controller.
  • A light weight orchestrator leveraging on Artificial Intelligence based Service Level Agreement Management. AI used in all phases of a network service lifecycle, from onboarding, to cruising and termination. lightMANO is utilized to orchestrate all the components.

Two types of nodes can be found in the labidentified: RAN Nodes and Edge Nodes. Both types of node run a Docker daemon and are part of a Kubernetes cluster.

RAN nodes implement wireless access functions and require specialized hardware in order to support the radio access containers, namely a supported SDR platform for LTE nodes and a supported WiFi interface for Wi-Fi nodes.

Edges nodes on the other hand are standard machines with no particular hardware requirements beside those of the VNFs they must execute.

All the components such as 5G–EmPOWER SD-RAN controller, the backhaul controller, and the lightMANO Orchestrator itself are all deployed as containers.