Containerized 5G Core lab trial shows industry-leading performance

June 25, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Containerized 5G Core lab trial shows industry-leading performance
Trial achieved a performance of 640 Gbps per server for the containerized UPF on the containerized 5G SA core network in a laboratory environment in Tokyo.

Rakuten Mobile, NEC Corporation and Intel Corporation have achieved a performance of 640 Gbps per server for the containerized User Plane Function (UPF) on the containerized 5G SA core network jointly developed by Rakuten Mobile and NEC running on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP).

Containerized UPF performance is crucial to maximize the value of 5G deployment. This is because the control plane (C-plane) and user plane (U-plane), which were historically collocated, are completely decoupled in the disaggregated 5G architecture. This enables an independently scalable UPF which is key to private networks, edge computing, hybrid cloud and to accelerate a variety of deployment scenarios. Rakuten Mobile has adopted 5G architecture from the launch of its network, including a CUPS (Control and User Plane Separated) packet core for its 4G LTE network.

The 640 Gbps performance per server for the containerized UPF on the 5G SA core network was achieved in a laboratory environment in Tokyo. This represents a significant opportunity to drive high performance of the commercial network in the future.

NEC leveraged its industry-leading product development based on its advanced telecom and IT expertise to maximize CPU utilization and fast memory access. This is fueled by the utilization of Intel’s latest high-performance infrastructure, including 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with built-in AI acceleration and Dual-port 100Gb Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810-2CQDA2 with Dynamic Device Personalization (DDP). Rakuten Mobile, Intel and NEC have collaborated on high-speed processing of containerized UPF, which plays a significant role in this initiative, and achieved a performance of 640 Gbps per server. High-speed processing in a containerized environment on Rakuten Mobile’s RCP enables instant and flexible deployment of UPF from edge to central locations based on traffic characteristics, leveraging RCP’s full automation features.


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