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ONE Summit 2022 in Seattle marked the 6th anniversary of the 5G Super Blueprint (5G SBP). Of course, it wasn’t always called that, and it didn’t always focus on delivering 5G capabilities. In fact, the first few incarnations were called the Virtual Central Office (VCO) and were designed to show how services could move toward the network edge using a reduced footprint based on OpenStack®, and later on Kubernetes, all deployed on commodity hardware.

Taking the Telecom market by storm

Over the past 30+ years, open source software has found its way into all industry verticals either as a supported commercial product of its own or as an embedded component of  proprietary branded products. Now, data from the Linux Foundation Networking shows that 5G, underpinned by open source software, has reached a high water mark of 50% of the Telecom market. Our objectives – Innovate, Collaborate, and Transform – have underpinned everything we did as an open source foundation and has helped move the needle for open source in the Telecom market. 

Innovation in action

As the Telecom market turned its full attention to 5G to deliver high-speed connectivity to support new services and use cases, so did LFN and the 5G Super Blueprint was born. The 5G SBP was a community effort that, in early versions, set lofty goals of connecting 5G video call or stream music over a temporary, end-to-end, private 5G network. It grew to include containerized 5G workloads and then on to its latest version in which we demonstrated low-latency, high-bandwidth, scalable networking for a health and safety edge compute use-case using AI detection algorithms to identify non-compliant headwear.

Whether it was VCO or the 5G SBP, we always aimed to build an infrastructure and services based on open source software and commodity hardware where possible. 

This year’s iteration was no different and even included ML/AI technologies for the first time. The required Infrastructure (including ML/AI training and production servers) was deployed in IBM’s facilities in Dallas and in Kaloom’s facilities in Montreal. The 5G SBP Workgroup has been working hard to evolve the 5G SBP from a yearly “demo” activity to a year-round activity. Going forward, Kaloom has graciously offered to permanently host the 5G SBP infrastructure in their labs and the 5G SBP Workgroup continues to look to the future by identifying up and coming use-cases that will be of interest and importance to the market.

In addition, we were honored that Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP & CTO, Networking & Edge Computing, IBM Cloud, and Heather Kirksey, VP Community and Engagement of LF Networking, delivered a 5G SBP keynote presentation at this year’s ONE Summit in Seattle.

Collaborating across organizations

As always with such large undertakings, the 5G SBP would not be possible without the dedication of LFN members and partners – the full list is available in the 5G SBP Landscape – and support and interest from communications services providers like the Telcos.

To learn more and participate in the 5G SBP, please visit the 5G Super Blueprint website and check out the 5G SBP Wiki.