Cloud and network architecture and services

The cloud and network architecture and services research group focuses on research and development in the cloud, network architecture and services area. This includes the areas of software defined networking and network functions virtualisation and 5G core networks, as well as accreditation in ISO17025.

The group conducts research and development by utilising open network systems with open-source software to lower the entry barriers for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to also partake in this industry sector.

The group assists carrier service providers like network operators, mobile network operators, internet service providers and host service providers with open network systems.

The group utilises a 5G infrastructure test bed to assist with the integration and testing of new applications and services.

Its focus areas include software defined networking, network function virtualisation, cloud computing, 5G core networks, network slicing models and network orchestration.


The group has developed specific capabilities in the following areas:

  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).
  • Open-Source systems like OpenStack, Open5GCore and proprietary core modules like Cumucore.
  • Integration of Enode (4G LTE base station).
  • Development of the software components to set up OpenStack as the OS for the core.
  • The understanding and implementation of Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN) Standard.
  • Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) technologies as it pertains to the ETSI NFV Framework.
  • Integration of legacy LAN/WAN networks with legacy Routing and Switching protocols.
  • Expertise in International Standard for Standardisation, ISOI17025 accreditation.


The group has established an end-to-end 5G Test bed with future implementations indicated in brackets:

  • Support of the main enabling technologies: based on SDN, NFV and cloud computing. Therefore, flexibility, programmability and agility in the network are granted, in addition to providing an orchestration on different network levels (future).
  • Multi-domain support: The 5G testbed spans across all network domains (air interface, Radio Access Network, Transport Network, Core Network) in order to provide realization and management of E2E network slicing (future).
  • Multi-radio access technologies support: 5G integrates different radio access technologies (RATs), thus, Long Term Evolution (LTE), WiFi and New Radio (NR) should be deployed on the same platform.We also have Television White Space technologies in the Access.
  • Multi-tenancy support: Several mobile network operators or service providers (over-the-top players) are able to share infrastructure by each of them acquiring their own core through MOCN, and hopefully in the future with Network Slicing.
  • End-to-end network slicing (Future): Slicing will be deployed across all network domains (future).
  • Open-source: The testbed is open-source with well-defined interfaces.It is also runs on OpenStack OS.
Hlabishi Kobo