Nokia's Phil Twist says it is a given that cloud native is the key enabler of the 5G core - not least because it will be part of the 3GPP specifications for the technology.
As the industry moves on from a 4G environment where a cloud core was the way to go and non-cloud native VNFs were the order of the day, we are now entering the era of the transformed network and complete cloudification where having a proper cloud native core is absolutely critical to enable a telco to operate in 5G mode.
Bearing in mind that NFV has taken much longer to achieve that was anticipated and promised, and is costing much more than was expected and advertised, the industry has taken a reality check in a determined effort to avoid making the same mistakes with cloud native. That's why, at Nokia, network transformation and the move to cloud native is regarded as a progressive evolutionary journey that involves abstracting different network layers to enable the ability to work independently of hardware.
Phil Twist says Nokia has been on that journey since the company moved to the use of off-the-shelf hardware for some core network functionalities. That history and experience has led to Nokia having an NFV-driven core for quite some time now and the next step is to to change those NFVs to cloud native - and that means containerisation. Nokia's Telephony Application Server is already in cloud native format and over the course of the next two years will will continue to evolve to encompass a variety of different elements that go into 5G and are becoming cloud native.
That said, Phil Twist reiterates that for all actors in the network transformation scenario cloud native is a progressive cloudification evolution that will take time but cannot be avoided by those CSPs that intend to transmute into DSPs.
Filmed at: Great Telco Debate, London, December 2019