Programmable Infrastructures

A 6G network will overcome the static partitioning of functionality (in RAN/access/core etc.) and provide functions where they are actually needed. The available HW resources will be taken into account here. Application as well as network functions (e.g. game server vs. AAA) will be included and a continuous, agile adaptation to changing load/service requirements such as infrastructure availability will be considered. This results in an “organically growing” decentralized, robust, scalable – and thus evolutionary – 6G system. This vision of such an “organic infrastructure” requires, among other things, the ability to mediate between different variants of a functionality to combine them into beneficial overall services, while supporting the requirements of the data path. Functions can range from very lean and stateless to complex-state, heterogeneously connected into services, with different management requirements (e.g., launching new instances vs. state migration).

Decisions can also be decentralized. Deeper integration of (classical) radio, core, and user functions also opens rich data sources for AI/ML procedures involved in data path processes (“linerate inference”) as well as management processes (e.g., reconfiguration of services when changing handover strategy). For the development and operation of such a system, which is subject to continuous evolution, the ideas of DevOps and web-scale software engineering must be developed further into a “network scale DevOps” (e.g. parallel operation of different versions, “continuous fault injection” for robustness).