The Internet of Things and in particular the Industrial Internet of Things are a challenge for mobile core networks. the massive amount of devices and also the new requirements associated with the Tactile Internet and industrial applications require new technologies in the core network. But also licensing options need to be reconsidered since many IoT use cases are not possible with standard licensing schemes of incumbent vendors.
OpenEPC addresses both the technical challenge and the economical issue.
OpenEPC includes features that permit to decentralize the core network effectively permitting to handle a much larger number of devices connected and providing latencies below those of a centralized deployment. In the same way the NFV and decomposition of functions characteristics of OpenEPC help to scale better even those functions that need to be centralized.
The OpenEPC team is participating in research projects together with key industrial partners to develop solutions that cater for the Industrial Internet of Things (iIoT). These solutions will be ahead of the standardization but relevant to the 5G technology landscape.
Additionally OpenEPC plans features for support the new IoT standards like LTE-M, NB-IoT, LoRA and SigFox as well as new modes of communication like Non IP Data Delivery (NIDD).
LTE-M and NB-IoT are 3GPP technologies which require new features like support for NIDD, Power Saving Mode (PSM), eDRX and others. There is also new interfaces in HSS, MME towards the SCEF (Service Capability Exposure Function) which OpenEPC will support.
LoRA and SigFox are non-3GPP standards which operators around the world are deploying, they differ to 3GPP standards because they use unlicensed spectrum and they support different communication modes. Operators acknowledge that there is no one IoT technology that fits all the IoT use cases (from autonomous driving to smart metering) and therefore they need a core network that can support them all. OpenEPC is that core network.