IEEE Software Defined Networks (IEEE SDN), a cross-society IEEE worldwide program addressing techno-economic aspects concerning SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), and EIT Digital, a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organization driving Europe’s digital transformation, jointly launched an international Open Testbed Community (OTC) aimed at stimulating 5G innovation. IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity.

IEEE Software Defined Networks is a cross-society IEEE worldwide program addressing the main techno-economic aspects concerning SDN and Network Functions Virtualization.IEEE Software Defined Networks is a cross-society IEEE worldwide program addressing the main techno-economic aspects concerning SDN and Network Functions Virtualization.This breakthrough came about following a workshop on Federated Testbeds spearheaded by leaders from the IEEE SDN Initiative and EIT Digital. The workshop that took place in San Francisco in early May 2016 culminated in an intent to start an Open, Federated Testbed (OFTB) by interconnecting three existing centers of expertise based in the U.S. and Europe. The outcome of these efforts will be reported in the Berlin5GWeek event in November 2016.

The workshop brought new collaboration and support for the IEEE SDN Initiative that is building an engineering catalog of testbeds, toolkits and software that can be rated by the technical community. They will also track testing requests to better coordinate effective use of OTC resources and prioritize testing. This complements the effort of EIT Digital to expand the Federated Testbed (FTB) started in 2016 and under expansion that can be used to stimulate innovation in the area of 5G and future communications services.

Roberto Minerva of Telecom Italia, the chairman of the workshop, estimates that the combination of these new Open Federated Testbeds and the IEEE Testbed Catalog will result in a 50% reduction in the time to test network functions, applications, services and new, disruptive business models.

Marko Turpeinen of EIT Digital’s Silicon Valley Hub says: “EU-USA collaboration on the future of networks and 5G paves the way for a host of multi-lateral initiatives with industry, academic research and innovators on a wide range of key technology challenges. We look forward to engage fully on this cooperation path with IEEE.”

The testing will spur important work on performance, orchestration and validation. This is an open initiative, and all stakeholders are encouraged to help shape this important work. A goal of this work will be to set clear, achievable deliverables in the spirit of agile software development.

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