NetOps and 5G integration through NFV

The integration of DevOps (Development Operations) with the 5G environment has increased drastically recently, especially with the introduction of Containerised Network Functions (CNFs) into the standardised Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) domain. NFV MANO (NFV management and orchestration) environments (e.g. ETSI-standard-compliant Open-Source MANO – OSM) are increasingly used as network orchestration managers within ISP (Internet Service Provider) networks and increasingly, commercial networks are becoming more dynamic and modular.

Figure 1 – Orange Romania’s (ORO’s) testbed for Beyond 5G (B5G) networks

The above-mentioned environment for testing, certification, development and research, and the implementation and integration of innovative applications towards telco-enhanced technologies are being developed and hastened before our eyes (Figure 1 – check out this blog post, from our partners, Orange Romania). The 5GASP project is approaching its full maturity and, through its platform, it will soon provide Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and ISPs with a potent international 5G testbed, for the rapid, integrated development, testing and certification of Network Applications, services and service chains. Through a fast and reliable NetOps environment, 5GASP’s integrated international testbed has demonstrated its capabilities and potential towards supporting the research and development of future technologies, like network-based Artificial Intelligence (AI), integrated interactive, network-enabled/-enhanced application development, Internet-wide resource elasticity and, finally, development towards 6G.

The 5GASP Test and Certification Platform and Impact

With our international 5G testbed, SMEs will soon be able to test and develop their applications into true, fully integrated (and potentially intelligence-driven nApps, by integrating the advantages that the 5G, Mobile Edge Computing environments and provided DevOps- and NetOps-based CI/CD tools provided (as also explained previously, in this blog post, by our partners in University of Patras). The project itself offers some initial ideas and fast onboarding mechanics, through the SMEs pioneering, providing first-hand feedback, and directly contributing to the development of this testbed. The recent blog post by Neobility’s (one of the SME partners involved in the 5GASP consortium) CTO, Andrei Radulescu, will provide a good insight into this, as well.

Figure 2 – Rendition of the locations and interconnectivity of the International Testbed

The project itself promotes inter-App interactivity, through the interfacing and ability of using the 5G Core and Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) capabilities, as enabling environments. These environments are implemented in the 5GASP international testbed [reference to image of testbed infrastructure diagram], towards obtaining a unified, European- and internationally-recognised testing/certification and nApp standardisation environment, for continuous, cross-network, cross-domain application development, implementation, testing, integration and deployment.

The Current Industry Background and State of 5G-driven DevOps/NetOps Research

With the more recent market penetration and integration of 5G with O-RAN and other wireless technologies, many application and service providers are very well incentivised to create more mobile, intelligent and adaptive network-driven applications, considering the general move of “cloudification” and containerisation. As an extra incentivisation step for development integration with O-RAN and 5G technologies, Canonical have presented a 5G-Ubuntu integration in MWC 2024 (announced and explained here)

With these large market and technology moves, we see that the distribution of computation, data, IP, services and applications, we can see that enabling DevOps, NetOps and, ultimately, network-based AI/MLOps (Machine Learning Operations), towards 6G and more dynamically- and autonomously-managed networks become more obvious as next steps.


  1. Figure 1, 5GASP Project Website – Blog,”Testbed for beyond 5G networks”, Available Online:
  2. Figure 2, 5GASP Project Website – Deliverables ,”D3.2 5GASP experimentation services, middleware and multi-domain facilities continuous integration, 2nd release”, Available Online:,%20middleware%20and%20multi-domain%20facilities%20continuous%20integration.pdf