In the fast-evolving world of 5G technology, orchestrating vertical services across multiple domains remains a significant challenge. We will explore an innovative solution offered by the 5GASP project: NetOr, a microservice-oriented inter-domain vertical service orchestrator for 5G networks.

Introducing NetOr

NetOr, developed through the 5GASP project, addresses the limitations of traditional 5G vertical service orchestrators by providing a flexible, scalable, and maintainable solution through a microservice architecture. It supports complex use cases by ensuring adequate inter-domain support, adhering to network slicing standards, and enabling run-time operations on vertical services.

Key Features and Architecture

NetOr’s microservice architecture is designed to handle each entity within the system as a unique component. These components communicate via a centralized message bus, facilitating asynchronous message exchange. This design offers several advantages:

  1. Flexibility: NetOr allows seamless replacement or updating of components without affecting the entire system, ensuring that the architecture remains adaptable to new technologies and requirements.
  2. Scalability: Each microservice is stateless and can be scaled independently, allowing the system to handle many services efficiently.
  3. Maintainability: NetOr simplifies maintenance and updates by isolating each component, ensuring high availability and reliability.

Inter-Domain Orchestration with NetOr

One of the standout features of NetOr is its ability to orchestrate vertical services across multiple administrative domains. This ability is particularly valuable for sectors like transportation, where geographically distributed assets often fall under different operators. NetOr facilitates the creation of E2E network slices that span multiple domains, ensuring comprehensive coverage and service delivery.

NetOr employs two approaches for inter-domain orchestration:

  1. Approach A: The VSI/NSI Lifecycle Manager (LCM) component configures VPN tunnels, maintaining centralized control and monitoring.
  2. Approach B: Delegates the configuration to VPN nodes, utilizing NetOr’s DNS server for service discovery and information sharing among nodes.

Performance and Comparison

NetOr has been benchmarked against one of the most mature vertical service orchestrators, the 5Growth Vertical Slicer. The results demonstrate that NetOr not only matches but sometimes exceeds the performance of 5Growth, particularly in handling complex inter-domain services. The microservice architecture of NetOr allows for parallel processing, significantly reducing the time required for service instantiation and configuration.

APIs and Standards

NetOr’s Northbound and Southbound Interfaces are designed to comply with widely accepted NFV standards, ensuring interoperability and seamless integration with third-party platforms. This adherence to standards also facilitates the adoption of NetOr by other platforms, ensuring that necessary parameters are always available.


NetOr represents a significant advancement in the orchestration of vertical services in 5G networks. Its microservice architecture, adherence to standards, and robust inter-domain support make it a valuable tool for operators looking to leverage the full potential of 5G technology. By addressing the limitations of existing solutions, NetOr paves the way for more efficient, scalable, and maintainable 5G network services.

The innovative approach and performance of NetOr highlight its potential to become a cornerstone in the deployment and management of complex 5G services, ensuring that operators can meet the demands of modern digital ecosystems.

For more detailed information, you can visit the NetOr GitHub repository.

NEF Emulator

In the evolving landscape of 5G technology, the Network Exposure Function (NEF) is pivotal in ensuring seamless and secure integration between external applications and the 5G core network. Further, we will delve into the intricacies of the NEF, highlighting its functionalities, the significance of the NEF Emulator, and the APIs it offers.

Understanding the Network Exposure Function (NEF)

The NEF is a crucial component of the 5G core network, responsible for managing and facilitating connections from external applications that seek access to internal data. Acting as an interface gateway, the NEF enables secure communication channels, ensuring that third-party applications can interact with the 5G core network efficiently and safely. Its service-aware functionality allows it to cater to the specific requirements of different applications, making it an essential tool for developers and network operators.

NEF Emulator: Bridging the Gap for Developers

The NEF Emulator is an open-source simulator designed to provide application developers a platform to experiment with the NEF. Utilizing standardized APIs in a simulated, configurable environment, the NEF Emulator replicates the capabilities of the NEF, allowing users to interact with and test its northbound APIs. Initially implemented in the EVOLVED-5G European project, the NEF Emulator has been further extended by the 5GASP project, mainly by adding testing-related capabilities. This emulator is integral to the 5GASP project’s efforts to conduct 5G Readiness Test Cases, ensuring that applications are well-prepared for deployment in a 5G environment.

Key APIs Offered by the NEF Emulator

The NEF Emulator provides a range of standardized APIs, allowing for comprehensive testing and interaction with the NEF. Some of the key APIs — **that follow standards **29.122 - 17.8.0 **— include:

  1. Monitoring Event : Implemented by EVOLVED-5G, this API allows the monitoring of specific network events.
  2. AsSessionWithQoS: Also implemented by EVOLVED-5G, it manages session quality of service.
  3. Resource Management of Background Data Transfer (BDT): Implemented by 5GASP, this API manages background data transfer resources.
  4. Chargeable Party: This API, implemented by 5GASP, deals with identifying and managing chargeable parties within the network.
  5. Network Status Reporting: Allows for network status reporting, implemented by 5GASP.
  6. Traffic Influence: Implemented by 5GASP, this API manages the influence of traffic within the network.
  7. Analytics Exposure: Another API by 5GASP that exposes analytics data from the network.

Enhancing Testing with the Report API

In addition to the APIs above, 5GASP has developed a Report API that monitors and records all requests made by network applications to the NEF. This API is crucial for the continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) services, as it verifies that network applications can effectively communicate with the NEF. Every request and the corresponding response received by the NEF is recorded in a report file, ensuring transparency and reliability in communication.


The 5GASP’s NEF Emulator further enhances the testing capabilities, ensuring that applications are ready for real-world deployment. As 5G technology continues to evolve, tools like the NEF and its emulator will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of network communications.

For more detailed information, you can visit the NEF GitHub repository.


As the 5G standards mature, industry verticals are increasingly eager to test and develop new services to meet market demands. One significant innovation in this space is OpenSlice, an open-source Operations Support System (OSS) that delivers Network Slice as a Service (NSaaS).

Introduction to OpenSlice

OpenSlice is an open-source platform designed to facilitate the delivery of NSaaS. It leverages emerging standards from Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to provide a flexible, cost-efficient mechanism for managing multiple virtual networks running on a shared infrastructure. This model is particularly advantageous for vertical industries that require isolated and tailored network environments(Openslice).

Key Features of OpenSlice

OpenSlice stands out due to several innovative features:

  1. Service Abstraction: OpenSlice defines abstractions over the complexities of Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), Containerized Network Functions (CNFs), and Network Services (NSs). This allows verticals to request and deploy services seamlessly, focusing solely on the service logic without worrying about underlying technical complexities.
  2. Service Catalog Management: It offers comprehensive service catalog management, enabling Communication Service Providers (CSPs) to manage, organize, and expose service catalog items to customers. This includes the ability to create and manage both Customer Facing Services (CFS) and Resource Facing Services (RFS)(nef).
  3. TMForum Open APIs: OpenSlice utilizes TMForum’s Open APIs to facilitate service catalog management, ordering, inventory management, and more. These APIs ensure interoperability and ease of integration with other systems.
  4. Service Ordering and Fulfillment: The platform allows customers to place service orders through a well-defined process. Service specifications are translated into resource requirements, which are then processed by the Network Function Virtualization Orchestrator (NFVO) to instantiate the network slice.

OpenSlice Architecture

OpenSlice employs a microservice-based architecture that enhances flexibility, scalability, and maintainability. The architecture includes the following key components:

  • Service Portal: Provides a user-friendly interface for browsing and ordering services.
  • NFV Portal: Allows users to manage NFV artifacts and onboard them to a target MANO/NFV orchestrator.
  • API Gateway: Facilitates communication between internal APIs and external services.
  • Message Bus: Enables asynchronous communication between microservices.
  • Authentication Server: Implements OAuth2 for secure authentication.
  • Service Orchestrator (OSOM): Manages and propagates service orders to the appropriate service orchestrators and NFVOs.

5GASP Integration: Enhancing OpenSlice’s Capabilities

5GASP’s related activities resulted in the development of various OpenSlice capabilities, particularly to support the project’s innovative use cases. One of the most notable contributions is the Network Applications Validation and Certification Platform, which includes an Application Store. This platform enables developers to validate and certify their applications within a 5G environment, ensuring they meet the necessary standards and performance metrics before deployment.

  • Network Applications Validation: By leveraging OpenSlice, 5GASP provides a comprehensive environment for testing network applications. This involves detailed performance analysis, security checks, and interoperability testing, ensuring that the applications seamlessly integrate with existing 5G networks. The starting point for conducting testing processes is the 5GASP Network Application Onboarding and Deployment Service (NODS), offered through OpenSlice.
  • Application Store: The Application Store within the 5GASP platform allows third-parties access to a catalog of Network Applications for different verticals. These applications, when on the Application Store, have been thoroughly tested and certified against 5G, security, and performance standards, which ensures they are robust, reliable, and ready for real-world. The Application Store is also offered through OpenSlice, which exposes several available Network Applications via its Products Catalog.

These use cases from the 5GASP project have been instrumental in evolving OpenSlice into ETSI’s first Software Development Group, highlighting its potential to support extensive application development and deployment in the 5G ecosystem.


OpenSlice, powered by the innovative use cases from the 5GASP project, represents a significant advancement in the orchestration and management of network slices in 5G networks. By offering a flexible, scalable, and open-source solution, OpenSlice simplifies the deployment of complex network services, making it an invaluable tool for industry verticals looking to leverage the full potential of 5G technology.

The integration with 5GASP enhances OpenSlice’s functionality and provides a robust platform for validating and certifying network applications, ensuring readiness for deployment in the 5G ecosystem. As OpenSlice continues to evolve, it is well-positioned to support the growing demands of 5G networks and beyond.

For more detailed information, you can visit the OpenSlice documentation.