ITU-T Focus Group on Testbeds Federations for IMT-2020 and beyond (FG-TBFxG) was established by ITU-T Study Group 11 at its virtual plenary on 10 December 2021.
Over the years it has increasingly been experienced that singly isolated standalone Testbeds are not sufficient to test and trial out certain technology use cases because the use cases rather require the use of components and resources located in various Testbeds (due to the varying capabilities of the different Testbeds that need to be used, and due to the fact that it is more sustainable when the burden of investing in Testbed facilities is shared among various potential Testbed suppliers/providers). New ICT Technologies, Networks and Industry-oriented Applications are becoming increasingly complex to test using Standalone Testbeds. Hence, Federated Testbeds bring sustainability in fostering environments for quick innovations and testing of complex technologies and use cases, and for enabling quicker time to market for products and services.
In this regard, federated testbeds may bring a lot of value to “research use-cases” and “industry real technology deployment use cases”. In general, there is an urgent need to build an Ecosystem for enabling Sustainable Testbeds Development, Evolutions, and Federations. This becomes important for the whole ICT Industry and different domains, especially in this era of automation and consideration of emerging impacts of pandemics like COVID-19 on products developments and lifecycle management.
ITU-T SG11 in close collaboration with ETSI TC INT developed new Recommendation ITU-T Q.4068 “Open APIs for interoperable testbed federations” which defines a generic Reference Model for Testbeds Federations and describes the main elements of this Reference Model.
In addition, ITU-T SG11, ETSI TC INT and IEEE co-organized Joint SDOs Brainstorming Workshop on Testbeds Federations for 5G and Beyond: Interoperability, Standardization, Reference Model and APIs which was held fully virtual on 15-16 March 2021 (www.itu.int/go/BTF4-5G
). It was noted that Research Communities and the Industry (Solutions vendors/suppliers, CSPs, Enterprises, and Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)/Fora) all have roles to play in this desired Ecosystem that should be built around the Testbeds Federations Reference Model now and into the future, in this era of “Software’rization” and Disaggregation of ICT Networks, IMT-2020 and beyond.
This Focus Group will serve as a platform to harmonize testbeds specifications across SDOs/Fora. The FG-TBFxG will develop the required application program interfaces (APIs) aligned with the Testbeds Federations Reference Model defined in Recommendation ITU-T Q.4068 and define a set of use cases for Federated Testbeds and APIs. FG-TBFxG encourages all involved stakeholders, SDOs/Fora, to participate in the Focus Group activities and to:
The Focus Group will play a role in providing a platform to share views, to develop a series of deliverables and it will also offer a platform to players who wish to share their initiatives and projects aligned with the outlined vision and the desired Ecosystem on Testbeds Federations. The Focus Group will develop Specifications that may become a basis for further Standardization in the area of Testbeds Federations.
- Contribute to the development of the APIs being prescribed by the Testbeds Federations Reference Model;
- Share the burden on APIs Specifications and Standardization and on roadmaps in a harmonized and collaborative way;
- Develop new use cases and services for Testbeds suppliers that derive from the Testbeds Federations Reference Model and associated APIs, such as “Testbed-as-a Service” (TaaS).
Participation in FG-TBFxG is open to any individual from a country that is a member of ITU and who is willing to contribute actively to the work of the focus group. This includes individuals who are also members of international, regional and national organizations. The FG-TBFxG encourages collaboration with SDOs/Fora, Research Communities, Researchers on IMT-2020 and beyond, Industry Users of Testbeds, Testbeds Suppliers for IMT-2020 Testbeds and other Testbeds, CSPs (Communications Service Providers), Network Operators, Infrastructure Vendors/Suppliers for ICT and Verticals, Open Source & Open Hardware Projects, Regulators.
ITU-T Study Group 11
here for Terms of Reference
WG1: Use Cases, Applications and Industry Demand, Business Models
WG1 Chair: Muslim Elkotob (Vodafone, Germany)
WG2: Testbeds as a Service
WG2 Chair: Cédric Crettaz (Mandat International, Switzerland)
WG3: APIs, Reference Model Instantiations
WG3 Chair: Ranganai Chaparadza (Capgemini Engineering, Germany)
WG3 Vice-chair: Tayeb Ben Meriem (IPv6 Forum, France)