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Orange in DEDICAT6G

Orange in DEDICAT6G

Orange is a worldwide leading telecommunications operator. Offering integrated services such as mobile and fixed-line telephony, high-speed internet, and television, Orange distinguishes itself through a commitment to technological innovation, an extensive telecommunications network, customer-focused service quality, and initiatives in social and environmental responsibility.

In DEDICAT 6G, the Orange team focuses on the intelligence distribution mechanisms. With the deployment of 6G, it is expected that new services will emerge, such as Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) or augmented reality, for instance. These two services specifically require ultra-low latency in order to function properly, however, this can only be achieved by distributing the necessary processing as close as possible to the end-user terminal, i.e. in the edge network. This is enabled by Edge Computing, illustrated in the figure below.

Figure: Overview of Edge Computing

But there remain challenges to overcome:

  • Resource constraints: resources such as storage and computing are particularly limited in the edge network, due to its distributed nature.
  • Security: applications with strict isolation requirements cannot run on a dedicated physical edge network, because of the resource limitations of edge computing.
  • Orchestration: Edge Computing requires the management of resources across multiple nodes and clusters.

Orange has designed a multi-cluster orchestrator that enables to deploy service chains with guarantees on the end-to-end communication latency and security isolations. It is implemented as part of the Intelligence Distribution Functional Component in the DEDICAT 6G architecture. Of particular interest, this work contains an optimization engine, that determines the placement of Service Chains at minimum cost, while meeting all their requirements. This work is described in 4 scientific articles and was presented as a demo at the prestigious annual Research Exhibition OOTD (Orange Open Technical Days) in Paris, in November 2023.

DEDICAT 6G booth at OOTD (Orange Open Technical Days)

In the demo, we have a dashboard for the Edge Computing platform that shows the real-time load (CPU and memory) of the clusters, the real-time communication latency (intra-cluster and inter-clusters), as well as the cost for cluster usage. We can play with the parameters of the dashboard to observe the effect on the service chains that are deployed. For instance, if we increase the latency on a cluster on which a latency-sensitive service is deployed, we can see the migration of the micro-services so that the end-to-end latency requirement is met.

The demo was presented to around 300 visitors, over the course of three days, and many Orange Business Unit representatives showed a strong interest. The next steps will be to define collaborations aiming at developing B2B (Business-to-Business) products.

Besides this technical contribution to DEDICAT 6G, Orange was leader of the project Work Package dealing with Intelligence Distribution mechanisms.