The future of the internet is not about revolutionary approaches at the network level alone. While many researchers around the globe currently investigate disruptive or so-called “clean slate” approaches for the Future Internet (FI), Fraunhofer FOKUS and TUB AV research groups are dedicated to evolutionary FI research and development, leveraging long-term expertise, systems and tools in the field of Next Generation Networks (NGN). FI research is a global endeavor which becomes evident by the number of FI projects and initiatives that are currently under way, such as the FIND and GENI initiatives in US, the FIRE initiative in Europe, the Asia Future Internet Forum in Asia, and all those many related projects.
NGNI, NGN2FI, singleweb, Infographic
Fraunhofer FOKUS
From our perspective, evolutionary FI research builds upon solutions and technologies that exist today and investigates the influence and impact of new (potentially disruptive) approaches to solve current problems and create new solutions for the converging Internet and Communications domain. Very much in line with the approach of  the Future Internet Public Private Partnership (FI-PPP) program, currently one of Europe's biggest flagship FI programs, we believe that by utilizing, enhancing and integrating IT and telecommunication technologies, the future of the Internet evolves right now. Similar to the FI-PPP we believe that by integrating and enhancing network and service platforms and by exposing generic services to various usage areas the future internet of things and internet of services can already be realized. This allows a broad range of smart applications (e.g. smart transport, mobility, healthcare, energy, safety etc.) to be easily deployed and executed on top of unified, federated platforms, which already provide commonly required core mechanisms and generic services, providing these functions and services via standardized application programming interfaces (APIs).

Based on our long term expertise and our developments of Next Generation Network (NGN) infrastructures and services (including IMS, EPC, M2M and SDP) we actively and extensively contribute to the evolution of the FI (including the FI-PPP core platform and usage areas), thus fostering the evolution of NGNs towards the FI (NGN2FI). Our NGN2FI evoLab integrates different NGN platforms and components:

  • NGN Application and Service Layer: SOA-based service platform, providing service composition, brokerage, discovery and service exposure mechanisms as realized within the Open SOA Telco Playground
  • NGN Session Control layer: providing secure, QoS-enabled, multimedia session and service control as realized within the OpenIMS Playground and the Machine-Type-Communication Playground
  • Connectivity layer: providing QoS-enabling, wireless access-networks converging, Always Best Connected seamless mobility as realized by the OpenEPC as part of the FUSECO Playground


Across these layers we investigate the following FI approaches:
  • Cross-Layer composition mechanisms allowing services to trigger composition of required network functionalities (QoS, prioritization, security, etc.) and, vice versa, allowing network capabilities to be communicated towards the service layer. This enables tight interworking between service and network layer. At the service layer, service composition mechanisms furthermore include policy-based service brokerage mechanisms, allowing user-specific service customization and selective service delivery, thus fostering the “Internet of Services" to become reality.
  • Cross-domain resource and infrastructure Federation mechanisms allowing connectivity and interworking of heterogeneous resources across boundaries of administrative domains. On-demand composition and provisioning of complex, distributed network resources and services. Development, enhancement and maintenance of generic, versatile cross-domain federation mechanisms and tools allowing complex, cross-domain and large-scale federation of heterogeneous network, computing and telecommunication resources.
  • Cloud computing and virtualization mechanisms, systems enabling demand-driven, seamlessly managed, elastic usage of distributed cloud resources. Cloud brokerage and dynamic cloud-based in- and outsourcing of IT and telecommunication platforms, services and computing resources.
  • Machine-to-machine systems, platforms and services aggregating and widely exposing data from distributed sensor devices, smart objects and mobile devices enabling a broad range of smart city, smart energy, smart transportation, smart media, smart government, community-based applications.
  • Measurement and Monitoring solutions that provide the basis for the management and security of NGN and FI domains. Based on the requirements of future networks and applications we derive metrics of interests, how these can be measured, aggregated, analyzed and how operators can make use of this information to optimize network performance and provide enhanced application functionality.
The future of the internet is not about revolutionary approaches at the network level alone. While many researchers around the globe currently investigate disruptive or so-called “clean slate" approaches for the Future Internet (FI), Fraunhofer FOKUS and TUB AV research groups are dedicated to evolutionary FI research and development, leveraging long-term expertise, systems and tools in the field of Next Generation Networks (NGN). FI research is a global endeavor which becomes evident by the number of FI projects and initiatives that are currently under way, such as the FIND and GENI initiatives in US, the FIRE initiative in Europe, the Asia Future Internet Forum in Asia, and all those many related projects.