Carrier-GradeAspen Mesh

Harness the speed and scalability of Kubernetes for cloud-native 5G network architectures.

Carrier grade illustration

Supporting the Next Generation of Connectivity

To support customer demand for 5G services, service providers are evolving from 4G monolithic architectures based on physical and virtual network elements to 3GPP service-based architectures leveraging web technologies like HTTP/2. Building containerized, interchangeable network services functions on top of a Kubernetes-based platform enables speed and scale. You get the speed to support high traffic volumes from the edge to the core — with the ability to scale quickly from tens of sites at the network core to tens of thousands of smaller cell sites at the edge.

Why Carrier-Grade Aspen Mesh

Once you start to run containers across tens of thousands of edge sites, the only way to ensure they run efficiently, reliably and securely is by using service mesh to manage Layer 7 networking. Carrier-Grade Aspen Mesh, a fully-supported service mesh based on Istio, gives you:


A consistent approach to encrypting and authenticating all traffic between multi-vendor and multi-site network functions, built on the strongest mutual TLS techniques, tied back to a carrier-grade and 3GPP-compatible certificate authority.

Packet Capture

Unique packet capture technology captures packets that current solutions never see, providing full packet visibility for troubleshooting and meeting lawful intercept requirements.

Container Observability

With L7 metrics, logs and traces, you get an end-to-end view of what’s happening within each container so you can quickly troubleshoot and resolve problems at the edge and the core.

Traffic Visibility

Visibility of east-west traffic within each 5G core Kubernetes cluster allows revenue assurance and visibility into the data you need to monetize 5G using existing billing and charging systems.


Choose the service mesh that is easy to deploy, observe, configure, and operate via a cloud-based dashboard.


Aspen Mesh is an F5 incubation. We move with the agility of a startup, and we’re backed by a global company with a strong history in networking and security.

Cloud Native 5G illustration Pat Kay

Enhancing and Hardening Kubernetes for Cloud-Native 5G Networks

Carrier-Grade Aspen Mesh works in conjunction with BIG-IP Service Proxy for Kubernetes (SPK), developed by F5 specifically for cloud-native 5G networks. Carrier-Grade Aspen Mesh and SPK help service providers transition to 5G while still leveraging investments in 4G. SPK provides signaling protocol support unavailable in the standard Kubernetes platform. Per-service secure proxy and firewall protect “north/south” traffic flowing into and out of containerized 5G services. Automated Kubernetes service discovery and policy configuration give you greater agility and engineering efficiency. Aspen Mesh provides observability, security, policy management and packet capture of East/West traffic within each 5G core Kubernetes cluster. The F5 solution can operate in both the edge and core of the network, flexibly scaling from tens of sites in the network core to tens of thousands of sites at the far edge.

Aspen Mesh Enterprise Service Mesh

In addition to providing the critical features you need to effectively provision workloads at the edge, our team has the expertise to help you get the most out of 5G and Kubernetes.