A Novel Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) Platform for Local 5G Operators
5G is a promising technology that has the potential to support verticals and applications such as Industrial Internet of Things IoT (IIoT), smart cities, autonomous vehicles, remote surgeries, virtual and augmented realities, and so on. These verticals have a diverse set of network connectivity requirements, and it is challenging to deliver customized services for each by using a common 5G infrastructure. Thus, the operation of Local 5G operator (L5GO) networks or private 5G networks are a viable option to tackle this challenge. A L5GO network is a localized small cell network which can offer tailored service delivery. The adaptation of network softwarization in 5G allows vertical owners to deploy and operate L5GO networks. However, the deployment of L5GOs raises various issues related to management of subscribers, roaming users, spectrum, security, and also the infrastructure. This paper proposes a blockchain-based platform to address these issues. The paper introduces a set of blockchain-based modularized functions such as service rating systems, bidding techniques, and selection functions, which can be used to deploy different services for L5GOs. Exploitation of blockchain technology ensures availability, non-reliance on trusted third parties, secure transfer payments, and stands to gain many more advantages. The performance and the viability of the proposed platform are analyzed by using simulations and a prototype implementation.