Category: Industry Updates

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NGMN Cooperation Partner GCF Lays Foundation for 5G Device Certification

The Global Certification Forum has approved an ‘umbrella’ Work Item that lays the foundation for the certification of 5G devices based on 3GPP Release 15.

The Work Item will cover options from both the Non-Stand Alone (NSA) Phase 1 & 2 and Stand Alone (SA) Phase 1 5G System modes of operation. Further Work Items will be introduced for later phases of 5G and Field Trials. The development of NSA was agreed by 3GPP in March 2017 as an intermediate mode anchored in the LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network with 5G New Radio (NR) being used to boost data-rates and reduce latency. 3GPP finalised specifications for NSA in December 2017 at the its TSG RAN Plenary Meeting. Standards for the SA mode, in which NR will connect to the new 5G Core (5GC) network, is scheduled for completion in June 2018.

Conformance testing of 5G within GCF will draw on test cases defined by 3GPP’s RAN5 Working Group. The new umbrella Work Item anticipates the development of multiple sub-Work Items to cover various areas for which conformance test cases are under development. These areas currently include radio reception, transmission and performance; radio resource management (RRM); positioning; radio access protocols; core network protocols and IMS protocols.

“This Work Item is an important milestone for GCF, marking the start of our formal participation in 5G,&rdquot; said Lars Nielsen, General Manager of GCF. “Building on the work of 3GPP, GCF’s focus will be on providing an effective and efficient certification scheme to support the commercial roll-out of 5G devices and services worldwide.”

Separately, GCF has already agreed to make a significant one-off financial contribution to the development of the required 3GPP TTCN-3 test cases. TTCN-3 (Testing and Test Control Notation version 3) is the ETSI-standardised programming language which is used for 3GPP protocol test cases. This commitment will help ensure that 5G device testing and certification are available in time to support industry initiatives such as the NGMN 5G Trial and Testing Initiative (5G TTI) and early standards-compliant deployments of 5G in late 2018 and early 2019.

ETSI’s Zero Touch Network and Service Management Group

ETSI’s new Zero touch network and Service Management group starts work

ETSI’s new Zero touch network and Service Management Industry Specification Group (ZSM ISG) has just ended its kick-off meeting that took place at ETSI on 10-12 January.

Over 40 organizations have already joined the group, underlying the importance of this new activity for future network and service management. This first meeting provided the opportunity to elect a leadership team, start discussing the first topics to work on and initiate collaboration with other standards bodies, fora and open source communities.

Klaus Martiny of Deutsche Telekom, project lead of the NGMN project on Network Management and Orchestration, was elected as chair of the ZSM ISG, while Nurit Sprecher of Nokia and Christian Toche of Huawei, were elected as vice chairs of the group. The Network Operators Council (NOC) advisory group elected Ashiq Khan of DOCOMO as chair and Serge Manning of Sprint as vice chair. One of the key achievements at this first meeting was the agreement on five working topics including the development of use cases, requirements, and reference architecture with an end-to-end view of a zero touch systems as well analysis into areas such as automation techniques and the management of network slices.

Networks need to evolve towards programmable, software-driven, service-based and holistically-managed architectures, using technology enablers and catalysts such as NFV, SDN and MEC. New business models, including network slicing, will support new markets and impose unprecedented operational agility and higher cooperation across network domains. The resulting exponential increase in overall complexity makes automation a necessity. The goal of ETSI’s ISG ZSM is to provide an end-to-end solution to have all operational processes and tasks – delivery, deployment, configuration, assurance, and optimization – executed automatically, ideally with 100% automation.

 “While 5G and its building blocks are being developed, it’s time to offer an end-to-end view focusing on automated end-to-end network and service management”, says Klaus Martiny, ZSM chair. “We want to offer the market open and simple solutions. A continuous feedback from all stakeholders will lead to the first implementations of the specifications which will be tested through Proofs of Concepts, the outcome being fed back to improve existing specifications. A strong collaboration and cooperation with others standards bodies and Open Source projects is important for the ISG.”