Category: NGMN News

NGMN News

NGMN Alliance Launches Initiative to Advance Cloud, Automation & Edge Computing

Frankfurt, Germany – The Board of the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance launches new key activities to support the adoption of a cloud native infrastructure for telecommunication service providers. The initiative will address hybrid cloud architecture (e.g. edge computing) challenges and will lead to a paradigm change in the network vision of the industry.

The project has been highlighted as a crucial development area to further optimise and guide the telecoms industry towards the successful deployment of 5G beyond 2020.

TIM senior manager, project sponsor and member of the NGMN Alliance Board Andrea Calvi said: “We’re delighted to be leading the way with 5G projects that will address and define the high level target architecture for telco networks based on cloud native infrastructure, open interfaces and open source adoption. This will open vendor ecosystems, reduce TCO and gain flexibility.”

“NGMN is proud to be leading the efforts to address and define the target architecture for the most relevant use cases for E2E automation and orchestration, made possible by this initiative.” said Dr. Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “The qualitative effects of cloud native will support telco service providers with value creation and sustainability.”
The work will address requirements from operators who are keen to deliver efficient, high-quality and reliable 5G networks to the market. Activities include cloud native infrastructure, hardware dis-aggregation, open interfaces, open platforms, edge computing, and automation.

NGMN recognises that a number of industry organisations are currently working on different aspects of the topics described above. This NGMN initiative aims to facilitate a close alignment leading to the integration of results to form a common architectural view.

RF Cluster Connector Meeting

NGMN Working on Efficient 5G Deployment

NGMN executed a successful project meeting on 5G antenna deployment, bringing various experts from around the world together to discuss antenna deployment practices and challenges

IPR Forum Plenary Meeting

The NGMN IPR Forum held its latest plenary meeting in Sophia-Antipolis, kindly hosted by ETSI. The Plenary was organized as an open workshop allowing also non-partners of NGMN to participate in the exchange of views.

NGMN News

NGMN Alliance and ESOA Members Collaborate to Extend Rural Connectivity with Non-Terrestrial Networks

Frankfurt, Germany – The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance in collaboration with members of the EMEA Satellite Operators Association (ESOA) have progressed the development of Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTNs) as 3GPP enhances 5G to support non-terrestrial access in their Release 17 work programme.

Providing a convincing case for the implementation of NTN technology, the NGMN Alliance worked with key ESOA members to successfully demonstrate to 3GPP that space-based networks provide an effective alternative for network connection beyond traditional deployment methods, especially in rural areas. “It was a great achievement to make an impact on 3GPP’s decision to include NTN in the Release 17 work programme through the NGMN Alliance NTN positon paper, which demonstrates technological integration between terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks to significantly progress the extension of network coverage” said Sebastien Jeux (Orange), lead of NGMN project “Extreme Long Range Communication for Deep Rural Coverage”.

The paper highlights the requirement for mobile network operators (MNOs) to integrate space-based systems into their networks.

“We are proud to demonstrate the potential of the integration of terrestrial and NTNs to provide internet and mobile broadband services to users in harder to reach areas such as coastlines, forests, deserts and mountains.“ said Dr. Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “By 2025, we envision the full deployment of NTNs to meet the challenges of mobile network operators and vertical industries in terms of reachability, availability and resilience which will make a significant difference to the extension of 5G connectivity.” 

Integrating space-based systems with existing terrestrial networks enables mobile network operators to overcome the challenge of signal quality and roaming capabilities in underserved areas.

In the 5G world, terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks will further complement each other including utilizing integrated 5G direct satellite access to conventional smartphones in order to deliver superior coverage to users.

Several use cases were also identified for new satellite-based services in the absence of conventional cellular coverage. These go beyond rural broadband and vehicular connectivity to include geostationary orbit satellite (GEO) fixed Internet of Things (IoT) direct connectivity, which will aid farming, sensing, asset tracking and oil and gas vertical markets. Ultimately, the development will facilitate the movement towards advanced public safety and smart cities.

The paper further assesses reliability and efficiency with regards to the feasibility of service transmission between user equipment (Class 3 UE, Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) UE and IoT devices) and NTN platforms such as satellites – both GEO and non-geostationary (NGSO) – and high-altitude platforms (HAPs), concluding that NTNs can provide direct mobile broadband access.

NGMN will continue deeper NTN analysis based on the requirements of mobile network operators expressed in this White Paper, jointly with all industry stakeholders.

To read the full findings of the NTN Position paper, please click here.

NGMN News

Industrial 5G Growth Strengthened with NGMN and 5G-ACIA Agreement

Joint NGMN and 5G-ACIA Press Release

Frankfurt, Germany – the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) and the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) have today announced to jointly shape and promote industrial 5G applications.

The agreement comes as both NGMN and 5G-ACIA look to enhance cooperation between operators and industries to realize the opportunities that 5G technology offers. The partnership between NGMN and 5G-ACIA will provide the technological foundation for new business models that will unleash new markets and growth in the industry, extending far beyond the mobile broadband applications of 5G.

Dr. Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance, said: “This agreement is the foundation for extended progress and development of 5G for industrial applications. NGMN has already done substantial work in several of its projects, e.g. URLLC for Vertical Industries. The work of NGMN and 5G-ACIA enhances the mutual understanding of how 5G can better support the industry and we are looking forward to the close co-operation of these two major alliances to bring about significant progress.”

Dr. Andreas Mueller (Bosch), Chairman of 5G-ACIA, said: “We are very much looking forward to strengthening our collaboration with NGMN. Only with a joint effort involving all relevant stakeholders, will it be possible to unlock the huge potential that 5G may bring to the manufacturing industry. The agreement sets the ground for a deeper exchange between 5G-ACIA and NGMN and for joint activities around the globe. Industrial 5G will soon become reality.”

NGMN has driven and guided the development of wireless innovation in 5G since its first 5G White Paper was published in 2015. With the support of its well-established global partnership and technical expertise, NGMN has become a leading voice in the 5G industry.

Since its establishment in April 2018 as a working party of the ZVEI e.V., 5G-ACIA advocates globally to make industrial 5G a success. Very different 5G stakeholders, mainly organizations from the OT and ICT industries, jointly strive to make sure that the interests of the industrial domain are adequately considered in 5G standardization and regulation.

 

Continuous Delivery in telecommunication Network Environments

White Paper addresses Continuous Delivery in Telecommunication Network Environments

Using practical experience gained from Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom test and production environments, the NGMN White Paper presents a concept to tackle the so-called ‘air gap’ challenge.

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has today published its ‘Continuous Delivery in Telecommunication Network Environments’ White Paper, setting out concepts to tackle the ‘air gap’ challenge.

The telecommunications industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation to become more software-centric and cloud-based, paving the way towards a more agile service environment and higher operational automation. On the journey to DevOps, through applying practices such as Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), network operators at some point in time hit a challenge described in the White Paper as the ‘air gap’.

Caused by the fact that production networks are strictly segregated from test networks and development environment networks for security and operational reasons, this gap between CI automation in one network zone and deployment automations in other network zones hinders seamless CD automation. Solving the ‘air gap’ challenge is therefore an important step in the evolution towards true continuous deployment.

Using findings gained in recent projects, including DevOps practices from Deutsche Telekom (DT) and SK Telecom (SKT) including feedback from more than 25 NGMN Mobile Network Operators, the White Paper lays out the practical experience gained from automating the delivery chain for multiple applications, complemented by mapping the concept to a technology stack.

“This project has reinforced the importance of industry collaboration to expand and evolve telecommunications networks with a view to providing continuous deployment,” said Peter Meissner, CEO of NGMN. “Collaboration is key not just for NGMN but for the whole industry. To address the ‘air gap’ as well as other complex issues that operators face, stakeholders must combine skills, knowledge and resources to maintain advancements in the mobile ecosystem.”

“It is imperative that we move automation out of the advanced technology space and into production. As an industry, we must address the challenges that are hindering this progress,” said, Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer, Telekom Deutschland, Deutsche Telekom. “The concepts explored in this White Paper are gained from practical experience and are intended now for alignment in industry activities around service orchestration and automation. I therefore encourage all interested parties to read and provide feedback to the White Paper.”

“Our ongoing work to identify new solutions that address the air gap challenge will prove critical as the industry undergoes a revolution towards DevOps practices,” said Kangwon Lee, VP & Head of Cloud Labs, ICT R&D Center, SK Telecom. “The industry is moving towards increased operational automation and a more agile service environment, but the change is not just about the technology – it is also about culture and methodologies. This NGMN White Paper is a key stage in the process.”

The White Paper presents the following key aspects:

  • Outlines the target scenario for CD in telecommunication network environments
  • Identifies key concepts for a model-based and reusable solution
  • Examines various aspects of lifecycle management, putting CD into an even larger context

NGMN considers to initiate a project to further evolve the concept proposed in this White Paper jointly with industry stakeholders.

NGMN welcomes feedback from all interested parties on this White Paper and the evolution towards true continuous deployment.

To download the White Paper, click here.

NGMN and ESOA sign Co-operation Agreement

The EMEA Satellite Operators Associations (ESOA) and the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance have joined forces to strengthen their relationship and to foster a closer co-operation in the area of integration of satellite solutions in the 5G ecosystem.

This co-operation agreement brings together two widely recognised industry organisations in the field of 5G cellular and satellite networks, respectively. Conscious of the need to expand the benefits of connectivity to as many potential citizens as possible, NGMN and ESOA wish to explore synergies between satellite and terrestrial technologies. This will allow mobile and satellite operators to assess the benefits of new business models that will extend connectivity and potentially unleash new markets and growth for both sectors.“The NGMN project on Extreme Long-Range Communications for Deep Rural Coverage provides essential guidance in terms of end-to-end requirements for rural scenarios”, said Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “We are looking forward to a close co-operation with ESOA to jointly drive successful global development of the required 5G technology platform for the benefit of the whole industry. The integration of Non-Terrestrial Networks with greatly expanded reach can help operators to provide services to most or all of their territory.”Aarti Holla Maini, Secretary General of ESOA, stated: “The cooperation between NGMN and ESOA is an important step forward to working towards true universal 5G through a Network of Networks. 5G needs a genuine commitment to making cross-sector cooperation a success in order to really deliver a tangible difference over 4G/LTE and to extend connectivity overall. The cooperation will therefore exclusively focus on technologies, their real business impact and their potential interworking and integration.

NGMN News

NGMN Operators Joint Position on 5G Core Connectivity Options

5G Core Connectivity Options – Support of all 5G Core Connectivity options essential to fully explore the benefits of 5G core network

Frankfurt, Germany – the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance today highlights the importance of supporting all Core Connectivity options defined by 3GPP for connection of LTE & NR radio equipment to EPC (LTE Evolved Packet Core, used by 4G networks today) and the new 5G core network.NGMN operators expressing their strong opinion that all of the Core Connectivity options are essential to efficiently deliver services enabled by the 5G core network across operators’ LTE & NR radio network deployments and ensure seamless service continuity between these areas. It is therefore imperative that the complete 5G industry supports all of the specified options.3GPP has defined four possible configurations (known as options 2, 4, 5 & 7) for connecting to the new 5G core via LTE and/or NR radio access technologies. 3GPP has also defined one option for 5G radio networks to be supported using EPC, known as option 3.

Whilst options 2 and 3 have been well supported by the industry to date particularly in the context of initial 5G launches, NGMN operators also require support of options 4, 5 and 7 as they look to introduce 5G services across their networks.

For option 4, by aggregating LTE carriers to NR, operators can maximize capacity and make efficient use of existing LTE assets. Option 5 can offer advanced 5G core network supported service capabilities to LTE coverage areas and thus provide service continuity between LTE and NR. As to option 7, in addition to the advantages of option 5, operators can make use of the benefit of dual-connectivity by aggregating NR carriers to LTE.

3GPP have confirmed that all architecture options will be delivered in Release 15 specifications with options 4 & 7 to be delivered in ‘late drop’ scheduled in June 2019, while the other options are already completed.

A 5G core network offers substantial service benefits through native support of capabilities such as Network Slicing, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and uRLLC, with a new end-to-end QoS model. The 5G core network is also based on a modular Service Based Architecture providing a cloud-optimised framework for flexible service creation, automation, scalability and resilience.

With demand for radio performance improvements and industry uptake of wide area advanced 5G core network supported service capabilities, the mobile communications industry requires multiple connectivity options to meet the operator requirements.
Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, Chairman of the NGMN Board, Group CTO of Orange said: “NGMN operators strongly request the industry to promote, develop and implement Core Connectivity options 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 to support 5G deployments in different markets globally and to fully explore the advantages of the 5G core network.

NGMN News

5G future revealed as NGMN gathers leading global operators for briefing on industry use cases building on 5G

Earlier today, the NGMN Alliance successfully brought together key global operators to showcase unique 5G use cases beyond mobile broadband at its press and industry briefing at Mobile World Congress.

Barcelona, Spain – Taking place on the Deutsche Telekom stand with more than 150 attendees, NGMN welcomed speakers from AT&T, China Mobile, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom itself. Covering 4G and 5G campus network solutions in industrial and entertainment industries, smart energy, remote medical healthcare, factory automation and 5G powered maintenance for Industry 4.0, the briefing explored 5G expectations in key vertical industries and the next steps the industry needs to take to overcome key challenges.

“The 5G use cases beyond mobile broadband presented during the briefing have truly highlighted the impact of 5G on fundamental vertical industries,” said NGMN CEO Peter Meissner. “The presentations given by some of the industry’s leading operators have clearly shown the potential that 5G has to transform a variety of industries and the challenges that we must all now work on overcoming in the journey towards 5G.”

Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, Senior Vice President at Orange Labs Networks and Chairman of the NGMN Board, introduced the session by explaining the potential operator strategies of 5G introduction – starting with enhanced mobile broadband for consumers that seamlessly builds on current networks and then extending towards to the industry focused applications with URLLC ultra reliable low latency communications capabilities.

The use cases presented covered a broad range of applications:

  • Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, Senior Vice President at Orange Labs Networks, kicked off the session by revealing why immersive experience for Industry 4.0 needs 5G.
  • Igal Elbaz, Senior Vice President of Wireless Technology at AT&T, discussed the creation of a 5G zone at the Magic Leap campus in Florida, enabling developers and creators to test applications and devices on a 5G network as the product is being built.
  • Guangyi Liu, Wireless CTO of China Mobile Research Institute, China Mobile, explained how the unique capabilities of 5G technology will enable a different level of automation in energy networks.
  • Seizo Onoe, Chief Technology Architect at NTT DOCOMO and President of DOCOMO Technology, highlighted the medical healthcare trials with partners on 5G remote and mobile diagnosis.
  • Arash Ashouriha, Senior Vice President of Technology Architecture & Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, showcased the 4G and 5G campus network solutions available to industry customers, and the dual slice approach that integrates public and private LTE and 5G connectivity.
  • Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone Group R&D Director, closed the presentations by discussing the transformation of factory automation, with a focus on spectrum licensing.

Following the presentations NGMN welcomed questions from the audience which covered a variety of topics, including 5G security, network sharing, QoS of E2E architecture and the role of operators in private networks for vertical industries.

“The briefing reflects the NGMN board’s focus on the strategic priorities for the organisation going forward,” said Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon. “We look forward to continuing these crucial discussions together guiding the evolution of 5G technology.”

IPR Forum

NGMN paves the way for the development of 5G patent licensing practices across industry segments

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has jointly organised and executed a successful conference on Licensing Practices in 5G Industry Segments with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), bringing various experts from around the world together to discuss licensing practices and challenges of 5G.

 

Geneva, Switzerland – The conference featured moderators and speakers from some of the biggest names in telecoms, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Ericsson, Nokia and Microsoft. Also in attendance were key stakeholders of vertical industries, including Audi, Bosch, Panasonic and u-Blox, and patent pool administrators, namely Avanci, MPEG-LA, Sisvel and Via Licensing, who co-sponsored the event, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Japanese and the European Patent Offices, and the European Commission. Focusing on the development of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT), the conference facilitated sharing and discussing of present-day licensing practices and related issues across different industry segments.A host of insightful sessions took place igniting an inclusive exchange on:

  • Patent licensing practices with interactive discussions that focused on issues stakeholders need to be aware of.
  • Sharing licensors’, licensees’ and pool administrators’ requirements on patent pools/platforms.
  • Identifying proposed practices and conducts for licensors and licensees.
  • Listing requirements for increasing transparency and assessing essentiality of Standard Essential Patents declared to Standards Developing Organisations.

 

“It’s great to notice that our joint ITU-NGMN conference has been such a success,” said Dr. Peter Meissner, CEO of NGMN. “Obviously, the 5G Eco-System is different. New use cases beyond mobile broadband – like massive IoT as well as highly demanding requirements from vertical industries on low latency, ultra-high reliability and security – are causing substantial network transformations. All these challenges have implications on the intellectual property of mobile network operators and across the different industry segments. Conferences like this are key in identifying IPR issues and exploring solutions for the enlarged eco-system.”

 

On a related matter, NGMN will be hosting a Press & Industry Briefing on 5G use cases beyond mobile broadband on 26th February 2019, from 11am – noon at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. If you are interested in attending or speaking to an NGMN representative, please contact ngmn(at)proactive-pr.com.