Category: NGMN News

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.

NGMN News

NGMN & Wireless Broadband Alliance join forces to address RAN convergence opportunities

Call for combined 5G and Wi-Fi network resources to address opportunities and use casesLondon, Frankfurt – NGMN and Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) have published the first results of their collaboration to drive the convergence of multi-technology RANs and core networks. The joint report identifies a number of emerging opportunities and use cases that the industry can benefit from through the convergence of 3GPP’s 5G and Wi-Fi, driven by the ever-enhancing capabilities of licenced and unlicensed technologies. It also highlights the key challenges, which must first be addressed in order to realise convergence over 3GPP Access and Wi-Fi – including tighter integration of Wi-Fi access in 5G networks, network manageability and policy control, and the enablement of Wi-Fi-only devices.

The convergence opportunity
Wi-Fi and cellular ecosystems have traditionally followed their own development paths. The latest versions of each technology have greatly enhanced capability compared with early offerings, with Wi-Fi 6 and 3GPP’s 5G, encompassing New Radio (NR) and LTE from Release 15 onwards, as well as the 3GPP 5G Core. However, as society increasingly depends on fast reliable data connectivity, NGMN and WBA believe an important capability for the industry is the convergence at a network level between 5G and Wi-Fi, so that the unique and complementary capabilities of both RANs can be leveraged to provide seamless network services. Bearing in mind that a significant amount of data traffic from smartphones use a Wi-Fi access, this will lead to a better user experience and create new business opportunities for both Wi-Fi and cellular providers.

New resource requirements
The report identifies a number of use cases and verticals that may require combined resources from both 5G and Wi-Fi networks in providing cost effective solutions that meet diverse sets of requirements on throughput, latency, connection density, coverage, availability and reliability. For example, enterprise services on cellular networks, and in particular, those that the 5G Core enables, may require a new look at the use of an access neutral mechanism for a number of reasons. These include gaps in coverage, the proliferation of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi deployments, and potential for multi-site enterprise environments.
“Convergence of 5G and Wi-Fi can potentially bring major benefits to cellular operators, enterprise Wi-Fi and public Wi-Fi solution providers, giving access to 5G and enterprise services from both Wi-Fi and 5G access networks.” said Dr. Peter Meissner, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “However, in order to realise service and network convergence, we have worked with the WBA to identify a number of requirements that must first be satisfied. This is particularly true in the enterprise and Public Wi-Fi space, where there is a demand from cellular operators for a standardised solution for improved visibility and control in the configuration and management of Wi-Fi access networks.”

5G/Wi-Fi Interworking
A number of industry developments and specifications address the interworking of 5G and Wi-Fi from a technical standpoint:

  • 3GPP has already developed specifications to ensure tight integration of 3GPP and non-3GPP radio technologies, such as Wi-Fi. In order to better serve customers and provide the full 5G experience the tight integration of non-3GPP technologies needs to be ensured also within the 5G Core Network. Solutions enabling some of these objectives have already been adopted by 3GPP and Wi-Fi 6, such as the EAP authentication framework similar to Wi-Fi, to accommodate different wireless service subscription-types (e.g. mobile, wireless or fixed broadband) and their native authentication methods.
  • 3GPP Release 15 provides some support for interworking between 5G and Wi-Fi. In particular, 3GPP Release 15 provides support for untrusted non-3GPP access (such as Wi-Fi) to the 5G core via Non-3GPP Interworking Function (N3IWF), with secure transport of Control-Plane/User-Plane (CP/UP) messages over an IKEv2/IPSec tunnels between the terminal devices and the N3IWF.
  • 3GPP Release 16 is continuing the work by enhancing capabilities for Wi-Fi integration, including trusted Wi-Fi support and access traffic steering, switching and splitting.

However, challenges and needs remain – including the enablement of Wi-Fi only devices to connect to the 5G core, further study to ensure the tight integration between 5G and Wi-Fi networks, an interface to enable certain level of network manageability and policy control between 5G core and Wi-Fi networks, and the ability of a client to route traffic over one or more accesses, making optimal use of the available connectivity. As a next step, the WBA and NGMN are undergoing further study on these challenges in order to uncover potential solutions. This will culminate in the recommendation of a future strategy for Converged RAN deployment, ensuring the best user experience making use of both Wi-Fi and Cellular access.

Tiago Rodrigues, General Manager of WBA said: “Wi-Fi 6 introduces new capabilities for carriers, cities and enterprises to cost effectively provide additional coverage and capacity, mainly indoor, to address the 5G use case requirements. Now it’s time to fully capitalize on these capabilities by delivering a clear strategic path for converged RAN deployments. This is a priority. We will continue to work closely with NGMN and its members to review, develop and test potential solutions, as identified in our recent 5G White Paper.”

To download the RAN Convergence Interim White Paper, click here
For more information or to get involved, contact the NGMN Programme Management Office: office@ngmn.org

Interview Telus

TELUS about covering 80% of Canada with fibre

Interview with Tony Gehran, Chief Customer Officer, at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018
Transforming the network and customer experience in Canada
Interview Interdigital

5G Moving to cloud-native systems

Interview with Dirk Trossen, Interdigital, at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018
Dirk Trossen on software-based networking for delivering 5G services
Interview Telecom Italia

Telecom Italia’s role in 5G

Interview with Andrea Calvi, Head of Technology Evolution & Innovation at TIM, at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018

New NGMN Board member Andrea Calvi on Telecom Italia making Turin the first 5G-enabled city in Italy.

Telecom Italia’s role in 5G from NGMN Office on Vimeo.

Interview Huber+Suhner

Huber + Suhner at the NGMN Industry Conference

Interview with Gianna Terrenghi, Market Unit Manager Communications, at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018

New NGMN Partner Huber+Suhner on reasons for joining the NGMN Alliance.

Huber + Suhner at the NGMN Industry Conference from NGMN Office on Vimeo.

Interview Ericsson

Ericsson on lowering cost per bit with 5G

Interview with Thomas Noren, head of 5G commercialization at Ericsson, at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018

Thomas Noren explains that with the introduction of 5G for first time operators can reuse investments in infrastructure and spectrum they made in 4G.

Ericsson on lowering cost per bit with 5G from NGMN Office on Vimeo.

Interview Bell

Bell Canada at the NGMN Industry Conference

Interview with Javan Erfanian from Bell Canada on Communication beyond 5G at the NGMN Industry Conference & Exhibition 2018

Bell Canada’s strong backbone is important for 5G rollout and making applications like 5G for agriculture, smart cities or fibre-like connections possible.

Bell Canada at the NGMN Industry Conference from NGMN Office on Vimeo.