NGMN is Leading the Way to a Healthy 5G Ecosystem - 5G Trial and Testing Initiative
Frankfurt, Germany, 14th November 2017
The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance that has been shaping the industry of wireless communication for the past 12 years is determined to drive the industry towards a healthy 5G ecosystem. This year’s NGMN Forum, which took place on 25th -26th , October 2017 in Seattle/US, demonstrated an encouraging convergence of the 5G technology, enabled by a strong spirit of co-operation of all NGMN Partners.
Among the many projects reported by NGMN, the 5G Trial and Testing Initiative (5G TTI) attracted particularly broad attention. Since the approval of this project by the NGMN Board in June 2016, operators, vendors and researchers have been working together hand in hand on a framework in accordance with the 3GPP work schedule, to guide the technology from standard to market. Leveraging on the experience from the 4G development, the 5G TTI has the single goal of facilitating the maturity of the technology and assuring an early interoperability of the products. Given the significance of this initiative to the availability of the technology and the time-to-market, the project team has adopted a systematic and pragmatic approach, to address the following four important aspects relevant to 5G, carried out as four work streams:
Test of Technology Building Blocks (TTBB)
This is the initiation phase and it frames the scope and selection of technologies being tested by the TTI. In a joint effort, the project has defined 16 candidate technical building blocks eligible to 3GPP 5G phase 1 standard. This project stream is meanwhile successfully completed and the result is available as an NGMN deliverable at www.ngmn.org.
Having accomplished the building blocks, the project team moves on to work on the following three important topics:
Proof of Concept
This aims at an early assessment of future standard based technologies. 13 test cases in two categories have been defined so far. The two categories are: Functional/architectural proof points, including massive MIMO, RAN functional split, network slicing, etc., and the key performance indicators (KPI) for system data rates, latencies, mobility, etc.. These test cases will be used soon by NGMN Partners who will share their testing reports.
Pre-Commercial Network Trial
The TTI will demonstrate in this work stream the 5G capabilities and advantages in a field trial, to better prepare the industry for a successful launch of the commercial 5G network. The team will deliver the “Trial Framework Definition” reference document in the coming weeks, which comprises a description of the network domains under test, related test setups, detailed definitions of testing procedures and the success thresholds for each KPI. It is expected that, once 3GPP standard compatible equipment and software are available, the operators will set-up their own trial network, perform tests according to the framework and share their results/reports on 5G End-to-End performances.
Standardised technology is usually evaluated by performance and interoperability. Interoperable equipment and device are foundations for interoperable networks and services. This work stream has the purpose of testing the interoperability of the early standard compatible products/prototypes, so that possible problems can be identified, solutions be found and standards be improved. Achievement of the interoperability will not only benefit NGMN’s vendor partners, but ultimately also all mobile network operators, because testing key interfaces will ensure the global interworking between equipment/devices from different manufacturers.
The importance of this initiative is adequately characterized by the TTI project leader Philippe Besson (Orange) in the following statement:
"The NGMN 5G Trial and Testing Initiative demonstrates the capacity of NGMN to prepare the wireless industry for an efficient, successful, and in-time 5G technology and service introduction as well as for the development of globally aligned 5G technology and service solutions that are promoting new business opportunities."
In fact, results achieved up to this point have already started to impact 5G services scheduled for February 2018, as the TTBB project leader YongGyoo Lee (KT) pointed out:
"The TTBB team successfully identified a set of technical features that the operator members of NGMN prefer to introduce in the initial phase of 5G service introduction, together with the preliminary test results. The TTBB report will present a guideline to the NGMN community and other external bodies like 3GPP by enhancing the understanding on key technical building blocks of 5G and their characteristics so that it will eventually contribute to taking the 5G development closer to reality in the near future."
In his message to the participants of the Forum, Peter Meissner, CEO NGMN Alliance, said:
"The 5G Trial and Testing Initiative, as one of the NGMN flagship projects, has received unprecedented NGMN support around the globe by 19 operators and 24 vendors. It is a prominent example for the co-operative and mutually beneficial environment enabled by NGMN for the wireless industry, paving the way to an evolutionary and interoperable 5G".
2nd Joint NGMN-ITU Workshop "Open Source and Standards – the Path Towards 5G and the Internet of Things”
Following the success of last year’s event, the 2nd workshop "Open Source and Standards – The Path Towards 5G and the Internet of Things”, jointly organized by NGMN and the ITU, took place on 1 November 2017 in Bellevue (Seattle), Washington, USA. The workshop was kindly hosted by Microsoft and co-organized by the IPR Plenary of the NGMN Alliance and the International Telecommunication Union.
Bringing together key representatives of a wide range of industry, including standards bodies, open source communities and academia, the discussions focused on how best standard-setting organizations and open source communities can capitalize upon each other’s deliverables and expertise for building a consistent and coherent 5G eco-system. With more than 100 participants, the workshop discussed how diverse stakeholders can rely on the respective strengths and development models to place a broad range of industries in a strong position to achieve the common vision for 5G and beyond.
The NGMN Alliance co-sponsored, welcomed and appreciated this second Joint Workshop on Open Source and Standards as a place where the views and experiences of the Open Source Communities, the Standards Development Organisations and the broad ICT Industry have been shared and discussed in an interactive, open and animating atmosphere.
Serge Raes, Chairman of the NGMN IPR Plenary: “To the NGMN Alliance, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues are very important to anticipate as they can harm the entire eco-system. Like frequency spectrum, IPR are one key element on the path towards 5G. The workshop clearly demonstrated how fast the developments in Open Source are and how these developments are implemented in the mobile as well as in other vertical industries.”
The documents of the 2nd Workshop can be downloaded at the following links.
Meet NGMN at Mobile World Congress 2018
NGMN looks forward to seeing you at Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona, Spain, 26th February - 1st March, 2018 .
To schedule a meeting with us, please contact the NGMN Office.
NGMN Press and Industry Briefing at Mobile World Congress 2018 on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018
Please make sure you join the NGMN Press and Industry Briefing on Tuesday, 27th February, 2018 from 11am - noon at the Deutsche Telekom booth - hall 3 booth 3M31.
In the last months, considerable progress has been made in 5G definition and standardisation. NGMN Board Members will update you on the status of the NGMN work programme, the status of standardisation and the status of 5G trials & testing activities.
The panel discussion during the press and industry briefing will be chaired by the NGMN Board Chairman Johan Wibergh (Vodafone). CTO's from leading mobile operators will reveal to the audience key activities of the NGMN work programme in 2018 and outline guidelines to reach our envisaged 5G service and performance objectives.