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The Linux Foundation and NGMN Collaborate on End-to-End 5G and Beyond

Frankfurt, Germany, May 10, 2021: The Linux Foundation and the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN), today announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for formal collaboration regarding end-to-end 5G and beyond.

NGMN’s mission is to provide impactful industry guidance to achieve innovative and affordable mobile telecommunication services for the end user, placing a particular focus on Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Sustainability and Green Future Networks, as well as on 6G and the continuous support of 5G’s full implementation.
This mission is complementary to the efforts of the Linux Foundation’s LF Networking and LF Edge umbrella projects, as well as others like LF Energy operating within the telecom, IoT, and networking spaces.

Creating and providing open, scalable building blocks for operators and service providers is critical to the industry adoption of 5G and beyond. Therefore, the collaboration between NGMN and the Linux Foundation will focus on end-to-end 5G architecture and beyond 5G. Specific areas of alignment may include sustainability, network automation and network autonomy based on Artificial Intelligence, security, edge cloud, virtualization, disaggregation, cloud native, and service-based architecture, to name a few.

“We very much look forward to a mutually inspiring and beneficial collaboration with The Linux Foundation. Open Source is gaining increasing relevance for the strategic topics of our Work Programmes such as Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Green Future Networks and 6G. We are delighted to partner with The Linux Foundation to jointly drive our mission for the benefit of the global ecosystem”, said Anita Doehler, CEO, NGMN Alliance.

“We are thrilled to be aligning with such an innovative, industry-leading organization,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “Integrating NGMN’s expertise across pivotal areas like Disaggregation, Green Future Networks, cloud native, automation, and early work on 6G into LF Networking’s 5G Super Blueprint initiative is a natural next step for the industry.”

The Linux Foundation’s vision of harmonizing open source software with open standards has been in effect for several years, including collaborations with ETSI, TMF, MEF, GSMA, the O-RAN Alliance, and more. NGMN also maintains longstanding co-operations with all of these organisations. The alignment between The Linux Foundation and NGMN represents the latest in a long-standing effort to integrate open source and open standards across the industry.

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NGMN Urges ICT Companies to Tackle Climate Change
ICT Companies should align investments with a 1.5°C trajectory in line with ITU L.1470

Frankfurt, Germany, April 26, 2021: The Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance is set to align the mobile communication sector with its entire supply chain – from component manufacturers to service providers – to address sustainability challenges faced by the ICT sector. Its Green Future Networks project, launched in November 2020, is the first NGMN initiative to provide detailed guidance regarding the environmental impacts of the ICT sector’s network part.

NGMN urges all ICT companies to align investments with a 1.5°C trajectory in line with ITU L.1470. This includes roadmaps for the full ICT value chain i.e. for mobile and fixed networks, as well as for data centers, user devices and enterprise networks. In addition, NGMN will develop requirements and call for actions to support achieving the 1.5°C trajectory, thus helping the full ecosystem to better identify their options and priorities. All these levers will help to make the ICT sector more aligned with the principles of a circular economy. More than 20 NGMN companies including mobile network operators, vendors, service providers and research institutions already contribute with their efforts to a number of different and innovative topics such as critical raw materials usage, a method on circular economy scoring or the use of lean packaging.

“Orange has been pushing for network energy efficiency for years, and we are very proud of the outcome that 5G can deliver in achieving a more energy efficient design. We are very excited to be involved in the NGMN initiative. We are convinced that it will have a definite contribution to making future mobile networks more sustainable, reducing their environmental impact despite the expected growth in usage”, claims Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon, Senior Vice President at Orange Labs Networks.

Prof. Mischa Dohler, Chair Professor at King’s College London, adds: “King’s College London actively supports the UN SDGs – through research, industrial collaboration and societal outreach. We are excited to be part of such an important initiative by NGMN. We are certain that this initiative will impact the telco industry for many years to come.”

Interested industry players are invited to join NGMN in this important initiative.

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Pre-Commercial Networks Trials Major Conclusions V2

As a part of NGMN 5G Trial and Testing Initiative (TTI) project, NGMN operators shared their initial 5G trial results.

The Pre-commercial network trials phase of 5G TTI aims to consolidate the results from different operators and reach some major conclusions.This document focuses on the performing trials phase. The main purpose is to assess and benchmark the performance of the 3GPP compliant 5G NR (release 15) in live field conditions with pre-commercial equipment.

 

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NGMN Claims Pole Position in Disaggregation Operating Model, Green Networks and 6G

Frankfurt, Germany: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance announces its new strategy and claims pole position in addressing the key major Operator & Ecosystem challenges in the coming years.

As an operator driven organisation, NGMN is in a unique position to provide value, guidance and leadership to its members and the whole ecosystem in:

  • Mastering the route to Disaggregation
  • Sustainability / Green Future Networks
  • 6G

Anita Doehler, CEO NGMN, says: “Operators are facing challenges on their route to disaggregation, cloudification and softwarization. One burning topic in this area is the design and execution of effective new E2E operating models. Green Future Networks is another highly important topic the industry ecosystem needs to jointly approach. In addition, early work on 6G has started. Therefore, we have streamlined our Work Programme to focus on these three extremely relevant topics to deliver significant impact in 2021 and beyond. At the same time, we remain committed to further support 5G’s full implementation.”

Mastering the Route to Disaggregation

For mastering disaggregated, cloud- and software-based networks, Mobile Network Operators need to start preparing now for future-proof operating models that are built on the orchestration of powerful ecosystems of solution partners, openness and flexibility to integrate new partners and technologies, highly diverse set of skills and capabilities to drive value and efficiency. NGMN’s new Work Programme will thus focus on the end-to-end operating model, considering, amongst other, the following key aspects: processes, technology, tools and skill requirements. NGMN will provide blueprints as well as relevant guidance towards the industry players and lay out roles and opportunities provided by disaggregation. The initiative aims to shorten time to market and to provide support in the selection and deployment of efficient operating models by Mobile Network Operators.

Providing Impactful Guidance for Green Future Networks

The application of various techniques to improve network energy performance is one fundamental objective for Mobile Network Operators since the number of users, connected devices and general usage continue to grow. The ICT network consumes the most energy in the content delivery process and electricity represents our principal source of greenhouse gas emissions. An additional objective is waste reduction, amongst other enabled by the eco-design of products and equipment. To tackle such important topics, this well-established NGMN project focuses on four major aspects: end-to-end services footprint, eco design, network energy efficiency and on-board metering. Consolidating a common view amongst operators and collaborating with equipment vendors and other industry players enables NGMN to provide a significant industry contribution in achieving UN and GSMA sustainability goals. NGMN plans to release frequent impactful guidance on sustainability to the ecosystem.

 Driving Successful Implementation of 6G

Work focusing on beyond 5G has already started worldwide. The NGMN Alliance strongly believes that societal and operational requirements need to be considered in the development of a new generation. Operators are in a unique position to engage with end users, including vertical industries as well as user groups representing societal needs. The NGMN Alliance is determined to provide early and timely direction for global 6G activities. Its 6G Work Programme currently focuses on vision and drivers, including societal and operational aspects for 6G. This will be followed by use cases and end-to-end system requirements. Actively engaging with different stakeholders and facilitating multilateral cooperation with the wider ecosystem at the right time will support in developing a meaningful vision and drive a successful implementation of 6G in the future. NGMN plans to publish the first version of its “6G Vision & Drivers” White Paper around the end of Q1 of 2021.

Interested industry players are invited to join NGMN in these important initiatives.

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NGMN Alliance seeks the rapid development of Option 4 as complement to 5G Standalone

Frankfurt, Germany: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance releases its latest Operator Position Statement paper urging the development finalization of 5G architecture “Option 4” to support the full realisation of 5G. Its Option 4 recommendation will help many networks to bring new 5G-based services quickly and efficiently to market whilst also providing a future-proof evolution that maintains competitive user data rates for 5G users.

A migration to 5G Standalone is an important evolutionary step for 5G with the introduction of a new 5G core network and the transfer of the master radio interface technology from LTE to New Radio (NR) technology. To ensure the most cost and spectrum efficient use of the network which maximises the full 5G advantages, advanced 5G users should be able to connect in parallel via both NR and existing LTE technology. Otherwise new 5G Standalone users will sometimes receive lower data rates than existing Non-Standalone 5G and LTE-only users.

“Development completion of Option 4 is urgently needed to enable all operators to invest in a new 5G core network without compromising user data rate performance,” said Arash Ashouriha, Chairman of the NGMN Alliance. “Advanced 5G users using 5G Standalone should be able to access LTE on top of NR for a seamless service experience”.

NGMN concludes that Option 4 supporting a 5G core and dual connectivity with NR acting as a master is required so that baseline 5G NR radio performance can be enhanced through the use of LTE on top. 5G Standalone users can then access both NR and LTE spectrum in the lower frequency bands supporting wider coverage when it is beneficial to do so.

Raimund Walsdorf, Technology Architecture & Innovation Access & Home Networks, Deutsche Telekom and NGMN project lead said: “Option 4 development will support many network operators planning an initial 5G Standalone service launch today or a more widespread launch in the future. This option benefits operators to more efficiently migrate spectrum from LTE to NR, while also relaxing the pressure on operators to refarm from LTE to NR as long as spectrum remains dedicated to LTE”.

Anita Döhler, CEO, NGMN Alliance added: “NGMN is committed to support an efficient introduction of 5G Standalone (SA) networks to help the industry to deliver on the performance promise of 5G to end-users. Availability of Option 4 in addition to other options will help to better meet end-user demands in years to come.”

The white paper is a result of an ongoing NGMN project which aims to conduct a trial of Option 4 in 2021. This will encourage Option 4 development within the 5G ecosystem with the aim that 5G Standalone can be introduced in all networks in a timely manner. The support of network and terminal suppliers is sought to progress the trial.

The full White Paper titled, Option 4 as a 5G SA complement White Paper can be found here.

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Option 4 as a 5G SA Complement

With this Operator Position Statement paper NGMN is urging the development finalization of 5G architecture “Option 4” to support the full realisation of 5G.

NGMN concludes in this document that Option 4 supporting a 5G core and dual connectivity with NR acting as a master is required so that baseline 5G NR radio performance can be enhanced through the use of LTE on top. 5G Standalone users can then access both NR and LTE spectrum in the lower frequency bands supporting wider coverage when it is beneficial to do so.

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5G Smart Devices Supporting Network Slicing

The 5G network system can provide on-demand network slices to satisfy different service requirements. However, how to create traffic connection for network slicing in 5G devices internally is still a technical gap. The design of Network Slicing function in 5G devices has to rely on 5G devices operation system as well as the traffic descriptors of the service between the upper layer and the modem, which results in that the current 5G devices does not support the use of network slicing. Therefore, the fundamental purpose of this document is to provide the reference design of network slicing solution in the 5G devices.

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NGMN and O-RAN ALLIANCE Sign Co-operation Agreement

Frankfurt, Germany – Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance and the O-RAN ALLIANCE have announced to strengthen their relationship and to foster a closer co-operation in the area of Radio Access Network (RAN) decomposition of 4G and 5G networks.

The newly signed co-operation agreement brings together two widely recognised industry organisations in the field of open and standardised 5G networks. NGMN and the O-RAN ALLIANCE aim to enable and to support the timely and successful delivery of 5G-based communication solutions for acceleration and adoption of open and intelligent RAN networks to the market with a global open ecosystem. Starting today, both parties intend to achieve this by initially working together in activities related to transport for disaggregated RAN architectures, eventually expanding the collaboration to other areas.

“NGMN and the O-RAN ALLIANCE share the mission to support the standardisation of 5G interoperable networks”, said Anita Doehler, CEO of the NGMN Alliance. “We are looking forward to a close co-operation with the O-RAN ALLIANCE and to exchange our views on the RAN decomposition for 5G networks, in particular the various RAN functional splits and the transport requirements to support the various deployment options. As a wide number of industry activities are related to this subject, we also look to encourage industry alignment.”

“Since its formation in 2018, the O-RAN ALLIANCE has successfully delivered new standards for an open and intelligent RAN,” said Alex Choi, COO of the O-RAN ALLIANCE and SVP Technology Strategy & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “As the transport is the glue that connects radio sites, edge data centres and centralised clouds in a disaggregated RAN architecture, significant effort is required to design and define a robust and scalable transport to meet stringent requirements of future networks. We look forward to working with NGMN to achieve this and we encourage industry alignment.”

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NGMN Alliance Publishes Final Deliverable on 5G Architecture Framework

Frankfurt, Germany – Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance has announced the latest requirements for a 5G End-to-End (E2E) Architecture Framework. It aims to advance the 5G ecosystem to enable heterogenous access, virtualisation, autonomic capabilities, forward-looking service enablers, and emerging usage scenarios that support 5G’s full potential. The content of this publication builds on the architectural concepts and directions described in the first NGMN 5G White Paper, and further related NGMN publications.

“This is an important development and another step in our efforts to support SDO’s in standardizing 5G technologies. NGMN encourages the development of interoperable and market enabling specifications, which will ultimately allow for realisation of emerging use case scenarios,” stated Sebastian Thalanany, UScellular, and NGMN project lead of the 5G E2E Architecture Framework project.

Essential to an evolving 5G ecosystem, the latest requirements from NGMN describe the next steps needed to advance forward-looking technologies and use cases that will enable network service providers to offer new capabilities and enhance the customer experience. With many new 5G use cases to deliver, diverse service deployment from an end-to-end perspective is a challenge. NGMN addresses this by looking at agile service deployment as one of the objectives of a cognitive Platform as a Service, with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning data models.

This White Paper outlines the requirements in terms of entities and functions that characterise the capabilities of an E2E framework. Architectural perspectives and considerations underscore the definition of the E2E framework requirements. This goes in hand with the service categories – Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive Internet of Things and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications – envisioned for 5G.

Furthermore, the document analyses in detail autonomic networking, which provides a scalable, customisable, and self-organizing model for system-wide automation. Here, virtualisation and programmability are adopted in an end-to-end manner. Self-organization is an integral aspect of autonomic networking for automation that dynamically learns and adapts to changing conditions in the system and its environment, while satisfying service KPIs and the quality of service experience.

“This is another important milestone for NGMN to enable the 5G ecosystem to deliver on its promise and demonstrates the excellence of our Partnership,” commented Anita Döhler, CEO NGMN Alliance.

The published results of its 5G End-to-End (E2E) Architecture Framework project can be found on the NGMN website.

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5G End-to-End Architecture Framework v4.31

This document delineates the requirements in terms of entities and functions that characterise the capabilities of an E2E (end-to-end) framework. Architectural perspectives and considerations associated with the service categories – eMBB, mIoT, URLLC – envisioned for 5G (Fifth Generation) underscore the delineation of the E2E framework requirements. These requirements are intended as guidance in the development of interoperable and market enabling specifications for a continuing advancement of the 5G ecosystem of heterogenous access, virtualization, autonomic capabilities, forward-looking service enablers, and emerging usage scenarios.