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NGMN Alliance Publishes Second 5G White Paper

Frankfurt, Germany – The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance published its second 5G White Paper and has launched further projects based on its conclusions.

After the highly recognised NGMN 5G White Paper published in 2015, the NGMN Alliance followed up with another leading message to the mobile industry demonstrating how NGMN continues to drive the ecosystem forward.

Whilst initial 5G services have been launched, there is much more underway to realise the full potential of 5G. The NGMN White Paper lays out how 5G is expected to increasingly enable new business models and many new use cases, and gives its recommendation on how to realise the full benefits of virtualisation, cloud, edge computing and more.

One of the obvious conclusions is, that the industry must avoid fragmentation by adopting global standards with open, interoperable interfaces and application programming interfaces, thereby delivering the promise of agility and scalability.

Some of the key elements the 5G White Paper 2 highlights are:

  • A common Operator platform architecture is desired in order to allow edge computing to be used on a global scale.
  • Mobile Network Operators are uniquely placed to provide a fully integrated solution for Verticals that encompasses networks, clouds and platforms, with dynamic customisation, partnerships, end-to-end management, carrier-grade security and efficient spectrum use. Mobile Network Operators and Verticals should increase their engagement to develop meaningful, mutually-beneficial partnerships and business models in order to fully deliver the 5G potential.
  • Increased focus needs to be given to further improving energy efficiency, sustainability, social wellbeing, trust, and to digital inclusion.

Drawing on some of the challenges and actions identified in the White Paper, the NGMN Alliance recently launched two projects: Future Networks Cloud Native Platform, to create a holistic view on how network cloudification should be exploited, and Future Green Networks, to drive energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction.

Nick Sampson, Director, Wireless Access and Core Network Standardisation, Orange, and co-editor of the White Paper, mentions: “Building on NGMN’s first 5G White Paper, this document emphasises key actions to support the continuing delivery of the 5G promise, in terms of enabling new business models and opportunities, and achieving the required agility to meet a myriad of requirements from existing and new users.”

Javan Erfanian, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Bell Canada, and co-editor of this White Paper indicates: “Following our 5G launch, we are pleased to continue working with the global industry and the entire ecosystem to drive and realise the full 5G vision for the benefit of all our customers. The NGMN White Paper 2 targets the next phase in this journey both to outline key requirements and success factors, including the new and extended value created and delivered by the mobile network operators working together with a broad partner ecosystem.”

“The 5G White Paper 2 provides a guideline for the 5G evolution with new visions, new use cases and new challenges. Engagement with Verticals is identified and highlighted to fully realise the NGMN’s 5G vision. This document further describes the unique and expanded role of the mobile network operator as a network and services provider. It is worthy of being the reference for producing 5G specifications and promoting the 5G ecosystem,” says Nan Hu, Lead Researcher and Manager of 5G Standardisation, China Mobile Research Institute, China Mobile, and third co-editor of the White Paper.

Anita Döhler, CEO, NGMN, points out: “The NGMN White Paper 2 describes the 5G objective of enabling and contributing to prosperity and productivity with significant energy and resource efficiency, sustainability, social wellbeing, trust and inclusion and promotes the engagement with the wider ecosystem to fully address the 5G outreach.  I would like to thank everyone who worked on this position paper, which is a very valuable asset for the overall industry. As stated above, our White Paper kicked off several new activities already. This is an exciting time to be joining the NGMN Alliance and I look forward to continuing on the journey to 5G success and beyond.”

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Autonomic Framework for 5G and Beyond

Sebastian Thalanany
by Sebastian Thalanany
U. S. Cellular

Context and Challenge

Virtualization, combined with a decoupling of the control plane and the user plane, together with a plurality of access networks, and disaggregated radio networks with assorted capacities and coverage footprints, provides unprecedented levels of customization and flexibility for the Network Service Provider, for the deployment of a 5G and future systems. These directions in turn demand correspondingly higher levels of distributed computing, storage, and networking capabilities to augment the service experience and quality for a human or a machine interface.

Beyond this ever increasing demand for enhancing the computing, storage, and networking capabilities of next generation wireless access systems, while satisfying the constraints of smaller, faster, and cheaper, there is a critical system-wide requirement that must be met for satisfying a rich and diverse service paradigm. This critical system-wide requirement is the management of complexity, across interconnected and interdependent constituents of a system operating within a given environmental context of humans and machines. While decentralization and distribution, together with appropriate levels of localized computing, storage, and networking resources, provide enhancements in terms of system and service related KPIs and the quality of service experience, the pivotal challenge is to effectively and efficiently manage complexity associated with increasing levels of system-wide interdependence and interconnectedness involving humans and machines.

The management of exponentially increasing levels of system-wide interdependence and interconnectedness, in terms of configuration, administration, operation, fault isolation, security, privacy, performance, optimization, availability, reliability and service experience, demands a dynamic, rapid, adaptive, and agile system-wide decision-making scheme. Such a scheme exceeds the human response limits, and piecewise automation strategies, associated with traditional system management.

Inspiration

With these unprecedented emerging challenges, a scheme for the management of system-wide complexity is inspired by the human autonomic nervous system, which maintains a dynamic system-wide awareness and regulation, by embedding self-managing entities distributed throughout the physiological and psychological system. As one example, among a myriad of complex scenarios, the autonomic nervous system balances the heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure for sustaining life. In another example, the complex feedback loops, between the brain as a controller and its widespread interconnections with self-managing entities (e.g. organs, glands, muscles etc.), maintain system-wide harmony automatically, without any conscious intervention.

Relevance and Applicability

The self-governance principles embodied in the autonomic nervous system reveal essential characteristics realized in terms of an end-to-end autonomic framework for 5G and future systems. The autonomic principles of self-management and governance are particularly relevant for managing the growing complexity associated with high-levels of distribution and decentralization in terms of computing, storage, and networking resources. Virtualization enables these resources to be arranged in flexible deployment specific modalities, consisting of a core network, assorted radio access networks, and spectrum, together with human and machine type interfaces (e.g. handhelds, actuators, sensors, wearables, customer premise equipment etc.). At the same time, the computing, storage and networking resources are likely to owned and operated by a federation of distributed entities that are enabled to cooperate and collaborate for rendering a customizable service paradigm.

An end-to-end autonomic framework consists of embedded self-managing capabilities, distributed across the entire 5G and beyond infrastructure. This capability provides a dynamic system-wide awareness and self-governance, which obviates the need for human intervention from an operational perspective. The autonomic framework realizes this significant benefit by dynamically and adaptively adjusting to system-wide environment changes (e.g. traffic patterns, capacity, coverage, software, new service integration, fault prediction, fault mitigation, fault isolation, security threats, privacy safeguards, energy conservation etc.), while optimizing system-wide behavior, performance, and service experience. The embedded self-managing characteristics of an end-to-end autonomic framework are delineated in terms of self-Configuration, self-Healing, self-Optimizing, and self-Protection attributes[1]. These cognitive attributes embedded within cooperating entities, pave an evolutionary path to a zero-touch (no human intervention) automation of operations on a system-wide basis, well-beyond the limits of automation afforded by just a collection of self-managed entities.

Reference

  1. ETSI, “Autonomic network engineering for the self-managing Future Internet (AFI); Generic Autonomic Network Architecture”, GS AFI 002 V1.1.1, April 2013
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.