Operators that wish to leverage their fixed networks to deliver on the promise of 5G will soon have new tools at their disposal.
Based on contributions from operators and vendors across the globe, and close collaboration with the 3GPP, the ‘5G Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) Architecture’ (TR-470) and ‘Access Gateway Function (AGF) Functional Requirements’ (TR-456) – two new standards from the Broadband Forum – build on previous 5G work to provide a practical roadmap to deliver 5G.
“When it comes to deploying 5G, all operators will have different starting points which means any transformation steps need to be independent and not require co-ordination,” said Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone Group Technology. “Deployment flexibility is also needed – and it is these challenges, and more, that TR-470 and TR-456 address.”
- TR-470 describes the 5G FMC architecture to provide a high-level guide for network architects and planners
- TR-456 describes the functional requirements of the AGF. The AGF resides between fixed access networks and the 5G core network to support 5G and wireline Residential Gateways, creating a truly converged deployment.
Alongside this, specifications for carrier grade Wi-Fi are in progress; while the Broadband Forum’s Device:2 root data model (TR-181), which is used by the User Services Platform (USP), is being extended to address 5G Residential Gateways.
The Broadband Forum’s Open Broadband – Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) and virtualization of the ONU management and control interface (OMCI) are also smoothing the way to software-driven cloud-based access networks, ensuring fixed networks can scale when faced with the unprecedented amounts of data that 5G will bring.
“The Broadband Forum’s latest specifications are key pieces of the jigsaw that must be created and completed to deliver on 5G – and we’re working with operators to define those pieces quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, together as an open collaborative effort – preventing fragmentation and misalignments between stakeholders,” commented Robin Mersh, CEO, Broadband Forum.
The Broadband Forum is the communications industry’s leading open standards development organisation focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development. It is an open, non-profit industry organisation composed of the industry’s leading broadband operators, vendors, and thought leaders. Its work to date has been the foundation for broadband’s global proliferation and innovation. For example, the Forum’s flagship TR-069 CPE WAN Management Protocol now has nearly 1 billion installations worldwide.
The Broadband Forum’s projects span across 5G, Connected Home, Cloud and Access. Its working groups collaborate to define best practices for global networks, enable new revenue-generating services and content delivery, establish technology migration strategies, and engineer critical device, service & development management tools in the home and business IP networking infrastructure. It develops multi-service broadband packet networking specifications addressing architecture, device and service management, software data models, interoperability and certification in the broadband market.