Underlying 5G tech including network slicing, virtualized RAN and end-to-end network slicing including included in TIP working groups
Founded in 2016 by Facebook, the Telecom Infra Project consortium convened its annual summit this week in Santa Clara, Calif., and announced several new working groups that, in sum, speak to the technological underpinnings of 5G networks.
The 3GPP is still working on the standalone 5G New Radio specification with plans to release the standard in mid-2018. The three primary use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, massive support for the internet of things and mission critical communications. Part and parcel of delivering on those use cases are a wide range of network evolutions including NFV, SDN, network slicing, tapping into millimeter wave spectrum, reducing latency through equipment decentralization of computing infrastructure and more.
And, based on the news out of the TIP Summit 2017, the group is focused on all of that. In a blog post, TIP Chairman Alex Clauberg, also the chief technology officer of Deutsche Telekom, recaps highlights of new and ongoing projects. Let’s take a look.
Bringing machine learning and artificial intelligence to bear on network operations is seen as a key method of increasing efficiency, lowering operator costs and delivering increased quality of experience to end users. To that end, DT and Telefonica are co-chairing a new TIP “project group”
On the millimeter wave front, the project group focused on high-capacity, high-band spectrum, announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress Americas, has grown to include more than 200 members running the gamut from operators, silicon companies, backhaul specialists, test and measurement outfits and other ecosystem stakeholders. DT has even set up a TIP Community Lab in Berlin.
Clauberg describes progress on Voyager, Facebook’s open transponder tech for optical transport. “TIM Brasil and Internexa are trialing Voyager in Latin America, as are Orange in Africa, and Telia Carrier in Europe. Vodafone is also planning to undertake field testing of Voyager in Europe next year.
There’s also a new project group let by British Telecom focused on end-to-end network slicing–the concept of automatically provisioning a cross-domain data pipe that specific meets the requirements of a particular service whether its a low-capacity, intermittent IoT use case or a high-capacity, latency-sensitive mission critical use case. “This project will identify end-to-end use cases that can be researched, developed and demonstrated to help meet some of the key challenges in the next generation network slicing arena,” Clauberg wrote.