IEEE 802.11ay: 1st real standard for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) via mmWave

From December 2017 IEEE Communications Magazine (IEEE ComSoc members have free on line access)

IEEE 802.11ay: Next-Generation 60 GHz Communication for 100 Gb/s Wi-Fi

Abstract: The IEEE 802.11ad amendment to the 802.11 standard ratified in 2012 created the first multi- Gb/s Wi-Fi technology by using the large swath of unlicensed spectrum at the mm-Wave band. While enabling multi-Gb/s wireless local communications was a significant achievement, throughput and reliability requirements of new applications, such as augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) and wireless backhauling, exceed what 802.11ad can offer. For this reason, building upon IEEE 802.11ad, the IEEE 802.11 Task Group ay has recently defined new PHY and MAC specifications that enable 100 Gb/s communications through a number of technical advancements. In this article, we identify and describe the main design elements of IEEE 802.11ay, including MIMO, channel bonding, improved channel access, and enhanced beam forming training. For each of these elements, we discuss how their design is impacted by mm-Wave radio propagation characteristics and present enabling mechanisms defined in IEEE 802.11ay.

Discussion:

IEEE 802.11ay, the next-generation Wi-Fi standard for the 60 GHz band (considered start of mmWave spectrum) increases the peak data rate to 100 Gb/s through supporting multiple independent data streams and higher channel bandwidth, among other advancements, while ensuring backward compatibility and coexistence with Directional Multi-Gigabit (DMG) stations (STAs). We use the terms DMG and Enhanced DMG (EDMG) stations to refer to devices that can support features of IEEE 802.11ad and IEEE 802.11ay standards, respectively.

Channel Bonding and Aggregation

The band allocated to unlicensed use around 60 GHz has approximately 14 GHz of bandwidth, which is divided into channels of 2.16, 4.32, 6.48, and 8.64 GHz bandwidth. The channel center frequencies for the 2.16 GHz channels are: 58.32, 60.48, 62.64, 64.80, 66.96, and 69.12 GHz for channel numbers 1 through 6, respectively [3]. Unlike IEEE 802.11 ad, which only allows for single (2.16 GHz) channel transmission, 802.11ay includes mechanisms for channel bonding and aggregation. In channel bonding, a single waveform covers at least two contiguous 2.16 GHz channels, whereas channel aggregation has a separate waveform for each aggregated channel. IEEE 802.11ay mandates that EDMG STAs must support operation in 2.16 GHz channels as well as channel bonding of two 2.16 GHz channels. Channel aggregation of two 2.16 GHz or two 4.32 GHz (contiguous or non-contiguous) channels and bonding of three or four 2.16 GHz channels are optional.

IEEE 802.11ay Physical Layer (PHY) Overview

Building upon the DMG PHY, IEEE 802.11ay defines a new PHY specification that includes both single carrier (SC) and orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) modulations. As described in this section, to support MIMO transmissions and channel bonding while guaranteeing backward capability, a new packet structure is defined in IEEE 802.11ay. The EDMG packet contains new fields necessary to support the additional capabilities defined for EDMG stations, as well as a redefined training (TRN) field that is more flexible and efficient than the one defined in IEEE 802.11ad.

EDMG Packet Format

A single packet format is defined for the three EDMG PHY modes: SC, OFDM, and control. This packet is shown in Fig. 1 with all of its possible fields. Not all fields are transmitted in an EDMG packet; fields are included depending on whether the packet is used for single channel or channel bonding operation, for SISO or MIMO transmission, and if it is used for beamforming training/tracking.

Figure 1

Figure 1.  IEEE 802.11ay packet structure.
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Project Goals (derived from IEEE 802.11ay PAR)

Task Group ay is expected to develop an amendment that defines standardized modifications to both the IEEE 802.11 physical layers (PHY) and the IEEE 802,11 medium access control layer (MAC) that enables at least one mode of operation capable of supporting a maximum throughput of at least 20 gigabits per second (measured at the MAC data service access point), while maintaining or improving the power efficiency per station. This amendment also defines operations for license-exempt bands above 45 GHz while ensuring backward compatibility and coexistence with legacy directional multi-gigabit stations (defined by IEEE 802.11ad-2012 amendment) operating in the same band.

Timeline

Project Authorization Request approved March 2015
Initial Task Group Meeting May 2015
Draft 1.0 of the amendment November 2017
Draft 1.2 of the amendment April 2018
Draft 2.0 of the amendment July 2018
Final 802.11 Working Group approval September 2019
Final 802 EC approval November 2019

 

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Editor’s Note on Different BWA proprietary specs based on mmWave spectrum:

A few of the recent high speed fixed wireless broadband access technologies- many are not referred to as “5G”:

1. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Facebook announced they are working together to deliver high-speed internet connectivity with Facebook’s Terragraph technology through the development of a multi-node wireless system based on 60GHz technology from Qualcomm Technologies. Working with leading operators and manufacturers, this terrestrial connectivity system aims to improve the speed, efficiency and quality of internet connectivity around the world at only a fraction of the cost of fiber deployments. Qualcomm Technologies will integrate its QCA6438 and QCA6428 family of pre-802.11ay chipsets with Facebook’s Terragraph technology. This effort will help enable manufacturers to build 60GHz mmWave solutions using the unlicensed 60GHz spectrum and provide Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to offer consumers in urban areas access to high-speed broadband connections. The companies expect to begin trials of the integrated solution mid-2019. It’s based on a pre-standard version of IEEE 802.11ay, which is described in this article.

IEEE 802.11ay: Enhanced Throughput for Operation in License-Exempt Bands above 45 GHz – Sept 2019 approval is expected by the IEEE 802.11 WG.
http://www.ieee802.org/11/Reports/tgay_update.htm

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2. Verizon 5th Generation Radio Access; Physical layer AKA V5G.201 V1.0:
The radio interface described in this specification covers the interface between the User Equipment (UE)
and the network. The radio interface is composed of the Layer 1, 2 and 3. The TS V5G.200 series
describes the Layer 1 (Physical Layer) specifications. Layers 2 and 3 are described in the TS V5G.300
series.
http://www.5gtf.org/V5G_201_v1p0.pdf
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3. Huawei’s “5G” BWA Terminal (announced at MWC 2018):
Huawei’s 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) is developed based on the 3GPP standards and chipset architecture. It is compact in size, low in power consumption, and highly portable. As the smallest 5G commercial terminal in the world, it supports C-band and mmWave. In Seoul and Canada, there have been the world’s first wave of 5G subscriber who use Huawei’s commercial 5G terminals. Based on 3.5 GHz and mmWave spectrum, users can enjoy a fiber-like experience of wireless home broadband services with the rate exceeding 2 Gbps.
http://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2018/2/Huawei-Launches-Full-Range-of-5G-End-to-End-Product-Solutions

Dr. Wen Tong, Huawei Wireless CTO said: “The high mmWave technology can achieve unprecedented fiber-like speed for mobile broadband access. This trial has shown the capabilities of E-band combined with MIMO technology to deliver exceptional user experience in a full multi-call campus environment. With customer-centric innovation in mind, Huawei will continue to push the technology envelope jointly with our customer to deliver best-in-class advanced wireless solutions.”
http://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2018/2/DectschTelckom-5G-High-mmWave-Technology

Finally, Huawei’s 5G BWA terminal (using mmWave spectrum) will be deployed by GlobeTelecom in the Philippines as per this article.

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BWA and 5G/Network Slicing:

Finally, it’s important to note that BWA is NOT a use case for IMT 2020 (standardized 5G).  That means that the candidate RIT specs do NOT have to meet any criteria for BWA send/receive or frequency spectrum used.

One IEEE member pointed out that with “network slicing” any high speed application can be a 5G use case.  The problem with that is there is no official standard for how 5G/IMT 2020 network slicing is supposed to work.  Yes, we know that ITU-T SG13 is working on the non radio aspects of IMT 2020, including network slicing.  But it’s from a reference architecture and functionality perspective, not a detailed spec for interoperability.

Here is IEEE’s position on 5G network slicing. and a survey article I put together.

Posted in 5G Tagged

Verizon/Nokia Test 3GPP NR Spec using Multi-Carrier Aggregation

Verizon and Nokia reported testing “5G” New Radio (3GPP release 15) technology in the outdoors using multi-carrier aggregation to boost the transmitted signals. Verizon deployed its 28 GHz millimeter-wave spectrum in the trial, saying it cut latency to 1.5 milliseconds while transferring data at 1.8 gigabits per second.

“By continuing to push the technological envelope and make advancements like these, we’re driving the ongoing development of 5G technology and bringing it to life for our customers,” said Sanyogita Shamsunder, vice president, 5G Ecosystems & Innovation for Verizon. “Verizon continues to lead the way toward the realization of true 5G technology.”

Marc Rouanne, president of Nokia Mobile Networks, focused on the outdoor element of the testing in a press release. “Nokia is committed to supporting Verizon’s advanced effort to bring 5G to commercial reality,” he said. “Our successful trial pushes the testing distance and because it has been conducted outside, tests the interference variables in an outdoor environment. This is a major milestone for preparing Verizon for widespread 5G implementation.”

Transmitting interactive VR and 4k video streams outdoors required a consistent, stable, reliable 3GPP NR 15 network connection. Adding in carrier aggregation over four carriers increases the bandwidth and speeds of the transmissions to the levels promised by true 5G technology. When customers begin to use 5G NR technology, they will look to leverage that type of reliable connectivity to stream high-definition video without buffering, experience improved AR/VR capabilities, and use other mobile 5G solutions in ways we haven’t yet imagined.

Previous Nokia/Verizon 5G tests were done in the lab and were only brief data packet transmissions. The testing announced today is far closer to the way in which subscribers actually will use the 5G. Verizon says it will launch stationary 5G in Los Angeles, Sacramento and two other U.S. markets during the second half of the year. A mobile version will follow.

Nokia and Verizon are cooperating deeply on 5G. In February, the companies – along with Qualcomm – successfully tested a 3GPP-compliant NR 5G call. The call was made over licensed spectrum on a 5G NR prototype device from Qualcomm. The spectrum was provided by Verizon and the networking technology by Nokia. The test was conducted at a Nokia facility in Murry Hill, N.J.

The competition to announce 3GPP compliant NR deployment is intense. Nokia also is working with T-Mobile. Last week, the wireless carrier said that the companies completed a bi-directional over-the-air 5G data session on a 3GPP-compliant NR system at T-Mobile’s Bellevue, WA lab.

Note: All should know that 3GPP is not a standards body and that their NR specification has not been submitted to ITU-R WP 5D for IMT 2020.  The first 3GPP submission for IMT 2020 RIT won’t be till late July 2019.

References:

https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/06/12/1520690/0/en/5G-in-the-wild-Verizon-and-Nokia-mark-two-industry-firsts-over-3GPP-New-Radio-technology.html

https://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases/2018/06/12/nokia-successfully-completes-5g-new-radio-data-call-with-4g-and-5g-dual-connectivity-in-china

https://www.nokia.com/en_int/news/releases/2018/06/12/nokias-new-5g-design-and-deployment-services-deliver-faster-time-to-market-and-lower-total-cost

AT&T – Nokia Partnership for Reliable IoT Connectivity

AT&T is partnering with Nokia to provide reliable connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  Chris Penrose, the President of the IoT Solutions of AT&T, said the carrier’s enterprise customers will benefit from this partnership through the simplified adoption of IoT devices and the improved ability of the network operator to respond to the concerns of its customers. Furthermore, the carrier noted in its announcement that this partnership enables AT&T to address specific business concerns of companies using latest technologies including 5G network slicing.

Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), a service that is developed and managed by Nokia, will be used by AT&T.  WING assists network operators in managing IoT devices, securing connected appliances, and facilitating the billing of the carrier’s customers. Another advantage of utilizing Nokia’s WING service is that it allows AT&T’s customers to access the global IoT ecosystem and infrastructure of the Finnish tech firm. It is expected that the core network assets of Nokia’s WING service will become available in 20 different countries by 2020.

AT&T will also utilize its own cloud-based service dubbed as the Multi-Network Connect platform. This platform enables businesses to manage their IoT devices remotely using a variety of communication technologies, including 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN), and satellite. Aside from the compatibility with a variety of communications standards, the carrier claims that another benefit of using its Multi-Network Connect platform is the ability to manage and monitor the devices using a single portal.

The partnership will begin developing, testing and launching IoT offerings this year. Offerings will be available in more than 20 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, South America and the Middle East by the first quarter of 2020. The partners will target a number of industries, including transportation, health, manufacturing, retail, agriculture, utilities, consumer electronics and smart cities. The initiative will “help set the stage for the evolution to global 5G,” according to the companies.

More specifically, the partnership will:

  • Address specific business requirements through capabilities like 5G network slicing that allows a single network to be partitioned into multiple networks.
  • Meet local regulatory requirements for IoT devices.

This is not the only IoT partnership in which AT&T is involved. In February, the mega telco and Ericsson said that they are teaming  up for IoT device certification. The collaboration includes testing, verification and “white glove” assistance with regulatory approval process. The program is available in more than 150 countries.

Early last year, AT&T said that Carrier, one of the world’s largest appliance and equipment manufacturers (made famous by Donald Trump’s visit), will build AT&T’s IoT functionality into its heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) product line.

 

References:

https://www.androidheadlines.com/2018/06/att-nokia-to-provide-reliable-iot-device-connectivity.html

https://www.business.att.com/solutions/Portfolio/internet-of-things/

http://www.telecompetitor.com/att-nokia-iot-partnership-targets-enterprises-worldwide/

 

“5G” Fixed Wireless Technology to be Deployed in Philippines by Globe Telecom in 2Q 2019

It certainly appears that any new or different wireless access technology is being called “5G,” even if it has nothing to do with the ITU-R IMT 2020 recommendations due to be completed in late 2020.

Case in point: Philippines telco Globe Telecom announced yesterday that its first “5G” network service is scheduled for commercial roll out by the second quarter of 2019.  Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said this version of “5G” technology would enable Globe to use (Huawei’s) Air Fiber technology in relation to deployment of fixed wireless broadband that would benefit individual customers at home and business clients alike.  The new network will provide higher speeds, lower latency, and better capacity. This will enable Globe to deploy fixed wireless broadband at fiber-like speeds.

Air Fiber internet, which makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber, could provide speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. “We have been preparing our network for sometime now with our existing vendor partners, including Huawei Technologies. We are happy to bring the Philippines in line with other countries who are early adopters of 5G. Once again, we stay true to our commitment to bring first world internet in the country.”  Cu added.

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Globe brings 5G technology to the Philippines. Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu (middle), together with Globe Chief Technology and Information Officer Gil Genio (right) and Huawei Southern Pacific Region Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Lim Chee Siong (left), leads the launch of “5G” in the Philippines. (PRNewsfoto/Globe Telecom, Inc.)

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The new technology will also enable Globe to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable in the Philippines, which usually involves multiple permits from local government units (LGUs). The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain delaying fiber optic roll-out completion. “We can bring internet to more homes by deploying 5G compared to a typical fiber optic roll-out,” Cu said.

The 5G technology is expected to accelerate the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) in the Philippines. Globe earlier announced that it is enabling its network by utilizing its spectrum assets, particularly the widely-contested 700-megahertz band.

Globe is currently piloting Narrow Band- Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology in the country, while enhancing its mobile data services. Due to the telco’s inherent advantage of long reach, this spectrum is ideal to support NB-IoT services. Globe and China’s Huawei are collaborating in this journey, ensuring network readiness to support these services.

The Globe network has one of the largest deployment of Massive MIMO (MM) in Asia, as part of its strategic technology roadmap since 2016. MM is the fundamental radio access technology for 5G.

Globe has been spending over 31% of its annual total revenues to upgrade and expand its telecommunication and IT infrastructure. It has been ramping up its capital spend from P21.1 billion in 2012 to P36.7 billion in 2016 and P42.5 billionin 2017, in order to provide its subscribers of better broadband services. This year, Globe recently disclosed that it will further accelerate its capital expenditures to over P43.5 billion.

Back in November 2015, Globe extended its partnership with Huawei, signing a five-year contract involving the planning and design of a wireless broadband network, as well as the creation of a wireless innovation center. Huawei was also the technology partner of Globe when it implemented a $700-million network modernization program that began in 2011.

Huawei’s other “5G” fixed wireless trials using mmWave technology:

This past February, it was announced that Huawei and Canadian telco Telus have launched 5G wireless-to-the-home (WttH) trial service using a specially-designed 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) unit. The vendor said the trial is taking place in downtown Vancouver’s ‘5G Living Lab,’ a joint initiative between Huawei and Telus.  Huawei said the use of a new 5G CPE is a new step towards the launch of consumer-oriented 5G-ready products to market.  We wrote about that trial here.

Also in February, Deutsche Telekom and Huawei completed the world’s first multi-cell high millimeter waves field tests of 5G mobile communications with 73GHz mmWave technology (E-Band) under a large variety of real-world environments at the Deutsche Telekom campus in Bonn, Germany. In the comprehensive field tests, the 5G: haus partners addressed mmWave performance and propagation characteristics in both outdoor and indoor technology deployment.

Alex Choi, Senior Vice President, Technology Strategy & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom said: “Next generation services such as 3D immersive applications, mobile cloud service, gaming and social-networking applications require massive capacity and higher data rates. The use of higher range millimeter-wave spectrum bands is one of the enabling technologies to deliver the capacity increases and massive data rates required for 5G enhanced Mobile Broadband with massive data rates and ultra-fast experience. The verification of these features in our world’s first multi-cell 5G high mmWave field tests will point out the future direction for the industry’s ultra-high broadband experience for customers in both indoor scenarios as well as in extremely crowded areas. The successful trial result opens up a new door for applications and deployments of 5G mmWave.”

“This trial represents continued progress toward the launch of 5G, as we start to replicate both the in-home experience and network footprint we will see when 5G becomes commercially available in the near future,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO at Telus. “Wireless 5G services will generate tremendous benefits for consumers, operators, governments and more through the use of advanced IoT devices, big data applications, smart city systems and other technologies of the future.”

For more information:  A Peek into Huawei’s New WTTx CPE Technology

About Globe Telecom

Globe Telecom is a leading full service telecommunications company in the Philippines, serving the needs of consumers and businesses across an entire suite of products and services including mobile, fixed, broadband, data connections, internet and managed services. Its principals are Ayala Corporation and Singtel who are acknowledged industry leaders in the country and in the region. For more information, visit www.globe.com.ph. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/talk2Globe and Facebook: http://facebook.com/GlobePH

For more information, please contact:

Yoly C. Crisanto
Head, Corporate Communications
Globe Telecom, Inc.
Email Address: 
gtcorpcomm@globe.com.ph
Globe Press Room: newsroom.globe.com.ph/
Twitter: @talk2GLOBE │ Facebook: 
http://www.facebook.com/globeph

Posted in 5G

5 Nordic Countries aim to be 1st interconnected 5G region in the world

The leaders of the five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have signed a letter of intent to accelerate the development of fifth-generation mobile systems (“5G”). The move aims to support these countries efforts to be among the world front runners in the roll-out of 5G wireless services. The announcement was made at an annual summit of the regional leaders that was hosted by Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven.

“The Nordic region is one of the most innovative regions in the world. The development of 5G is progressing quickly and the Nordic region will be at the fore of this development. It creates jobs and prosperity in our countries,” said Swedon Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

The agreement involves the backing of governments and many of the leading telecom companies operating in the region, including infrastructure suppliers Ericsson and Nokia and mobile operators Telenor, Telia, TDC, Tele2, Iceland Telecom and Vodafone Iceland.

The declaration of intent states that the Nordic region will be the first interconnected 5G region in the world and identifies areas in which Nordic cooperation needs to be intensified.  Yet there was no mention of IMT 2020 -the future ITU-R standard for “5G” radio aspects or the status of the non radio functions that are aligned with IMT 2020.

There’s certainly a track record that shows how collaboration in the wireless industry can work to support technical prowess and create high-paying technology jobs. The Nordic countries were among the first in the world to recognise opportunities in the broad deployment of wireless services. In the early 1980s, regional players developed the Nordic Mobile Telephone system, an analogue network that quickly became the most widely-adopted mobile service in the world, popular with enterprise users as well as consumers. Mobility became mainstream.

The success of that system, in terms of both the technology and collaborative efforts to create it, was one of the springboards that led to the development of the GSM standards with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia were major participants in that European endeavour and those two companies still hold many of the GSM essential patents.

Although the Nordic region was instrumental in the development and democratisation of first- and second-generation mobile services, there’s been a dilution of technology leadership during the past decade. Companies from the US and South Korea began to dominate the market for handsets and the mobile ecosystem, and Chinese infrastructure makers eroded the leading positions of Ericsson and Nokia.

Concern that the Nordics — in fact, Europe in general — could be left behind in the early stages of 5G are certainly valid and worth addressing. Given the huge costs associated with deploying 5G, it may be that infrastructure and network sharing proves the only way for operators to make the economics add up.

Ericsson had an exclusive role as an industry advocate, with Cecilia Atterwall, the Head of Marketing and Communications at Ericsson’s Business Area Networks, addressing the prime ministers on how 5G is the foundation for the digitalization of industries and society.  Ms.  Atterwall’s address covered evolved mobile broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT) highlighting business and use cases covering: mobile broadband user experiences, smart cities, transport, and smart manufacturing – and how one 5G network could handle all such cases simultaneously.

The project aim is for “5G” technology to be a major part of the worlds telecom infrastructure enabling new industries and services beyond communications. The agreement between the five Nordic countries includes the technical coordination of 5G frequency bands throughout the region, and removing obstacles to 5G expansion and development of new testing facilities. Progress will be closely monitored by the Nordic Council of Ministers.  Yet there’s no definition of what “5G” actually is!

The combined population of the five Nordic countries is only about 27 million. Much larger nations around the world are also working to take pole position in 5G. In Asia, the government of South Korea is hoping to avoid the existence of several separate 5G networks with patchwork coverage by mandating that the three mobile operators SK Telecom, KT and LG Uplus and Internet service provider SK Broadband work together on a single nationwide 5G network.  The three major wireless China telecom operators are also cooperating on “5G’ technology.

In the US, T-Mobile and Sprint are using the importance of a fast and successful pre-standard “5G” roll-out as a main justification to win approval for a merger of the two carriers. They might be telling regulators what they want to hear, but there’s certainly some validity to the argument.

In many instances, 5G will be a group effort. We expect more cooperative projects to be announced as challenges arise.

References:

https://www.ccsinsight.com/blog/the-nordic-five-for-5g

https://www.government.se/press-releases/2018/05/new-nordic-cooperation-on-5g/

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Related Story:      Hong Kong to make 5-GHz available for LAA

 

Australia’s NBN Abandons Plans for 100Mb/sec Fixed Wireless Access; Telstra testing “5G” vs Verizon’s Plans?

In sharp contrast to Verizon’s claim of delivering (fake) “5G” broadband wireless access in the U.S. this year, Australia’s NBN Co.has abandoned plans to provide 100Mbps broadband plans for fixed wireless customers.  Last month, we wrote about state owned NBN’s FTTC plans, but there was no mention of fixed broadband wireless access.

“We killed it,” NBN boss Bill Morrow told a Senate Estimates committee. Mr Morrow said consistently achieving 100 Mb/sec would cost “billions and billions of dollars” — an Australia taxpayer spend he described as “outrageous.”

“The economics … [start] to actually break apart to a point where it doesn’t make any sense.  It would just never happen” Morrow added.  “There is no economic model that would work … [especially when] it’s hard to find applications that warrant the need for 100 Mb/sec.”

Mr Morrow said at peak times of the day — for example, in an evening when people stream video — 100 Mb/sec speeds could not be consistently maintained.

More than 230,000 households are currently NBN fixed wireless customers, the committee heard, with the rollout of nearly 2,000 cell towers costing $AUS 2 billion to date.   Australia’s fixed wireless network has struggled with congestion, with speeds in some areas less than what the average Turkish internet user enjoyed in 2012.

Morrow said NBN is trialing “5G” ahead of the commercial launch, but he didn’t provide details of which “5G” technology would be used.

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Telstra is currently trialing 5G on Australia’s Gold Coast using mmWave.  It has achieved speeds of roughly 3,000 Mbps.  Telstra has committed to making 5G available in all major capital cities and regional areas over the course of that year. But that will be limited to key metro areas.

To put that in context, the fastest speed offered to nearly all Australians by the NBN is 100 M bit/sec. So that means 5G could be 30x faster than the NBN top speed tier – 100 M bit/sec.  Approximately 6.3 million Australian homes are able to connect to the NBN network today and that number should rise significantly over the next couple of years.

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Author’s Note:

Neither this author or AT&T is encouraged by Verizon’s plan to deploy “5G” mmWave band, fixed broadband access in the U.S. this year using its propriety V5GTF specification.

AT&T’s CFO John Stephens said on the mega telco’s last quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts: “We’re not as excited about the (5G fixed wireless) business case—it’s not as compelling yet, for us, as it may be for some.”

AT&T believes it might be more effective to simply deliver very high speed internet services via its growing fiber network via FTTP.

“To get that fixed wireless to the residential, you still have to have backhaul from where the 1,000 feet away to the 1,500 feet away, and you still have to have that backhaul infrastructure. So that could be, depending upon your ability to successfully pick who is going to buy, and how much you’re going to need, it’s going to be a very tricky business case,” Stephens explained. “For us, with this extensive fiber network, we will be able to have that backhaul. With this extensive FirstNet network, we’ll be able to have that backhaul. But quite frankly, if we’ve got FirstNet and we’ve got fiber there, it may be just as effective, and may be a better quality product, to give those customers fiber to the home.

“So, we’re continuing to work at it, I just don’t want to hold it out as a—right now, as you can tell, we are more excited about our FirstNet opportunity, about our fiber opportunities that we’re building and selling into that. And quite frankly, about the overall 5G Evolution and 5G capabilities in our overall mobility network, serving much of the mobile broadband demands that are out there.”

AT&T has promised to launch mobile “standards based (?) 5G” services in a dozen cities by the end of this year. The carrier has said that its so-called “5G Evolution” markets offer advanced LTE technologies that pave the way for its “5G” service(s).

On its 1st quarter 2018 earnings call, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said that Verizon had shown propagation “over 2,000 feet,” for the 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) technology it will use for its 5G fixed wireless service which has been announced for Sacramento and Los Angeles, CA before the end of this year.

In January of this year, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams stated:  “we’re very comfortable with being able to deliver a Gigabit of service to everyone that we’re providing (5G fixed broadband) service to,” when the company launches its 5G fixed wireless service in the U.S. this year.

Opinion: 

NBN’s killing of their much lower speed (100Mb/sec) fixed wireless service and AT&T CFO’s comments on the lack of a business case especially considering the need for fiber backhaul, caste a lot of doubt on Verizon’s “5G” fixed broadband access plans.

 

 

 

Ericsson’s Deliverables and Take-aways from IoT World 2018 & Private Briefing

Ericsson is one of the top three wireless network equipment companies in the world (they were #1 until Huawei took that coveted spot).  Approximately 40% of the world’s mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks.  The company has customers in 182 countries and offers comprehensive industry solutions ranging from Cloud services and Mobile Broadband to Network Design and Optimization.  Ericcson also has one of the most compelling IoT platforms in their IoT Accelerator, which we described earlier this year.

IoT platform ecosystem

Image above courtesy of Ericsson

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Ericsson had a huge presence at IoT World 2018 with an impressive exhibit floor booth, a Wednesday private briefing session at their Santa Clara, CA location and three presentations at IoT World 2018 conference sessions.

I attended the private briefing at Ericsson- Santa Clara, got a tour of some of the exhibits there, heard the talk by Shannon Lucas (VP. Head of Emerging Business Unit in North America) on Tuesday and met with Ericsson’s IoT expert Mats Alendal on Thursday for a one on one conversation about Ericsson’s IoT strategy and associated wireless WANs (e.g. NB-IoT, LTE-M, and “5G”).

Most surprising was that Mats claimed that the transition from 4G LTE to whatever the 5G RAN/RIT is will be ONLY A SOFTWARE UPGRADE OF ERICSSON’S BASE STATION.  He also said that if the 5G latency could be reduced to 1 or 2 ms, it would open up many new real time Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications that we haven’t thought of yet.  Such a low latency would require a controlled environment, typically in a manufacturing plant or similar, and mm wave radio.

Currently most IIoT applications rely on wired connectivity on a factory floor, manufacturing plant or test facility.  In a few cases wireless LANs (e.g. WiFi, Zigbee, proprietary) might be used.   Hence, wireless WAN connectivity represents a big shift for many industrial customers. IIoT use cases in manufacturing require a wireless WAN with  low latency, guaranteed delivery of messages/packets/frames, and instant control/feedback.

One of the best IIoT wireless WAN solutions is Private LTE.  It’s probably more robust than cellular LPWANs (NB-IoT and LTE-M) and provides cost benefits as well. In a Thursday afternoon session, Nokia recommended Private LTE for many of those IIoT applications (more information by emailing this author).  Ericsson is delivering Private LTE equipment via its 3GPP compliant, licensed and unlicensed bands for Private LTE.

IIoT use cases powered by Ericsson  include connected factory robots, manufacture of highly precise bladed disks (BLISKs) for turbines, and spherical roller bearings for SKF.  A case study for 5G trial for BLISKs may be viewed here.

Highlights of Shannon Lucas’ talk – Data Infrastructure: Mobile IoT: LPWAN & 5G:

  • 18B connected IoT devices are expected by 2022 (that’s down from earlier forecasts of 20B and more by 2020)
  • Edge computing network is needed for ultimate scalability and a great user experience (user might be a machine/device)
  • Hardware innovation platform can make LTE-M and NB-IoT easier to implement for network operators.  AT&T and Verizon are using Ericsson’s NB-IoT technology for their commercial offerings.
  • Ericsson has driven standards for cellular connectivity, and that effort is now naturally extending into setting standards for IoT, and more specifically, cellular IoT. With standardization, the IoT becomes a platform from which collaboration between organizations, both private and public, will benefit us all.
  • Ericsson’s standardized approach for connecting devices and sensors allows cities to collaborate and share data, regardless of legacy platforms. This helps engineers improve traffic flow, and allows emergency services to optimize response times.
  • A collaboration between Ericsson, Intelight and Teleste is helping to break up traffic and information gridlock. Four cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have launched a regional system employing the Ericsson Connected Urban Transport ITS platform.

Wednesday Evening Private Briefing:

Ericsson Ventures (VC arm of Ericsson) is focused on driving innovation in areas that will accelerate Ericsson’s core business and generate strong financial performance.  Intent is to combine start-up solution with Ericsson’s technologies. 6 to 7 deals per year with average investment of $1.5M.  Ericsson likes to be part of a syndicate of VCs and corporate investors in the targeted start-up.  They are start-up stage agnostic.

Areas for Ericsson Ventures investment include:  IoT, analytics connected car, security, SDN, AR and VR, mobile advertising, wireless connectivity AI and ML.

Many new IoT applications will be enabled by 5G (so thinks everyone), including the connected car and real time control for IIoT.  This author is not so sure. We think that high bandwidth and/or low latency might be needed for at most 5 to 10% of IoT applications.

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References:

Ericsson IoT accelerator platform: https://www.ericsson.com/en/internet-of-things/solutions/iot-platform

Ericsson Technology Review (our most technical papers): https://www.ericsson.com/en/ericsson-technology-review

Cellular IoT Use Cases:  https://www.ericsson.com/en/networks/cases/cellular-iot

Enabling intelligent transport in 5G networks

Industrial automation enabled by robotics, machine intelligence and 5G

Ericsson white papers: https://www.ericsson.com/en/white-papers

  • 5G radio access – capabilities and technologies
  • Cellular networks for Massive IoT

Verizon talks up OTT video over “5G” fixed access; will participate in “5G” trial in South Africa

Verizon will join with an unannounced over-the-top (OTT) video company rather than launch a linear service of its own, CEO Lowell McAdam said during a Yahoo Finance interview yesterday. Verizon intends to bundle the OTTP video service with its “5G” fixed access starting in the fourth quarter. “I think the linear TV model is dead — it’s just going to take a long time to die,” he said.

“Our view is we should partner with those that are in the linear game, let them be very good at what they do. We’ll add digital content to that mix and we’ll position ourselves for where we become more of an over-the-top video culture versus the linear model that we have today.”

What McAdam is previewing is an integrated OTT offer that combines a linear channel line-up and VOD with Verizon’s digital assets. He hopes this approach will provide both some differentiation in the market and additional ways to monetize their Oath digital content.

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Separately,  Verizon will participate in a trial “5G” network to be deployed in South Africa by local telecommunications company Comsol. South Korea’s Samsung Electronics has also joined Comsol as a partner in the venture.  The three firms will deploy a trial “5G” network, which will be operational by the third quarter of 2018, Comsol CEO Iain Stevenson told TechCentral by phone on Tuesday. The objective is to showcase the network at the upcoming ITU Telecom World conference to be hosted by South Africa later this year.

Stevenson said the trial will be converted into a full commercial network with more base stations early next year once the 5G standards have been ratified. Comsol has been working to build a 5G network in South Africa for some time.

The trial, which will take place in Johannesburg, will consist of two “multi-sector” base stations to start, connected to fibre-optic backhaul. Multiple demonstration points will be established where members of the public will be able to experience 5G, which will deliver gigabit-class Internet access. Both Samsung, whose technology will be used in the trial, and Verizon will send engineers to South Africa to assist in the construction of the network.

Though the trial network will be “non-commercial”, customers will be connected to it and will use it in real-world environments, Stevenson said. Other 5G trials in South Africa have not involved live customers.

The “point-to-multipoint” network will utilise Comsol’s extensive spectrum assignment at 28GHz — it owns more than 30% of the high-frequency band. Stevenson declined to comment in detail on Comsol’s strategic plans, including its likely future funding model, but said it intends offering services to both businesses and retail consumers, with the technology serving as a replacement to fiber.

The trial is aimed at delivering a wireless solution that rivals “FTTx” offerings, including fiber to the business and fiber to the home, by early next year. This will be achieved by using the “pre-5G” proprietary standard from Verizon’s 5G Technical Forum for fixed-wireless deployments in the 28GHz and 39GHz bands. The proprietary standard will ultimately be converted into the 3GPP 5G New Radio specification once they have been confirmed by ITU-R WP 5D (not before August 2019!)

Stevenson said 5G fixed-wireless access has the potential to connect millions of South Africans with high-speed connectivity that would never be possible with fiber solutions, which, he said, require significant investment in physical infrastructure.

“Verizon has made significant investments in spectrum and technology and established a number of strategic collaborations to launch fixed-wireless 5G services in between three and five US cities by the end of this year.”

Sung Yoon, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics Africa, said in a statement about the collaboration between the companies that there is “so much opportunity in the region due to the diversity of markets and services already in place here, and we think South Africa is a prime candidate to show off the benefits that 5G can bring to consumers here.”

“While this agreement initially focuses on 5G fixed-wireless access, over time this will evolve into consumer offerings, similar to the way that we use 4G services today,” Stephenson said.

Reference:

https://www.techcentral.co.za/verizon-samsung-back-new-5g-network-in-sa/81229/

 

 

Network Slicing and 5G: Why it’s important, ITU-T SG 13 work, related IEEE ComSoc paper abstracts/overviews

Why end-to-end network slicing will be important for 5G:

In network slicing of a 5G network, the intent is to take infra­structure resources from the spectrum, antennas and all of the backend network and equipment and use it to create multiple sub-networks with different properties. Each sub-network slices the resources from the physical network, end to end, to create its own independent, no-compromise network for its preferred applications.

One slice type is specifically targeted for ultra-low latency and high reliability (like self-driving vehicles) (URRLC), another slice type is spe­cifically targeted for devices that don’t have large batteries (like sensors) (MMTC) and need efficiency and yet another slice type is targeted at ultra-high speed (eMBB) as required for 4K or immersive 3d video. While the initial standards work calls for only three slice types, the architec­tures are flexible for future slice types.

Since it would be far too expensive to allocate a complete end-to-end network to each type of slice, the network infrastructure that supports 5G (and likely 4G) will employ sharing techniques (virtualization and cloud), which allow for mul­tiple slice types to co-exist without having too many multiples of the resources.

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ITU–T Study Group 13 (SG13) recently cre­ated a Focus Group with a mandate to research the areas that needed standardization for the non-radio aspects of 5G. The harmonious oper­ation through software control, referred to as “softwarization” of all of the components of the 5G network, was one of the many subjects stud­ied by the Focus Group, and which is now being more formally considered by SG13. Many of the areas requiring control are not uniquely wireless components but are also involved in service providers’ other end-to-end-businesses. For example, the cloud and transport networks which interconnect them will require new agile control to ensure that the packet, non-packet interconnections and compute, meet the Quality-of-Service (QoS) demands of that slice. The success of 5G lies in entire ecosystems 5G slicing technology, to be truly successful, will need entire ecosystems to come together to solve and standardize their end-to-end applications.

Read more here.

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Selected IEEE ComSoc Papers on 5G Network Slicing:

Efficient and Secure Service-oriented Authentication Supporting Network Slicing for 5G-enabled IoT

by Jianbing Ni, Student Member, IEEE, Xiaodong Lin, Fellow, IEEE, Xuemin (Sherman) Shen, Fellow, IEEE (edited by Alan J Weissberger)

To be published in a future issue of IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications sometime in 2018 

Abstract

“5G” network is considered as a key enabler in meeting continuously increasing demands for future Internet of Things (IoT) services which will connect numerous devices.  Those IoT demands include high data rate  and  very low network latency. To satisfy these demands, network slicing and FOG computing have been envisioned as promising solutions in service-oriented 5G architecture. However, security paradigms enabling authentication and confidentiality of 5G communications for IoT services remain elusive, but indispensable. In this paper, we propose an efficient and secure service oriented authentication framework supporting network slicing and fog computing for 5G-enabled IoT services.

Specifically, users may efficiently establish connections over a 5G core network and anonymously access IoT services under their delegation through proper network slices of 5G infrastructure.  The particular 5G service might be selected by FOG nodes based on the slice/service types of accessing services. The privacy preserving slice selection mechanism is introduced to preserve both configured slice types and accessing service types of users. In addition, session keys are negotiated among users, local fogs and IoT servers to guarantee secure access of service data in fog cache and remote servers with low latency. We evaluate the performance of the proposed framework through simulations to demonstrate its efficiency and feasibility under 5G infrastructure.

From the Introduction:

How to enhance security and privacy protection for IoT services powered by 5G is the focus of this paper.  To secure 5G-enabled IoT services, a national demand is to design efficient service-oriented authentication protocols for numerous users with the severe demands of different IoT services. To preserve user privacy, it is critical to hide users’ identities during service authentication. Thus, the challenge is to support anonymous service-oriented authentication with scalability of handing a large number of authentication requests.  Furthermore, after users’ identities are well protected, it is still possible for local fog nodes to identify users through some side-channel information, such as users’ accessing services, which results in unwelcome advertisements for users.

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Network slicing for 5G systems: A review from an architecture and standardization perspective

by Riccardo Trivisonno; Xueli An; Qing Wei

Published in: Standards for Communications and Networking (CSCN), 2017 IEEE Conference in Helsinki, Finland, 18-20 Sept. 2017.

Abstract:

The discussion around Network Slicing for 5G Systems is slowly converging to concrete solutions which will be adopted in the early deployment of 5G Networks due by 2020. In particular, within 3GPP standardization body, study items recently completed have finalized the definition of 5G System architecture, comprising Access and Core Networks, and defined the key design principles for End to End Network Slicing. This paper reviews the latest achievements of 3GPP SA2 and RAN3 Working Groups (WGs) in this respect, relating them to the genesis of Network Slicing and to prior 4G technical solutions, which can be considered precursors of the concept. Essentially, this paper timely clarifies how Network Slicing will be brought into real systems, and sheds some light on the necessary next steps to further progress on the topic.
Introduction:
In the ongoing hectic activities aiming at defining and standardizing 5G System (5GS) cornerstones, targeting an early deployment in the 2020 horizon, Network Slicing is amongst the most debated issues. The concept of Network Slicing was brought into the 5G system domain by early discussions among mobile network operators within NGMN. To shed some light on the concept, it is beneficial to fall back to its genesis.

The problem statement originated back in 2015, at the time 5G use cases were analyzed ([1]), when it emerged 4G network architecture did not suit with the diversity of requirements derived from 5G use cases. 4G architecture was considered “not flexible and scalable enough to efficiently support a wider range of business needed when each has its own specific set of performance, scalability and availability requirements”. Additionally, it was argued that a future-proof 5G system should have been conceived allowing efficient introduction of new network services. From this simple and clear starting point, the concept of Network Slicing for 5G was introduced. According to NGMN, the network slicing concept consisted of 3 layers: Service Instance Layer, Network Slice Instance (NSI) Layer, and Resource layer. As described in [1], “the Service Instance Layer represents the services which are to be supported. Each service is represented by a Service Instance.” Also, [1] stated “a Service Instance can either represent an operator service or a 3rd party provided service”. Furthermore, NGMN assumed a network operator would use a Network Slice Blueprint to create an NSI. An NSI provides the network characteristics which are required by a Service Instance. An NSI may also be shared across multiple Service Instances provided by the network operator. An NSI was defined as “ a set of network functions, and resources to run these network functions, forming a complete instantiated logical network to meet certain network characteristics required by the Service Instance (s) ”. Network Slice Blueprint was defined as a complete description of the structure, configuration and the plans/work flows for how to instantiate and control the NSI during its life cycle. A Network Slice Blueprint enables the instantiation of a Network Slice and describes required physical and logical resources. NGMN definitions are sound and complete but, being written from network operator’s standpoint, they focus on the end service perspective and they fail to distinguish among domains they apply to. In particular, it is straightforward the Network Slice Blueprint definition includes system architecture, network lifecycle/management and resource/infrastructure aspects.

The implicit wide scope of such definitions and the appeal the slicing concept was gaining in the R&D community triggered a number of initiatives aiming at extending and clarifying the concepts in all possible concerned domains (see e.g. [2] for SDN related aspects, or [3] for protocols ecosystem issues). The bottom line is: to further progress in the definition of the technologies required to bring Network Slicing into real systems, it is essential to focus on a narrower scope.

The scope of this paper is restricted to 5G end to end System Architecture aspects (i.e. Access and Core networks), leaving aside network management, transport network, network and data centres infrastructure issues. The purpose of this paper is to examine the 4G legacy on Network Slicing (where related early concepts can be found), to review the current status of 5G system standardization in this respect, and to highlight the critical open points which will require significant effort before 5G standardization completes.

The paper is organized as follows: Sec II looks back to 4G systems, analysing early solutions which can be considered precursors of Network Slicing. Sec III presents an in-depth review of latest achievements from 3GPP WGs, which cast the actual foundations over which 5GS will be built. Sec IV highlights the key open issues on which research and standardization will further devote significant effort. Finally, Sec V concludes the paper.

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Network Slicing for 5G: Challenges and Opportunities

by Xin Li; Mohammed Samaka; H. Anthony Chan; Deval Bhamare; Lav Gupta; Chengcheng Guo; Raj Jain

Published in: IEEE Internet Computing (Volume: 21Issue: 5, 2017)

Abstract:

Network slicing for 5G provides Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) for different use cases, allowing network operators to build multiple virtual networks on a shared infrastructure. With network slicing, service providers can deploy their applications and services flexibly and quickly to accommodate diverse services’ specific requirements. As an emerging technology with a number of advantages, network slicing has raised many issues for the industry and academia alike. Here, the authors discuss this technology’s background and propose a framework. They also discuss remaining challenges and future research directions.
Research in fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks has gained momentum in both academia and industry recently. These 5G mobile networks will carry a plethora of mobile devices and provide faster network connection speed. In addition, mobile data traffic in future 5G networks will experience explosive growth. According to the latest Cisco forecast,1 by 2020, the number of devices connected to mobile networks will exceed the world’s population, reaching 11.6 billion. At that time, mobile data traffic will be 30.6 exabytes per month, which is 8 times that in 2015. However, the most challenging aspect is that 5G networks will support a wide variety of use cases, as we’re entering the era of the Internet of Everything (IoE). Some applications, such as ultra-high defmition (UHD) video and augmented reality need high-speed, high-capacity communications, while others such as the mission-critical Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicles require ultralow latency, ultra-reliable services.

Traditional mobile communication networks employ the one-size-fits-all approach to providing services to mobile devices, regardless of the communication requirements of vertical services. This design philosophy can’t offer differentiated services. Hence, it’s necessary for the research community to explore new techniques to address the challenges associated with supporting vertical industries in 5G networks.

Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have been proposed as key technologies to build softwarized, virtualized, and cloudified 5G systems in recent years. SDN2 decouples network control and data forwarding. Network control functions can run as applications independently in the logically centralized controllers. NFV3 decouples specific network functions from dedicated and expensive hardware platforms to general-purpose commodity hardware. Network operators can implement a variety of virtual network functions (VNFs) over the standard commodity servers. In addition, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC)4 as a key emerging technology in 5G is expected to serve low-latency communication that’s one of the use cases in future 5G. It moves computing, storage, and networking resources from remote public clouds closer to the edge of the network. Thus, mobile clients can request virtual resources within the access network and experience low end-to-end delay.

The concept of network slicing 5 has been proposed to address the diversified service requirements in 5G under the background of the aforementioned technologies. Network slicing is an end-to-end logical network provisioned with a set of isolated virtual resources on the shared physical infrastructure. These logical networks are provided as different services to fulfill users’ varying communication requirements. Network slicing provides a network-as-a-service (NaaS) model, flexibly allocating and reallocating resources according to dynamic demands, such that it can customize network slices for diverse and complex 5G communication scenarios.

Network slicing will be the fundamental feature of 5G networks. Slice-based 5G has the following significant advantages when compared with traditional networks:

  • Network slicing can provide logical networks with better performance than one-size-fits-all networks.
  • A network slice can scale up or down as service requirements and the number of users change.
  • Network slices can isolate the network resources of one service from the others; the configurations among various slices don’t affect each other. Therefore, the reliability and security of each slice can be enhanced.
  • Finally, a network slice is customized according to service requirements, which can optimize the allocation and use of physical network resources.

With this in mind, next we discuss some details on network slicing for 5G networks and explore why 5G needs network slicing, as well as how to implement network slicing in 5G. For others’ work on network slicing for 5G, see the related subhead below.

Network Slicing in 5G

Fifth-generation networks need to integrate multiple services with various performance requirements — such as high throughput, low latency, high reliability, high mobility, and high security — into a single physical network infrastructure, and provide each service with a customized logical network (that is, network slicing). The Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has identified network slicing as one of the key technologies to achieve the aforementioned goals in future 5G networks. Some 3GPP work items have the features of network slicing: for example, the dedicated core (DÉCOR) feature supports the operator to deploy multiple dedicated core networks by sharing a common Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN). An exhaustive description about how the next-generation wireless system will support network slicing is provided elsewhere.6

Network slicing refers to partitioning of one physical network into multiple virtual networks, each architected and optimized for a specific application/service. Specifically speaking, a network slice is a virtual network that’s created on top of a physical network in such a way that it gives the illusion to the slice tenant of operating its own dedicated physical network. A network slice is a self-contained network with its own virtual resources, topology, traffIC flow, and provisioning rules. There might be various network slices to meet the specific communication needs of different users in the future mobile network systems. For example, a massive industrial IoT slice might need a light 5G core, with no handover but a large number of connections. On the other hand, a mobile broadband slice might need a high-capacity core, full feature mobility, and low latency. Slices are logically isolated, but resources can be shared among them. Figure 1 illustrates the network slicing concept.

Figure 1

Figure 1.Conceptual illustration of network slicing. NFV stands for Network Function Virtualization, RAN stands for radio access network, and SDN stands for software-defined networking.

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Network slicing makes use of the concept known as network virtualization. Network virtualization enables flexible and dynamic network management to address the problem of network ossification by allowing multiple heterogeneous and service-specific virtual networks to share a single substrate network.

In addition, the emerging technologies software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are considered as the necessary tools to implement network slicing. The following work summarizes use of SDN and NFV to implement 5G network slicing.

Csaba Simon and colleagues1 propose a flexible 5G network architecture to support the coexistence of heterogeneous services and to quickly create services. The authors propose to use SDN and NFV in the architecture to realize the sharing of resources by different services and orchestrating resources automatically. The concept of resource slicing is similar to network slicing in the proposed architecture. Resource slices, which include virtual resources and virtual network functions, are tailored on-demand according to service categories, namely slice as a service (SlaaS).

Manuel Peuster and colleagues designed an NFV-based platform called Multi Datacenter service ChaIN Emulator (MeDICINE) for network services.2 It allows management and orchestration (MANO) system to deploy virtual network resources for network services in a multi-domain infrastructure. The design and implementation of this platform show that NFV plays an important role in realizing network slicing.

Navid Nikaein and colleagues3 proposed a novel slice-based 5G architecture based on SDN, NFV, and cloud computing. They designed the elements required to implement network slicing and present a validation prototype. The concept of a network store in this work can achieve dynamic 5G network slicing. The authors discuss building a multitenant and multiservice end-to-end 5G mobile network architecture using SDN, NFV, and network slicing in the 5G NORMA project.4

Mobile operators, hardware manufacturers and open source communities are also actively studying the ways to implement 5G network slicing. Ericsson and NTT DOCOMO successfully showed a dynamic 5G network slicing proof of concept on 9 June 2016.5 Ericsson6 discussed the decomposition schemes of radio access network (RAN) functions that can support network slicing. The schemes provide a meaningful guidance for implementing flexible and resilient RAN slices.

Very recently, Huawei (with other three enterprises) released a network slicing white paper.7 They discussed several key technologies, such as network management system and security to achieve service-guaranteed network slicing, which will be helpful for network industries.

It’s worth noting that the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), established in February 2017, is working on a cloud-centric and SDN/NFV-based network platform, which might lay the groundwork for the implementation of 5G network slicing. Also, currently, the Wireless World Research Forum (WWRF) is launching a working group for 5G network slicing.

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Network Slicing for 5G with SDN/NFV: Concepts, Architectures, and Challenges

by Jose Ordonez-Lucena; Pablo Ameigeiras; Diego Lopez; Juan J. Ramos-Munoz; Javier Lorca; Jesus Folgueira

Published in: IEEE Communications Magazine Volume: 55Issue: 5, May 2017 )

Abstract:

The fifth generation of mobile communications is anticipated to open up innovation opportunities for new industries such as vertical markets. However, these verticals originate myriad use cases with diverging requirements that future 5G networks have to efficiently support. Network slicing may be a natural solution to simultaneously accommodate, over a common network infrastructure, the wide range of services that vertical- specific use cases will demand. In this article, we present the network slicing concept, with a particular focus on its application to 5G systems. We start by summarizing the key aspects that enable the realization of so-called network slices. Then we give a brief overview on the SDN architecture proposed by the ONF and show that it provides tools to support slicing. We argue that although such architecture paves the way for network slicing implementation, it lacks some essential capabilities that can be supplied by NFV. Hence, we analyze a proposal from ETSI to incorporate the capabilities of SDN into the NFV architecture. Additionally, we present an example scenario that combines SDN and NFV technologies to address the realization of network slices. Finally, we summarize the open research issues with the purpose of motivating new advances in this field.
Overview:
The authors present the network slicing concept, with a particular focus on its application to 5G systems. They start by summarizing the key aspects that enable the realization of so-called network slices. Then they give a brief overview on the SDN architecture proposed by the ONF and show that it provides tools to support slicing. They argue that although such architecture paves the way for network slicing implementation, it lacks some essential capabilities that can be supplied by NFV.

Verizon Updates its “5G” Plans; Announces ThingSpace Platform for IoT Developers

Verizon “5G”  (totally proprietary for both fixed and mobile access):

Verizon will launch its mobile “5G” service roughly six months after the introduction of its fixed “5G” offering, which the telecom has set for several cities later this year, CEO Lowell McAdam told the Seattle Times.  Separately, Verizon named Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred public cloud provider and will transfer its production databases and business apps to AWS.

Verizon’s fixed “5G” services are intended to compete with broadband wired internet services by sending high frequency signals from a nearby cell site to receivers either outside or inside users’ homes or offices.  Fiber optics is used for backhaul from the cell site to the ISP’s point of presence.

Verizon has been partnering with Samsung and others to test “5G” in homes, or “fixed 5G,” in several U.S. cities. It plans to launch the service to customers in four cities, including Sacramento and Los Angeles California, before the end of this year.

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NOTE:  Again, this is not really 5G but instead is Verizon’s proprietary spec for broadband fixed wireless which is NOT being considered by ITU-R for IMT2020.  The specification was conducted within Verizon’s 5G Technology Forum (V5GTF), a group that includes Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, LG, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung. V5GTF will be used for Verizon’s 28GHz and 39GHz fixed wireless access trials and deployments.

From the ITU-T Focus Group report on IMT 2020 Deliverables:

The use cases expected in IMT-2020 are categorized into three representative services: enhanced mobile  broadband service, ultra-reliable and low-latency communications, and massive machine type  communications. The other services are placed in-between those three service characteristics.

  • Enhanced mobile broadband services are to allow users to experience high-speed and high-quality multimedia services, e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality, 4K/8K Ultra-High Definition video, and even hologram services, at any time and any place.
  • Ultra-reliable and low-latency communications are to enable delay sensitive and mission critical services such as tactile Internet which requires less than a millisecond end-to-end delay, remote control of medical and industrial robots, and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications.
  • The massive machine type communications is to support connections and communications among massive amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

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“We bought 36 million miles of fiber so we can have big pipes feeding the cells. We will have hundreds of megahertz of bandwidth to deliver the whole suite of services of 5G,” McAdam said.

“We’ll have 1,000 cell sites up and operating on the global standard,” McAdam said on CNBC cable network.

Separately, Samsung acknowledged that the FCC certified the company’s indoor 5G home router (for fixed broadband access), following a VentureBeat report about the action. Samsung confirmed the router is designed for Verizon’s 28 GHz fixed wireless deployment.

For comparison, AT&T said in February that Atlanta, Dallas and Waco, Tex. would be the first of 12 cities to receive its “5G” mobile service, while Sprint is bringing its 5G services to Kansas City, Phoenix and New York City (the millennium capital of the world).

Mobile 5G is designed for portable devices like smartphones,  tablets, and virtual reality/game players.  That market — giving customers access to ultrafast speeds even on the go — is where T-Mobile has been investing its resources. T-Mobile CEO John Legere has criticized Verizon and other competitors in the past for focusing on the fixed service rather than mobile.

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ThingSpace Platform for IoT Developers:

On the eve of IoT World in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon has launched ThingSpace Ready for IoT developers looking to accelerate the creation, test time and speed to bring innovative IoT ideas and ultimately, products to market.  ThingSpace Ready is a new program that is part of Verizon’s successful ThingSpace platform, which has more than 20 million connected devices on the platform. Designed to simplify the IoT on-ramp for businesses and OEMs, ThingSpace Ready will provide the most cost-effective and time-efficient design and implementation experience possible – all while connected to Verizon’s award-winning network. The program provides developers more affordable cellular modules and new, lower priced IoT SIM and hardware design house partnerships.

ThingSpace Ready builds on Verizon’s leading platform and connectivity services for IoT – in 2017 Verizon was first to market with its nationwide commercial 4G LTE CATM1 network spanning 2.57 million square miles, the first nationwide low-power, wide-area LTE network designed specifically for IoT. As of April 2018, ThingSpace supports connectivity in over 200 countries & territories via global agreements. Now, through carefully curated module, SIM, and design house partnerships, a ThingSpace SDK integrated on modules and incentives when devices are activated on Verizon’s leading network, device development has never been simpler.

“We’ve been a leader in the industry around IoT platform and connectivity services with the successful launch of ThingSpace in 2015, and the first nationwide CATM1 network for IoT in 2017.  Now, we’re building on those tools with key partnerships and services to help make it easier and more affordable than ever to develop and launch cellular-enabled IoT solutions in the marketplace” said Steve Szabo, head of global IoT products and solutions at Verizon.  “We’ve created a one-stop-shop for IoT and are providing access like never before,” he added.

This new program is the latest advancement in Verizon’s growing IoT toolkit.  Verizon’s ThingSpace press release is here.

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