SK Telecom Selects Ericsson 5G Packet Core (3GPP Release 16- 5GC)

SK Telecom has selected Ericsson to deliver a Cloud Packet Core for its 5G network. Ericsson says its Cloud Packet Core (part of the company’s Cloud Core portfolio) helps service providers to smoothly migrate to 5G Core (5GC) stand-alone architecture.

Author’s Note:

Please see below for more information on 3GPP 5GC which is part of Release 16 and as yet has not been submitted to either ITU-R or ITU-T for IMT 2020 mobile packet core.  There seems to be no independent work on a 5G mobile packet core within ITU, which is evidently waiting anxiously for 3GPP Release 16 to be completed and forwarded to various ITU-R WPs and ITU-T Study Groups.

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Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core is at the business end of mobile broadband and IoT networks. It creates value, visibility and control of traffic and applications by determining the optimal quality of a service, then enforcing it through appropriate policy.

Jung Chang-kwan, Vice President and Head of Infra Engineering Group, SK Telecom, says: “By utilizing Ericsson’s Cloud Packet Core network solution, which realizes simplified network operations, we will unleash the full potential of new 5G-enabled use cases with greater efficiency.”

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services, Ericsson, says: “This deal, and the opportunity to work with SK Telecom’s Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI), has put us in the ideal position to further strengthen their 5G network. Delivering our Cloud Packet Core solution will positively impact SK Telecom’s network operations and will reinforce Ericsson’s position as a leader in 5G core.”

SK Telecom switched on its commercial 5G network in December 2018 after selecting Ericsson as one of its primary 5G vendors. Previously, Ericsson provided radio access network (RAN) products, including mid-band Massive MIMO.

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3GPP 5GC (the only specification for a 5G mobile packet core):

The 5GC (5G packet Core), specified in 3GPP TS 23.501, will be part of 3GPP Release 16 which won’t be completed till mid 2020 at the earliest. The network evolution from EPC to 5G core plays a central role in creating a powerful network platform that is capable of being exposed and automated for service providers.

5GC has been designed from its inception to be “cloud native”, that is inheriting many of the technology solutions used in cloud computing and with virtualization at its core.  Virtualization of network functions enables  5GC to be redesigned and become open and flexible enough
to meet the diversity of service and business requirement in 5G era.

5GC also offers superior network slicing and QoS features. Another important characteristic is the separation of the control plane and user plane that besides adding flexibility in connecting the users also allows an easier way to support a multitude of access technologies, better support for network slicing and edge computing.

5GC proposes a service based architecture  (SBA), which provides unprecedented efficiency and flexibility for the network. SBA is an architectural for building system based on fine-grained, interaction of loosely coupled and autonomous components called services. This architecture model is chosen to take full advantage of the latest virtualization and software technologies.

Service-based architectures have been in use in the software industry to improve the modularity of products. A software product can be broken down into communicating services. With this approach, the developers can mix and match services from different vendors into a single product.

Compared to the previous generation reference point architecture as EPC, the elements of service based architecture are defined to be the NF (network functions), which interconnect with the rest network functions across a single API calling interface and provide the authorized services to them. Network repository functions (NRF) allows every network function to discover the services offered by other network functions. A service is an atomized capability in a 5G network, with the characteristics of high-cohesion, loose-coupling, and independent management from other services. This allows individual services to be updated independently with minimal impact to other services and deployed on demand. A service is managed based on the service framework including service registration, service authorization, and service discovery. It provides a comprehensive and highly automated management mechanism implemented by NRF, which greatly reduces the complexity of network maintenance. A service will interact with other services in a light-weight manner, e.g. API invocation.

Virtualization and cloud computing have resulted in lowering the cost of computing by pooling resources in shared data centers.

  • 5G core networks can be shrunk in size by using virtualization. Varies components of the core network can be run as communicating virtual machines.
  • Moving the control plane of the 5G core network to a cloud provider lowers the deployment cost.

The 5G core is a mesh of interconnected services as shown in the figure below:

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Ericsson Addendum:

According to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Reportpublished earlier this week, global 5G subscriptions will exceed 2.6bn within the next six years and by that time Ericsson predicts that 5G will cover 65 percent of the world. It also believes that total mobile subscriptions, including to previous generation networks, will reach 8.9bn from 8bn over the next six years. More than quarter of the global subscriptions will be 5G by 2025 and will account for around 45 percent of worldwide mobile data traffic.

Additionally, Ericsson has also announced its partnership with NVIDIA in order to develop technologies that will enable communication service providers to build virtualized 5G radio access networks, which will boost the introduction of new AI and IoT-based services. The ultimate focus will be to commercialize virtualized RAN technologies to offer radio networks with flexibility and ability to enter the market in a shorter time for new services like VR, AR and gaming.

References:

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2019/11/ericssons-cloud-packet-core-to-strengthen-sk-telecoms-5g-network2

https://www.gsma.com/futurenetworks/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Road-to-5G-Introduction-and-Migration_FINAL.pdf

https://www.itu.int/dms_pub/itu-t/opb/tut/T-TUT-HOME-2018-2-PDF-E.pdf

https://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/archive/23_series/23.501/

https://www.ericsson.com/en/portfolio/digital-services/cloud-core/cloud-packet-core

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/ericsson-and-verizon-claim-worlds-first-cloud-native-tech-on-live-core/2019/07/

https://medium.com/5g-nr/5g-service-based-architecture-sba-47900b0ded0a

 

GSA Report: Evolution of LTE to 5G also includes NB-IoT and LTE-M

Pre-standard “5G” roll outs continue and the latest Evolution of LTE to 5G report from GSA identifies 884 operators actively investing in LTE, with 769 operational LTE networks in 225 countries, 194 VoLTE capable networks and 296 operators in 100 countries investing in 5G with 39 – 3GPP Release 15 (5G NR NSA) compliant 5G networks launched – some with limited service.

High end devices are also growing in popularity with more CAT-12 and above devices coming to market and 100 5G devices now announced. GSA expects 5G to be deployed much faster than 4G which took 7 years to reach 100 million subscriptions. We expect 5G to reach 100 million subscriptions in less than 5 years.

GSA Market Research Findings:

• 884 operators actively investing in LTE, including those evaluating/ testing and trialling LTE and those paying for suitable spectrum licences (excludes those using technology neutral licences exclusively for 2G or 3G services).

• 769 operators running LTE networks providing mobile and/or FWA services in 225 countries worldwide.

• 194 commercial VoLTE networks in 91 countries and a total of 262 operators investing in VoLTE in 120 countries.

• 304 launched or launched (limited availability) LTE-Advanced networks in 134 countries. Overall, 335 operators are investing in LTE-Advanced technology in 141 countries.

• Ten launched networks that support user equipment (UE) at Cat-18 DL speeds within limited geographic areas, and one supporting Cat-19 (in a limited area).

• 228 operators with TDD licences and at least 164 operators with launched LTE-TDD networks.

• 151 operators investing in NB-IoT in 72 countries; of these, 98 NB-IoT networks are deployed/launched in 53 countries. 62 operators are investing in LTE-M/Cat-M1 in 36 countries; of these, 38 LTE-M/Cat-M1 networks are deployed/commercially launched in 26 countries. • 296 operators in 100 countries have launched with limited availability, deployed, demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct field trials of mobile 5G or FWA 5G.

• 56 operators in 32 countries have announced the deployment of 5G within their live network.

• 39 operators have announced 3GPP 5G service launches (or limited service launches).

LTE deployments:

The drivers of LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE-Advanced Pro and increasingly 5G, for operators are more capacity, enhanced performance and improved efficiencies to lower delivery cost. Compared with 3G, LTE offered a big step up in the user experience, enhancing demanding apps such as interactive TV, video blogging, advanced gaming and professional services. Deployment of LTE-Advanced technologies – and particularly carrier aggregation – takes performance to a new level and is a major current focus of the industry. Interest in LTE-Advanced Pro is high too, bringing with it new, globally standardised LPWA solutions – LTE Cat-M1 (LTE-M, eMTC) and Cat-NB1 (NB-IoT) – and new business opportunities. And while LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro solutions have yet to be deployed by the majority of operators, vendors and network operators are already looking towards 5G and its potential to meet future capacity, connectivity and service requirements.

Spectrum for LTE deployments:

Pressure for spectrum is high and operators need to deploy the most efficient technologies available. LTE, LTE-Advanced and LTE-Advanced Pro services can be deployed in dozens of spectrum bands starting at 450 MHz and rising to nearly 6 GHz. The most-used bands in commercial LTE networks are 1800 MHz (Band 3), which is a mainstream choice for LTE in most regions; 800 MHz (Band 20 and regional variations) for extending coverage and improving in-building services; 2.6 GHz (FDD Band 7) as a major capacity band; and 700 MHz (with variations in spectrum allocated around the world) again for coverage improvement. The now-completed LTE standards enable the possibility to extend the benefits of LTE-Advanced to unlicensed and shared spectrum.

There are several options for deploying LTE in unlicensed spectrum. The GSA report LTE in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum: Trials, Deployments and Devices gives details of market progress in the use of LAA, eLAA, LTE-U, LWA and activity in the CBRS band.

Many recent allocations/auctions of spectrum have focused on licensing unused spectrum – including pockets of spectrum in the 2 to 4 GHz range, but also at lower frequencies – for LTE and future 5G services. This spectrum is sometimes dedicated to LTE, sometimes to 5G and sometimes allocated on a technology-neutral basis.

VoLTE global status:

In total GSA has identified 262 operators investing in VoLTE in 120 countries, including 194 operators that have launched VoLTE voice services in 91 countries. There have been recent launches in India, Hungary, Iran, Maldives, Kenya, Mexico, Tuvalu, Ireland, New Zealand and Nieu.

GSA is aware of at least 30 operators deploying VoLTE and nearly 40 other operators planning VoLTE or are testing/trialling the technology. The GSA report VoLTE and ViLTE: Global Market Update, published in August 2019, gives more detail.

LTE-Advanced global status:

Investment in LTE-Advanced networks continues to grow. By July 2019, there were 304 commercially launched LTE-Advanced networks in 134 countries. Overall, 335 operators are investing in LTE-Advanced (in the form of tests, trials, deployments or commercial service provision) in 141 countries.

Many operators with LTE-Advanced networks are looking to extend their capabilities by adding 3GPP Release 13 or Release 14 LTE-Advanced Pro features, e.g. those making use of carrier aggregation of large numbers of channels, or carriers across TDD and FDD modes, LAA, massive MIMO, Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk, LTE Cat-NB1/NB-IoT or LTE-M/Cat-M1.

The GSA report LTE in Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum: Trials, Deployments and Devices tracks the progress of LAA/eLAA, LWA and LTE-U. By July 2019, there were 37 operators investing in LAA (including eight deployed/launched networks), 11 operators investing in LTE-U (including three launched/deployed networks) and three investing in LWA (including one launched network). One operator had undertaken trials of eLAA.

Carrier aggregation has been the dominant feature of LTE-Advanced networks. Varying numbers of carriers and varying amounts of total bandwidth have been aggregated in trials and demos, but in commercial networks, the greatest number of carriers aggregated (where we have data) is five. Some trials and demos have also aggregated up to ten carriers, for instance SK Telecom’s trial in South Korea.

Pre-standard 5G global status:

GSA has identified 296 operators in 100 countries that have launched (limited availability or non-3GPP networks), demonstrated, are testing or trialling, or have been licensed to conduct field trials of 5G-enabling and candidate technologies (up from 235 operators in May 2019).

Detailed analysis of speeds and spectrum used for 5G trials to date is available in the report Global Progress to 5G – Trials, Deployments and Launches on the GSA website. Operators continue to provide clarity about their intentions in terms of launch timetables for 5G or pre-standards 5G. GSA has identified 56 operators in 32 countries that have stated that they have activated one or more 5G sites within their live commercial network (excludes those that have only deployed test sites).

The number that have announced the launch of commercial services remains much lower however, as operators have had to await the availability of 5G devices. These have now started to appear, removing the market blockage.

GSA has identified 100 announced devices (excluding regional variants and prototypes) and a handful of these are now available for customers to buy and use. See GSA’s report 5G Device Ecosystem, published monthly, for more details.

GSA knows of 39 operators who have (as of 6 August 2019) announced 3GPP compatible 5G service launches (either mobile or FWA, some with limited availability): we understand there are ten operators with FWA-only services, 15 with mobile-only services, and 14 with both mobile and FWA services. All services are initially restricted in terms of either geographic availability, devices availability, or the types and numbers of customers being provided with services.

Among recent service launches (or limited service launches) are those by three operators in Kuwait (Viva, Zain and Ooredoo), Batelco in Bahrain, T-Mobile and Vodafone in Germany, Vodafone in the UK, Digi Mobile in Romania, Monaco Telecom and Dhiraagu in the Maldives.

Cellular LPWANs for IoT:

The start of 2019 has continued to see strong growth in the number of cellular IoT networks based on NB-IoT and LTE-M. By July 2019, there were 151 operators investing in NB IoT in 72 countries, up from 148 operators in 71 countries in May 2019. The number of deployed/launched NB-IoT networks was 98 in 53 countries, up from 78 operators in 45 countries in January 2019. There are 62 operators investing in LTE-M networks in 36 countries, up from 57 operators in 34 countries in January 2019. Thirty-eight operators have deployed/launched LTE-M networks in 26 countries, up from 30 operators in January 2019. Orange Spain launched its LTE-M network in June 2019.

Altogether 55 countries now have at least either a launched NB-IoT network or a launched LTE-M network and 24 of those countries have both network types.

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GSA will continue tracking the progress of 5G deployments worldwide. GSA reports are compiled from data stored in the GSA Analyser for Mobile Broadband Devices/Data (GAMBoD) database, which is a GSA Member and Associate benefit.

Much of the GSA activity is working on spectrum and the upcoming WRC-19 conference in October/November. If you would like to meet up with GSA in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt at the conference,  please email admin@gsacom.com

ITU-R WP5D Brazil Meeting: Complete IMT 2020 RIT/SRITs from 3GPP, China & Korea advance; Nufront submits new EUHT RIT

SOURCE: Meeting Report of ITU-R WP5D Working Group on Technology Aspects (17 July 2019)

IMT-2020 RIT/SRITs:

This past week’s 32nd meeting of ITU-R WP 5D in Brazil was a milestone for the IMT-2020 process described in Document IMT 2020/2(Rev.1): Step 3 – submission / reception of the RIT and SRIT proposals and acknowledgement of receipt.

Seven submissions of candidate IMT-2020 RIT/SRITs were received at this meeting.  Importantly, some were updates to their previous submissions.

  1. 3GPP – RIT
  2. 3GPP  -SRIT
  3. China (People’s Republic of)
  4. South Korea (Republic of)
  5. ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum
  6. TSDSI (India)
  7. Nufront [1]

Note 1. At this week’s ITU-R WP5D meeting in Brazil, Nufront (Beijing) Technology Co. Ltd (Nufront) proposed ‘EUHT’ RIT as the candidate IMT-2020 radio interface technology. The Nufront new candidate RIT is in addition to the RIT/SRITs previously input by 3GPP, China, South Korea, TSDSI (India), ETSI/DECT Forum.

Nufront provided the characteristics template, link budget template, compliance template, and self-evaluation report of the EUHT RIT. The submission templates follow the ITU-R IMT-2020 submission format and guidelines as defined in Report ITU‑R M.2411.

–>Please refer to my Comment in the box below this article.  It provides background on motivation for Nufront’s EUHT RIT proposal and their (failed) attempt to get IEEE 802.11AX to be included as either a merged RIT or a SRITs.

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After review of all the submissions (see Table 1. below) under the IMT-2020 process Step 3 (the cut off date for submissions of candidate IMT 2020 RIT/SRITs), the meeting determined that the submissions from 3GPP (SRIT and RIT), China and Korea are “complete” per section 5 of Report ITU-R M.2411.  Therefore, they fulfilled the requirements for submission in Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

The meeting is of the view that, the supplied self-evaluation and any amendments accepted during this meeting for the submissions of ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum (the component RIT DECT-2020 NR), Nufront and TSDSI do not yet permit WP 5D to determine if a complete and satisfactory self-evaluation as required by the IMT-2020 process has been fully provided.

A way forward for these submissions has been agreed by the meeting (Doc. 5D/TEMP/778). The Proponents should provide the full details requested in the process and in the specifically defined way to WP 5D, considering the comments raised in this meeting, in order for WP 5D to proceed further in the process with the submissions.

A decision on the submission above shall be taken in 33rd meeting WP 5D in December 2019.
For convenience, these submitted proposals are also posted on the webpage of “Web page for IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process”.

Under the IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process, the ITU-R will now proceed with the detailed evaluation of the proposed candidate technologies until 34th meeting of WP 5D in February 2020.

Table 1. Candidate RIT/SRIT Submissions from 3GPP, China, Korea, ETSI and DECT Forum, Nufront and TSDSI:

Seven submissions of candidate IMT-2020 RIT/SRITs were received at this meeting; some were updates to their previous submissions.

Table 3.4.3.A

RIT/SRIT Proponent Candidate Technology Submission
3GPP – SRIT Docs. 5D/1215 and 5D/1216
3GPP – RIT Docs. 5D/1215 and 5D/1217
China (People’s Republic of) Doc. 5D/1268
Korea (Republic of) Doc. 5D/1233
ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum Docs. 5D/1230 and 5D/1253
Nufront Doc. 5D/1238
TSDSI Doc. 5D/1231

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IMT-2020/VVV:

The meeting agreed to complete this document (IMT-2020/VVV) at this meeting, rather than the original plan of the #34 meeting. During development of the document, it was agreed to follow the approach adopted by WP 5D for the development of IMT-Advanced. The finalized new IMT-2020/VVV document on “Process and use of the Global Core Specification (GCS), references, and related certifications in conjunction with Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]” is in Document 5D/TEMP/728.

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Synchronization of multiple IMT-2020 TDD networks:

This meeting received two input documents and continued the discussion. It was decided to carry forward all the input documents and to continue the work at the WP 5D #34 meeting in February 2020 (see Objectives for meeting #34 below).

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Documents for consideration by WP 5D closing plenary:

The following documents were agreed by WG Technology Aspects and were provided to WP 5D closing plenary for approval.

  1. Draft IMT-2020/VVV − Process and the use of Global Core Specification (GCS), references and related certifications in conjunction with Recommendation ITU R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]
  2. Draft IMT-2020 document − Detailed schedule for finalization of the first release of new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] “Detailed specifications of the terrestrial radio interfaces of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020)”
  3. Liaison statement to External Organizations on the detailed schedule for finalization of the first release of new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SPECS]
  4. Liaison statement to 3GPP proponent concerning the time interval to provide transposing references for IMT 2020
  5.  Many more documents, which are beyond the scope of the IEEE Techblog………………………………………………………….

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Objectives for the ITU-R WP 5D meetings #33 and #34:

I. The next ITU-R WP 5D meeting #33, scheduled to be held in December 2019, will be entirely focused on the activities of the Technology Aspects Working Group. It should be noted that neither the General Aspects Working Group nor the Spectrum Aspects Working Group will be in session at the 33rd meeting. The next meeting at which Working Group Spectrum Aspects will be in session will be at the 34th meeting of WP 5D scheduled to be held in February 2020.

5D meeting #33 will be a focused meeting on the following technology aspects and will include the workshop on evaluation of IMT-2020 terrestrial radio interfaces (Doc. 5D/TEMP/809):

  1. Review additional materials to be provided by the candidate IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT proponents ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum, Nufront and TSDSI, per the agreed way forward at the 32nd WP 5D meeting with regard to their respective submissions;
  2. Review of external activities in Independent Evaluation Groups through interim evaluation reports.
  • Continue work on revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1457-14

Note: SWG Out of band emissions and SWG Radio Aspects will not have any session at the WP 5D #33 meeting. Contributions to the respective work items would be considered at the WP 5D #34 meeting.

II. The key objectives of the Technology Aspects WG for the 34th ITU-R WP 5D meeting:

  1. Review of external activities and evaluation reports of Independent Evaluation Groups. Complete evaluation reports summary (IMT-2020/ZZZ).
  2. Continue the work on “Over-the-air (OTA) TRP field measurements for IMT radio equipment utilizing AAS” based on the requested response from 3GPP and expected input from other organisations and administrations.
  • Continue work on revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1457-14.
  • Continue work on synchronization of multiple IMT-2020 TDD networks.

Special Details About WP 5D Meeting #33 – December 2019:

This is a focused Technology Aspects Working Group meeting on the conclusion of Step 3, continuation of Step 4, and the evaluation of IMT-2020 submitted candidate technologies including a Workshop, and related matters.  Sessions of the meeting of the Working Groups and their SWGs in WP 5D meeting #33 are:

Working Groups/SWGs
Technology Aspects IN SESSION
SWG COORDINATION

SWG EVALUATION

SWG IMT SPECIFICATIONS

IN SESSION
General Aspects NOT in session
Spectrum Aspects NOT in Session
Ad Hoc Workplan IN SESSION –

ONLY for matters directly related to the Technology Aspects WG

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Appendix I:  High-level scopes for Working Party 5D working and Ad hoc Groups:

Group Scope Chairman
WG GENERAL ASPECTS –    To develop deliverables on services, forecasts, and also convergence of services of fixed and mobile networks which take account the needs of end users, and the demand for IMT capabilities and supported services. This includes aspects regarding the continued deployment of IMT, other general topics of IMT and overall objectives for the long-term development of IMT. To update the relevant IMT Recommendations/Reports.

–    To ensure that the requirements and needs of the developing countries are reflected in the work and deliverables of WP 5D in the development of IMT. This includes coordination of work with ITU-D Sector on deployments of IMT systems and transition to IMT system.

K.J. WEE

Korea

WG TECHNOLOGY ASPECTS –    To provide the technology related aspects of IMT through development of Recommendations and Reports. To update the relevant IMT‑2000 and IMT-Advanced Recommendations.  To work on key elements of IMT technologies including requirements, evaluation, and evolution. To develop liaison with external research and standardization forums, and to coordinate the external and internal activities related to the IMT-2020 process.

–    To manage the research topics website and its findings.

H. WANG

China

WG SPECTRUM ASPECTS –    To undertake co-existence studies, develop spectrum plans, and channel/frequency arrangements for IMT. This includes spectrum sharing between IMT and other radio services/systems coordinating as appropriate with other Working Parties in ITU-R. A. JAMIESON

New Zealand

AD HOC WORKPLAN –    To coordinate the work of WP 5D to facilitate efficient and timely progress of work items. H. OHLSEN

Sweden

 

Appendix II: Work with involved organizations, including research entities:

The strategy for ITU-R WP 5D going forward is to gather information from the organizations involved in the global research and development and those that have an interest in the future development of IMT and to inform them of the framework and technical requirements in order to build consensus on a global level.

ITU-R WP 5D can play an essential role to promote and encourage these research activities towards common goals and to ensure that information from the WP 5D development on the vision, spectrum issues, envisioned new services and technical requirements are widespread among the research community. In the same manner, WP 5D encourages inputs from the external communities involved in these research and technology developments.

It is evident that continuing dialogue between the ITU and the entities taking part in research is a key to the continuing success of the industry in advancing and expanding the global wireless marketplace.

Working Party 5D, as is the case with all ITU organizations, works from input contributions submitted by members of the ITU. In order to facilitate receipt of information from external entities who may not be direct members of ITU, the Radiocommunication Bureau Secretariat may be considered as the point of interface, in accordance with Resolution ITU-R 9‑5.

The following major activities are foreseen to take place outside of the ITU, including WP 5D, in order to successfully complement the WP 5D work:

–Research on new technologies to address the new elements and new capabilities of IMT‑2020;

–Ongoing development of specifications for IMT and subsequent enhancements.

Appendix III: Agreed overall deliverables/work plan of WP 5D and technical requirements in order to build consensus on a global level:

The following table provides the schedule of when approval of the planned major deliverables will be achieved following the procedures of WP 5D.

Date Meeting Anticipated Milestones
December 2019 Geneva WP 5D #33

(max. 4 day meeting)

•     Focus meeting on evaluation – review of external activities in Independent Evaluation groups through interim evaluation reports

•     Workshop on evaluation of IMT-2020 terrestrial radio interfaces

February 2020 [TBD] WP 5D #34 •     Finalize Doc. IMT-2020/ZZZ Evaluation Reports Summary

•     Finalize Addendum 5 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

•     Finalize draft new Report M.[IMT.AAS]

•     Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[HAPS-IMT]

•     Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.1 452-1 492 MHz]

•     Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT.MS/MSS.2GHz]

•     Further update/Finalize draft new Report/Recommendation ITU-R
M.[IMT.1518 MHz COEXISTENCE]

June 2020 [TBD] WP 5D #35 •     Finalize draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.OUTCOME]

•     Finalize Addendum 6 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

October 2020 [TBD] WP 5D #36 •     Finalize Addendum 7 to Circular Letter IMT‑2020 (if needed)

•     Finalize revision 15 of Recommendation M.1457

November 2020 Geneva WP 5D #36bis

(3 day meeting)

•     Finalize draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SPECS]

•     Finalize Addendum [7/8] to Circular Letter IMT‑2020

Appendix IV: Detailed workplan for the development of a working document towards a preliminary draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020 BROADBAND REMOTE COVERAGE]:

Source:       Document 5D/TEMP/760 (Ericsson)

Title “IMT-2020 for remote sparsely populated areas providing high data rate coverage”
Identifier M.[IMT-2020 TERRESTRIAL BROADBAND REMOTE COVERAGE]
Document type Report
WP 5D Lead Group WG Technology Aspects
SWG Chair Marc Grant, AT&T
Editor <TBD>
Focus for scope and work This Report provides details on prospects associated with provisioning of enhanced mobile broadband services to remote sparsely populated and under-served areas proposing enhancements of user equipment as well as for networks in suitable frequency bands:

−    for user equipment, possible solutions based on affordable user deployed RF amplifier equipment combined with access to local spectrum could be considered and examined; and

−    for networks, possible solutions based on high gain massive MIMO antennas could be reviewed.

Related documents Question ITU-R 77-7/5 − “Consideration of the needs of developing countries in the development and implementation of IMT”

Question ITU-R 229-4/5 − “Further development of the terrestrial component of IMT”

Milestones Meeting No. 32 (9-17 July 2019, Búzios, Brazil)

1    Call for contributions in the WP 5D Chairman’s Report.

Meeting No. 33 ([10-13 December 2019, Geneva, Switzerland])

1    [No sessions scheduled].

Meeting No. 34 (19-26 February 2020, <TBD>)

1    Consider received contributions.

2    Draft liaison statements as required.

3    Produce working document.

3    Review and revise the detailed workplan as required.

Meeting No. 35 (24 June – 1 July 2020, [China]))

1    Consider the received contributions.

2    Consider any necessary liaison statements.

3    Elevate the working document to a preliminary draft new Report.

4    Review and revise the detailed workplan as required.

Meeting No. 36 (7-14 October 2020, [India])

1    Consider the received contributions.

2    Consider any necessary liaison statements.

3    Elevate the preliminary draft new Report to a draft new Report for submission to Study Group 5.

 

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Update- Addendum 4 to Circular Letter 5/LCCE/59 24 July 2019:

To Administrations of Member States of the ITU, Radiocommunication Sector Members, ITU-R Associates participating in the work of Radiocommunication Study Group 5 and ITU Academia

Subject:  Acknowledgement of IMT-2020 proposals, future plans and evaluation report requests

Evaluation Workshop:
WP 5D will hold a Workshop on “IMT-2020 Terrestrial Radio Interfaces Evaluation” from 10 to 11 December, 2019 during its 33rd meeting to provide an interactive discussion among IEGs, proponents and WP 5D delegates.

The workshop will be held at the same venue as the 33rd meeting of WP 5D. The program of the workshop and detailed information about the workshop registration can be found on the “Web page for IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process” (under “Workshop on IMT-2020 Terrestrial Radio Interfaces Evaluation”). Parties interested in the details of the workshop (program, registration deadline, etc.) are kindly requested to check the workshop website periodically before the 33rd WP 5D meeting.

Evaluation Group discussion area:
The Evaluation Group discussion area can be found on “Web page for IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process.”

This discussion area is to exchange views on the characteristics of the proposed radio interface(s) technologies submitted by proponents and to discuss evaluation related issues among IEGs and the proponents.

The discussion area is available on a subscription basis for ITU-R members, designated representatives of the proponents of candidate technology submissions and designated representatives of the IEGs. Focal points of both the proponents and IEGs are requested to provide details of the designated representatives. IEGs and proponents are encouraged to participate in the Evaluation Group discussion area, and share the experiences that might be helpful to progress the evaluation activities.

Request for evaluation reports:
Following the IMT-2020 process on “Submission/Reception of the RIT and SRIT proposals and acknowledgement of receipt” in accordance with Document IMT-2020/2(Rev.2), WP 5D started the evaluation process from its 31st meeting in October 2018, and will last until its 34th meeting in February 2020.

Therefore, WP 5D expects to receive the final evaluation reports from the Independent Evaluation Groups on those IMT-2020 candidate technology RIT(s)/SRIT(s) that have been evaluated by its 34th meeting. While WP 5D kindly requests the independent evaluation groups to provide an interim
evaluation report for its 33rd meeting in December 2019 in which the Workshop on IMT-2020 evaluation will also be held.  It is also suggested that the evaluation reports contain information including the use of Report ITU-R M.2412, the considered test environment(s), the evaluated RIT(s)/ SRIT(s), and the evaluation results as requested by the compliance templates, but not limited to those. It is also requested that the interim evaluation report includes as much detail about the evaluation as possible.

Revision to Document IMT-2020/2:
Revision 2 to Document IMT-2020/2 “Submission, evaluation process and consensus building for IMT-2020”, is now available on “IMT-2020 documents”. This revision contains an additional WP 5D meeting planned in November 2020 to complete the Recommendation for detailed specifications of radio interface technologies for the terrestrial components of IMT-2020.

Updates to the ITU-R web page for the IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process and IMT-2020 documents Any future changes to the submission and evaluation process will be announced in Addenda to this
Circular Letter. Other information, such as information on the Workshop on IMT-2020 Terrestrial Radio Interfaces Evaluation, and interim evaluation report(s) will be updated dynamically on the “Web page for IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process” and “IMT-2020 documents.”

Consequently, Members and Sector members interested in the IMT-2020 development process including evaluation activities are kindly requested to periodically check the website.

Mario Maniewicz
Director

 

Verizon and AT&T want to virtualize the 5G Network Core and use Mobile Edge Computing

Verizon:

As we reported earlier this week, Verizon announced the first deployment of it’s mobile 5G network with Chicago and Minneapolis going live on April 11. The nation’s largest mobile network operator says the service will be available in “select areas” in those markets, and it plans to bring an additional 30 markets online later this year.

Verizon engineers have been preparing for 5G by migrating network core and edge processing functions from the physical world to the virtual world for about three years now, said Adam Koeppe, SVP of network planning at Verizon.  “Today, in the (proprietary) 5G network that we’ve already launched in our four 5G Home markets (FWA), those software functions that are used for the core of the 5G network are 100 percent virtual. Unlike LTE where you had to start physical and move to virtual, they’re native 5G network functions, those all start as virtual,” said Koeppe.

Similar to other carriers’ 5G roadmaps, Verizon’s initial pre-standard 5G deployments are based on 3GPP Release 15 NR NSA (non-standalone) architecture.  It’s using parts of the 4G network core (EPC) and signaling with a 5G radio access network for the data plane.   “All those functions in that path for 5G are virtual regardless of whether they’re 4G core that you’re using to support 5G or native to 5G functions,” Koeppe said.

“We’re trying to get the processing capabilities required on a network session as close to the consumer as possible, and the reason for that is one of the promises and realities of 5G is that you have the ability to have much lower network latency,” he said. Multi-access edge compute equipment (MEC) and network slicing are key components of that effort. “You have to make fundamental architectural changes to how your core works if you want to provide very low-latency services.”

Verizon currently manages different network use cases manually, by identifying the class of service for each device running on its wireless network. Network slicing and virtualization would change that significantly, and software plays a critical role, Koeppe said. “All the network functions that are providing that service need to be virtualized, because I can’t autonomously spin up physical capacity. That has to be done by a person. But if it’s virtual capacity I can spin that up from a machine through orchestration and machine learning.”

When you have 15 to 20 different use cases, “you have a very sophisticated network that is all virtualized and all programmable. Some of that you physically just can’t do with LTE today. Much of those 5G use cases will rely on that type of programmability of your network and you can’t do that without having a virtualized network function,” Koeppe added.

Verizon wants to put the capabilities of its 5G network and the MEC network into the hands of innovators who can drive use cases beyond what’s possible with 4G today, according to Koeppe. “These are radically different network capabilities, a lot goes in to ensuring that the hardware and the software works well together. And that’s the phase we’re in right now with our deployment.”

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ITU-T Standards status of network softwarization:

Question 21 of ITU-T SG13 is studying network softwarization including: network slicing, SDN, and orchestration which are highly expected to contribute to IMT-2020.  Question 21 met during the SG13 meeting, from 4 to 14 March 2019 at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe under the chairmanship of co-Rapporteur Ms.Yushuang Hu (China Mobile, China) and Mr. Kazunori TANIKAWA (NEC, Japan).

On March 14, 2019, ITU-T SG13 has consented to two new Recommendations:

  1. ITU-T Y.IMT2020-ML-Arch “Architectural framework for machine learning in future networks including IMT-2020” (Ref. SG13-TD355/WP1)
  2. ITU-T Y.3115 (formerly Y.NetSoft-SSSDN). It describes SDN control interfaces for network slicing, which especially focuses on the control of front haul networks such as PON.

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AT&T:

AT&T is on a similar path with virtualized network functions and MEF.  According to Light Reading, AT&T has virtualized 65% of its core network during the past five years, and is on track to meet its goal of virtualizing 75% of its network functions by the end of 2020.

“We see the cloud fragmenting again and certain workloads being pushed out to the edge — at customer [premises] and in the network — with more heavy-duty storage, and the back end being in the centralized cloud,” Roman Pacewicz, AT&T Business’s chief product officer, told Light Reading during an interview conducted at MWC 2019 in Barcelona.

Nowhere is [virtualization] more important than in our rollout of 5G,” Pacewicz says. “If we didn’t have a network edge cloud environment that takes the mobile core out to the edge of the network, those deployments would be complicated and longer. The whole strategy of virtualization and cloudification of the network (see IEEE Techblog posts on ITU-T SG13 recommendations related to IMT 2020) becomes more important in upgrading the infrastructure to 5G, because everything is virtualized and software-enabled.”

A new generation of services enabled by 5G will require low latency, and therefore require compute and storage resources close to the edge of the network, Pacewicz says.  That’s where MEC comes in to play a huge role in 5G (as well as real time critical IoT applications).  We previously reported that AT&T has a joint project with Microsoft to deliver Microsoft Azure cloud services from the AT&T network edge. The goal is reduced latency and increased network resiliency.  For applications such as AI, mixed reality and augmented reality, latency needs to be no greater than 20 milliseconds and that requires data to be processed closer to the edge of the network and closer to the end user, Pacewicz says.

A retailer with 8,000–10,000 stores can’t have dedicated compute at every site, but needs low latency to create new types of experience and networks need 2 millisecond latency for safe interactions between robots and human beings, Pacewicz claims.

–>Of course latency includes the mobile access network, mobile packet core, and edge network.  We are a very long way from achieving 20 milliseconds one way latency let alone round trip!

AT&T is teaming with Israeli startup Vorpa on projects to monitor the location of drones around sensitive locations such as aircraft and airports, alert authorities if they’re flying in restricted areas, and identify the location of a drone’s controller. Those types of applications require low latency enabled by mobile edge computing, Pacewicz says.  He concluded the Light Reading interview by highlighting SD-WAN is a key part of making the network more intelligent and flexible to accommodate 5G applications by optimizing traffic routing, particularly as edge devices don’t just consume data, but also generate lots of data.

–>While the SD-WAN market is growing, there are no standard definitions, interfaces or any specs for UNI or NNI interoperability.

AT&T’s CFO John Stephens said that several trends are conspiring to potentially lower AT&T’s CAPEX. He cited the company’s move to network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), which are technologies intended to replacing expensive, proprietary vendor hardware/equipment with less expensive, software-powered equivalents that run on commodity compute servers, white boxes and bare metal switches. Stephens said that more than half of AT&T’s network functions have been virtualized, and that the company remains on track to reach its goal of virtualizing fully 75% of its network functions by 2020.  “All of this leads to an efficiency opportunity on a going forward basis,” he said.

References:

https://www.sdxcentral.com/articles/news/how-verizon-is-using-software-to-power-its-5g-network/2019/03/

https://www.lightreading.com/cloud/atandts-pacewicz-we-see-the-cloud-fragmenting-again/d/d-id/750150

ITU-T SG13 Non Radio Hot Topics and Recommendations related to IMT 2020/5G

 

 

3GPP RAN WG meeting in Taiwan: January 21 – 25, 2019: NTT DOCOMO’s URLLC Use Cases

3GPP RAN WG meeting in Taiwan: January 21 – 25, 2019:

A five-day working group meeting of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) RAN WG opened in Taiwan on Monday January 21, 2019, with 459 registered delegates attending.   The goal of the meeting is to progress 3GPP Release 16 which will include an important IMT 2020 Use Case:  Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communications (URLLC).  I counted over a dozen contributions on the URLLC topic at this 3GPP meeting’s document list which can be accessed here.

Services for latency sensitive devices for applications like factory automation, autonomous driving, and remote surgery. These applications require sub-millisecond latency with error rates that are lower than 1 packet loss in 10⁵ packets [ITU-R M.2410.0]. New techniques need to be devised to meet the stringent latency and reliability requirements for URLLC.

 

An interesting 3GPP RAN meeting contribution on Views and evaluations for URLLC scenarios by Kazuaki Takeda of NTT DOCOMO will be presented this week.  In that contribution, NTT DOCOMO selected the following cases for evaluation:

Case Use-case Reliability Latency Data packet size and traffic model Description
1 Factory automation

@ 30GHz

99.9999 (%) 2ms for end-to-end

1ms for air-interface

DL & UL: 32 bytes

Periodic and deterministic traffic model with data arrival interval 2ms

Motion control
2 Factory automation

@ 4GHz

99.9999 (%) 2ms for end-to-end

1ms for air-interface

DL & UL: 32 bytes

Periodic and deterministic traffic model with data arrival interval 2ms

Motion control
3 Rel.15 enabled use-case in indoor hotspot

@ 4GHz

99.9 (%) 7ms for air-interface DL & UL: 4096 bytes

FTP model 3

AR/VR
4 Rel.15 enabled use-case in urban macro

@ 4GHz

99.999 (%) 1ms for air-interface DL & UL: 32 bytes

FTP model 3

Sporadic traffic
5 Power distribution

@ 700MHz

UL/DL SINR CDF only

 

There are high interests on supporting industrial IoT type of services at local area using carrier frequencies of around 4GHz and 30GHz [2]. It would be possible to evaluate NR performance in this type of scenario by simulating case 1, case 2, and case 3. For AR/VR type of services in a specific local area, it is not sure whether all the packets should be delivered as URLLC packets, or some specific type of packets (e.g., control packet) for AR/VR service should only be delivered as URLLC packets (i.e., other types of packets for AR/VR service can be delivered as eMBB). The simple way is to treat all the packets as URLLC packets as the evaluation assumption. Case 3 can be viewed as representing such situation. For emergency type of services in wide area, it can be represented by case 4. As the case 5, we partly evaluate the wide area performance at 700MHz.

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Taiwan 5G Commercialization Summit

In conjunction with the referenced 3GPP working group meeting, the Taiwan 5G Commercialization Summit organized by Taiwanese entities was also held in Taipei on Monday, January 21st.  The organizers of the Taiwan 5G summit were: MediaTek, Chunghwa Telecom, the Taiwan Association of Information and Communications Standards, and the 5G Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢), the head of iPhone assembler Pegatron Corp and a private sector group advising the government’s national innovation/new economy task force, said 5G technology is expected to drive sophisticated applications of the future such as smart medical care and the Internet of Vehicles.  Many of those new applications will require URLLC.

Mr. Tung urged the Taiwan government to update regulations to meet the needs of a fast-changing telecom environment and prevent Taiwan from lagging behind other countries in 5G development.  As long as Taiwan is successful in 5G development, it will create major commercial opportunities for the local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector, he added.

Since January 2018, Chunghwa Telecom has teamed up with the MOEA’s 5G Office, and the government-sponsored Institute for Information Industry (III) and Industrial Technology Research Institute in a 5G development alliance.

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