Building networks that support users' communication needs

Fulfilling the promise of unlimited bandwidth

The way we communicate changes as technology evolves. Nowadays consumers expect services to be easily accessible and available everywhere, on whatever devices they are using. Technically, this means networks must converge.

ETSI provides a comprehensive set of standards for access network technologies, from Digital Subscriber Line technologies (xDSL), fibre and cable, through to the latest developments with Internet Protocol (IP) networking technology and the Cloud.

We provide a comprehensive set of standards for networks that meet today’s – and tomorrow’s – needs.

ETSI activities began with ISDN and PSTN technologies. Technological evolution has subsequently enabled independence between access networks and the core network, allowing connection from any access network to the core network. ETSI’s work continued on access networks with the European adaptation of access technologies such as xDSL, fibre and cable, as well as xDSL splitters for European deployment. On the core network side, the concept of next generation networks (NGN) is enabling telecommunication networks to evolve to employ IP technology and to support more advanced services.

Now that the Next Generation Network technologies are stable, the industry is considering what future trends may drive the continuing development of networks. New services need to be taken into account; these include machine-to-machine communications, the growth of user-generated content, video, the increasing use of mobile internet access, social networking, advanced device capabilities, and the ever-growing numbers of connected devices. New network technologies being developed include Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV), which aims to leverage standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage, which could be located in data centres, network nodes and in the end user premises.

We also focus on network management with the definition of an architectural Reference Model of a Generic Autonomic Network Architecture (GANA).


ETSI groups in the Networks cluster:

  • ATTM (Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing)
  • CABLE (Integrated broadband cable telecommunication networks)
  • ERM (Electromagnetic compatibility and Radio spectrum Matters)
  • NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation)
  • NTECH (Network Technologies)
  • PLT (Powerline Telecommunications)

3GPP, the Third Generation Partnership Project, is another contributor to the cluster. It is a collaboration between standards organizations worldwide who develop specifications for advanced mobile communications technologies.

The Networks cluster also co-operates with various fora, consortia and organizations including HGI, GeSI, ITU-T, GSMA, OGF, CENELEC, BBF, IEC, IETF, ECMA International, ONF, TM Forum.


Network technologies

Our ISG on Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) has drawn up a work programme to develop a new approach to the technologies and operations in telecommunications networks. We are developing 15 specifications and are organizing Proof of Concept events in which participants demonstrate and test the early implementation of NFV concepts under real conditions.

Our Network Technologies committee (TC NTECH) is completing Technical Reports (TRs) on the use of the Domain Name System protocol and implementation of ENUM-based mechanisms to enable number portability when using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. We are completing the specifications of the protocols required on the interfaces of the Content Delivery Network architecture.

We are working on the application of the GANA model onto concrete use cases (such as the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™) Evolved Packet Core) and on the evolution of this reference model to take into account emerging technologies such as Software-Defined Networking. Other work includes design guidelines and testability and the establishment of a framework for organizing Proof of Concept events to demonstrate the viability of autonomic management.

Cable networks

We are working in support of European Commission Mandate 462 on energy efficiency in information and communication networks.

Planned developments of our Integrated Broadband Cable Telecommunication Networks committee (TC CABLE) include:

  • Completion of a new ETSI Standard (ES) defining Global Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) access networks and describing how they should be applied, and a TR on energy efficiency and KPIs for cable access networks.
  • Standardization of next generation broadband cable technologies, addressing the increasing demand on data rates and the sophistication of the service portfolio including the transition to IPv6.
  • Publication of a new ES on the Converged Cable Access Platform Operational Support System Interface (CCAP-OSSI), defining the management interface into key HFC access platforms for high speed data services and narrowcast digital video.
  • Completion of a Technical Specification (TS) on measurement methods for the network performance of broadband data services.
  • Publication of all parts of a series of multipart TSs defining a plan and testing methodology to verify the compliance of equipment and systems with ETSI standards on the transition of broadband cable networks from IPv4 to IPv6.

Home and office interconnection

Our Access, Terminals, Transmission and Multiplexing committee (TC ATTM) is developing specifications for optical fibre systems to support the global deployment of fibre on customer premises and to enable the development of equipment required by building in-home services.

We are developing a TS on the requirements for reverse power feeding for Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp), whereby the node at the distribution point can be powered from the customer premises equipment.

Other topics in this field include European requirements and applications for FTTdp and Very high bit rate Digital Subscriber Line 2 (VDSL2).

Powerline communications

Our Powerline Telecommunications committee (TC PLT) is focusing on the transportation of video over powerlines to enable the advent of 4K video streaming and video on demand services for Ultra High-Definition Television (UHDTV) and new advances in technology such as High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

Planned developments in our PLT committee include:

  • Completion of a Technical Report (TR) on the impact of HEVC and the H.265 codec on the transmission of high definition video over powerline networks. This report represents the first phase of work towards the development of the standards necessary to enable the provision of very high rate services over powerlines.
  • Completion of a TR on the transmission of very high rate video using a Powerline High-Definition Multimedia Interface for short range links. One use of this technology would be to simplify the installation of home cinema.
  • Publication of a new Technical Specification (TS) on the co-existence of VDSL2 and PLT modems on customer premises using Dynamic Spectral Management (DSM), which has already proved useful for the mitigation of interference caused by networks co-existing in the same building.
  • Completion of our work on the powerline communication requirements for smart meters, in response to European Commission Mandate 441.