Industry Specification Group (ISG) Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G) Activity Report 2023

Vice Chairs: Olivier Ferveur, Ming Jiang, Frank Effenberger

Studying the evolution of the fixed network needed to match and enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile networks and to communications; defining improvements with respect to previous solutions and new characteristics of what represents the 5th generation fixed network and its evolution toward F5G Advanced. 

We are entering a new era of communications where the evolution of fixed networks will also play a vital role in the success of 5G and future mobile systems. Building on previous technology iterations, this ‘fifth generation’ of fixed networks targets the three main goals of delivering full-fibre connection, enhanced fixed broadband and a guaranteed, reliable experience in both industrial and consumer applications by secure, low-latency connections. F5G Advanced enhances those dimensions and extends the systems by technologies for reducing energy and carbon emissions, improved low latency and reliability for industrial applications, and the addition of optical network sensing.

Fibre and fibre-based optical networks are the key technical enablers of our society's twin transitions (green and digital), providing sustainable and cost-effective communications with high bandwidth, stability, reliability and low latency, low energy usage. In addition, fibre enables sustainable economic growth through advanced services and applications for individuals, businesses and industries.

For home scenarios, emerging services such as Cloud VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) video streaming or online gaming introduce the necessity for ultra-broadband, extremely low latency and zero packet loss. Business scenarios such as the cloudification of enterprise networks, leased lines, or POL (Passive Optical LAN) require high reliability and high security. Industrial applications have specific requirements on the deployment of fibre infrastructures, including tolerance for extreme environmental conditions related – for example – to humidity, temperature or electromagnetic interference.

ETSI’s Industry Specification Group is dedicated to defining the fifth generation of Fixed Network (ISG F5G) and beyond. Its goal is to define improvements with respect to previous solutions, opening up new opportunities by applying fibre technology to various scenarios and turning the ‘Fibre to the Home’ paradigm into ‘Fibre to Everything Everywhere’ including Fibre to the Room (FTTR), Fibre to the Office, Fibre to the Machine (FTTM), and Fibre to the Thing.

In August 2023 ETSI announced the completion of F5G Release 2 specifications. Building on Release 1, this iteration brings an array of additional features that bring fibre fixed networks into the next level. Release 2 is based on an updated set of 32 Use Cases that span a diverse spectrum, comprising XR based virtual presence, home broadband connectivity to multiple clouds, virtual music, next generation digital twins, or AI-driven PON optical path diagnoses.

To support these new requirements, an evolved network architecture further enhances F5G network services, such as Fibre-to-the-Room (FTTR) and industrial PON, creating a framework for the delivery of advanced, high bandwidth, and high-quality services. FTTR improves the user experience, enabling virtual reality applications in every corner of the home. Industrial PON will turn manufacturing plants into a green, digitalized environment. The Release includes specifications defining a telemetry framework for automated advanced network management, a method for the evaluation of residential services quality allowing to estimate F5G network quality and compare it to the requirements of the services. It also comprises enhanced security specifications to safeguard against potential vulnerabilities.

Following completion of Release 2, ISG F5G activities in 2024 focus on developing F5G-Advanced technology for Release 3.

This work is reflected in the following deliverables that were published by ISG F5G in 2023:

  • GR F5G 007 – Group Report on F5G Industrial PON
  • GS F5G 012 – Group Specification on F5G Security Countermeasure Framework Specification
  • GS F5G 013 – Group Specification on F5G Technology Landscape - Release 2
  • GS F5G 014 - Group Specification on F5G Network Architecture - Release 2
  • GS F5G 015 – Group Specification on F5G Residential Services Quality Evaluation and Classification - Release 2
  • GS F5G 016 - Group Specification on Data Models of Telemetry for Access Network
  • GR F5G 021 – Group Report on F5G Advanced Generation Definition

Members of the group contributed to ETSI White Paper #60 “All-optical network facilitates the Carbon Shift” that was published in November 2023.

ISG F5G officers also contributed to an article titled "Standardization of the 5th Generation Fixed Network for Enabling End-to-End Network Slicing and Quality-Assured Services” that was published in the IEEE Communication Standards Magazine.

Meanwhile several new Work Items were launched by the Group in 2023, with development continuing in 2024:

  • Measurement Specification for Residential Services Quality Evaluation (DGS/F5G-0017).
  • Architecture of Optical Cloud Networks (DGS/F5G-0018).
  • Autonomous Network level definition (DGR/F5G-0019).
  • F5G Advanced Use Cases (DGR/F5G-0020).
  • Specification for PON based Industrial Network (DGS/F5G-0022) that will specify the network architecture, functional requirements, performance requirements, management system for PON based industrial networks being deployed in typical industrial application scenarios, and fulfil the requirements from industrial services.
  • F5G-A Requirements and Gap Analyses (DGS/F5G-0023) that will specify the technology requirements for F5G‑A use cases release 3.
  • F5G-A Architecture (DGS/F5G‑0024) that will specify the end to end F5G Advanced network architecture, features and related network elements’ requirements for F5G Advanced.
  • Architecture of computing collaboration in PON network (DGS/F5G‑0025) that will specify the architecture framework of computing collaboration in PON network, the requirements of computing collaboration in PON network, key computing functions and capabilities of each component in the PON network.
  • Architecture and data models for residential service quality monitoring (DGS/F5G‑0026) that will define system architecture for residential service quality monitoring (service KQI, network KQI) based on GS F5G 015.
  • F5G-A E2E Management (DGS/F5G‑0027) that will specify the end-to-end management and control architecture and its related interfaces for the F5G Advanced networks.
  • F5G-A SME service and network quality classification (DGS/F5G‑0028) that will specify the evaluation criteria of the SME service quality experience on the F5G Advanced (F5G‑A) networks.
  • Test specification for residential FTTR functionality and performance (DGS/F5G‑0029) that will specify the test methodology and criteria of the functionality and performance of ITU‑T G.fin-based on-premises network.

Three new Proof of Concept proposals were accepted during the year, with work on them continuing in 2024:

  • PoC#04 ‘Edge/Cloud-based Visual Inspection for Quality Assessment of Products’ that will focus on demonstrating different features such as an end-to-end manufacture control loop, comprising of an industrial camera – edge cloud – robot arm, connectivity between all these components via a passive optical network (PON), including fibre-to-the-camera and fibre-to-the-robot, and an AI‑based video analytics/vision analysis of customizable 3D-prints on the edge cloud consisting of a full video-edge-robot pipeline.
  • PoC#05 ‘Edge/Cloud-based Control of Automated Guided Vehicles’ that will demonstrate the concept of cloud-based control of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and robots in a factory workshop environment, based on an underlying Passive Optical Network (PON) infrastructure.
  • PoC#06 ‘End-to-end Management and Control for Building Cloud AR/VR Service’ that will demonstrate the feasibility of deploying an end-to-end management and control system for a F5G network architecture composed of an optical access network segment and an optical transport network segment to deploy a Cloud AR/VR gaming use-case.

More information on PoCs can be found at: This dedicated page on the ETSI website offers an introduction to the F5G PoC framework and related resources, including templates for PoC proposals and PoC reports. Further information is accessible in the F5G Open Area

ISG F5G maintains regular communication with other standardization, technical and industry bodies including: ITU‑T, BBF, IEEE, IETF, WFA, TM Forum, IEC, CCSA and WBBA.

During the year presentations of ISG F5G activities were given at various conferences, workshops and other industry events, including: MWC (Barcelona), OFC (San Diego), FTTH Council (Madrid), NGON & 5G Transport (Mandelieu‑La Napoule), ECOC 2023 Workshop on the Evolution to F5G Advanced, Network X, ETSI Workshop on F5G (Paris), FTTR Workshop with ITU-T, CCSA & BBF (online).

See the full list of ISG F5G Work Items currently in development here.