Industry Specification Group (ISG) Fifth Generation Fixed Network (F5G) Activity Report 2022
Chair: Luca Pesando, Telecom Italia
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.
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.
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. 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 dedicated to defining the fifth generation of Fixed Network (ISG F5G) is studying the fixed network evolution required to match and enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile networks and communications. 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’.
Having completed its first release of specifications, and on the way to finalise in the coming months the second one, ISG F5G has started the analysis of the further needed evolution of F5G networks, based on the new emerging technologies; this analysis is reported in the ETSI White Paper ‘Fixed 5th Generation Advanced and Beyond’ published in September 2022 (see ETSI White Paper: Fixed 5th Generation Advanced and Beyond). The White Paper will be the basis for a further release of technical specifications, named F5G-Advanced, which will follow and expand R2.
The following deliverables were published by ISG F5G in 2022:
- F5G Architecture R1 (GS F5G 004, 2022-01) - specifies end to end network architectures, features and related network devices/elements’ requirements.
- F5G QoE R1 (GS F5G 005, 2022-03) - studies end-to-end quality of experience (QoE) factors for F5G services.
- F5G End to End Management R1(GS F5G 006, 2022-09) - defines end-to-end management (e.g. resource orchestration, provisioning and service assurance).
- F5G use cases R2 (GR F5G 008, 2022-06) - reviews use cases for the fifth generation of fixed network.
- F5G Security R1 (GR F5G 010, 2022-04) - identifies Threat, Vulnerability and Risk and proposes countermeasures for F5G.
Progress meanwhile continued on the following Work Items:
- Telemetry R1 (GS/F5G-011) - specifies a Telemetry framework and the requirements for telemetry technologies, interfaces and data models for the F5G Access Network (will be published end of 2022).
- F5G Security (GS/F5G-012) - specifies the F5G security countermeasure framework derived from the accompanying F5G GR F5G 010 security gap/threat analysis recommendations.
- F5G Technology Landscape R2 (GS/F5G-013) - studies technology requirements for F5G use cases Release 2, exploring existing technologies from related SDOs.
ISG F5G also adopted a number of new Work Items in 2022:
- F5G Architecture R2 (RGS/F5G-0014) - specifies end-to-end network architectures, features and related network devices/elements’ requirements, as well as define new features and enhance existing ones.
- F5G Residential Services Quality Evaluation and Classification (DGS/F5G-0015) - specifies evaluation criteria of the experience of residential service quality on a per-service base and for multiple services using F5G networks.
- F5G Telemetry Models (DGS/F5G-0016) - specifies data models for Telemetry in the Access Network including both configuration and collection, referring to GS/F5G-011Telemetry and providing typical examples.
- F5G Measurement Specification for Residential Services Quality Evaluation (DGS/F5G-0017) - specifies necessary measurement environment to evaluate the quality of the residential services and network characteristics/functionalities based on the indicators defined in document DGS/F5G-0015.
- Architecture of Optical Cloud Networks (DGS/F5G-0018) - enables the F5G optical network to carry high-quality cloud services.
- F5G AN level definition and evaluation (DGS/F5G-0019) - defines F5G Autonomous Network (AN) features.
- F5G Advanced Use Cases (DGR/F5G-0020) – collects the Use Cases for the third release of specifications F5G-Advanced
- F5G Advanced Generation Definition (DGR/F5G-0021) – defines the characteristics of the F5G-Advanced generation
Two Proof of Concept (PoC) proposals were accepted by ISG F5G during the year:
- PoC#02 ‘Precise Traffic Monitoring and Telemetry Streaming for Prediction and Analysis’ - demonstrates enhanced traffic monitoring and fine granular telemetry streaming solutions for optical access networks. The PoC achieved all goals and finished in Q2 2022.
- PoC#03 ‘Optical Service Networks for Cloud VR Application’ - aims to demonstrate using F5G optical service networks (e.g. 10GPON and next generation OTN technologies) to carry premium home services, specifically Cloud Virtual Reality (VR) applications. This PoC is still in progress.
More information on PoCs can be found at: https://www.etsi.org/technologies/fifth-generation-fixed-network-f5g/f5g-poc. 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.
During 2022 officers and members of ISG F5G participated in a number of high-profile conferences and industry events.
The group also maintained regular communication with other standardization, technical and industry bodies including: ITU-T, BBF, IEEE, CCSA, IETF, WFA (Wi-Fi Alliance), TM Forum, IEC and ISO. Joint workshops have been organized with some of them to address specific common areas of interest.
ISG F5G membership has continued to increase. As of November 2022, 35 ETSI members, 58 non-ETSI members and 1 Counsellor have now signed the F5G agreement.
See the full list of ISG F5G Work Items currently in development here.