ETSI releases specification and reports on next generation IP Protocols

Sophia Antipolis, 27 November 2018

to support the new 5G services

ETSI group on Next Generation Protocol (ISG NGP) has just released a new specification and reports to optimize the performance, efficiency, and scalability of new services proposed for 5G such as network slicing or ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC).

The ETSI report GR NGP 010 entitled "Recommendation for New Transport Technologies" provides an analysis of current transport technologies such as TCP and their limitations. Based on this analysis, it delivers some high-level guidance as to the architectural features required in a transport technology that would support the new applications proposed for 5G, and a framework in which there is a clear separation between control and data planes. Experimental results from a proof-of-concept implementation are also reported.

The ETSI report GR NGP 011 addresses "End-to-end Network Slicing Reference Framework and Information Model". It describes network slicing and the design principles behind it, as well as the resources used by services in network slices to provide sharing of physical networks across multiple administrative and technology domains with the capacity available to each user being assured. The high level functions and mechanisms that implement slicing are described, and security considerations are addressed.

“Current IP protocols for core and access networks need to evolve and offer a much better service to mobile traffic than the current TCP/IP-based technology,” states John Grant, chair of the ETSI Next Generation Protocol Industry Specification Group (ISG). “Our specifications offer solutions that are compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6, providing an upgrade path to the more efficient and responsive system that is needed to support 5G.”

The new ETSI specification GS NGP 013 describes "Flexilink: an efficient deterministic packet forwarding in user plane as well as packet formats and forwarding mechanisms". It specifies user plane packet formats and routing mechanisms that allow core and access networks to support the new services proposed for 5G. With IP, every packet carries all the information needed to route it to its destination, but newer technologies such as Software Defined Networking (SDN) route flows rather than individual packets. Flexilink takes this to its logical conclusion, with packet headers only carrying a "label" which is an index into the routing table; this offers the ultimate in header compression as well as improved security. Flexilink also provides a separate ultra-low latency service for continuous media such as audio, video, tactile internet, or vehicle position.

About ETSI
ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the timely development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT-enabled systems, applications and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a not-for-profit body with more than 850 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 66 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO).

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