We are entering a new era of communication, where fixed networks will play an essential role. Fixed networks have always offered the highest bandwidths and availability. The development of a full fibre solution will help to support the most demanding applications, such as ultra-high definition video streaming, telemedicine, virtual reality (VR) gaming, and more to come.

The next generation of fixed network is needed to complement the 5G wireless network and support the growing number of cloud services requiring high bandwidth and/or low latency connections. Built on previous generations of fixed networks, the 5th generation of fixed network is being defined by ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) F5G to provide the evolution required to match and further enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile communications.

ETSI ISG F5G will upgrade previous solutions, and the new characteristics of the fifth-generation fixed network will address three main features:

  • A full-fibre connection (FFC)
  • An enhanced fixed broadband (eFBB)
  • A guaranteed reliable experience (GRE)

They can be used to represent the evolution of technology and services (see figure below).

Figure F5G tech page

Thanks to FBB, FFC and GRE, F5G will provide over 10 times higher bandwidth, 10 times denser fibre connections, and 10 times better reliability and latency.

F5G will open new opportunities by comprehensively applying fibre technology to various scenarios and expanding the reach of fibre to everything, everywhere, to benefit all industry verticals (e.g. telecom, education, healthcare, finance, energy, transportation and manufacturing).

The evolution of F5G is planned. The detailed directions and visions are under consideration and will be published as white paper on “F5G Advanced and Beyond”.

Our Role & Activities

ETSI ISG F5G will study the following aspects:

  • identifying the overall characteristics of the 5th generation fixed network
  • exploring all relevant F5G scenarios and related use cases that may include (but are not limited to) home, business and multiple vertical industries
  • performing a gap analysis to identify the necessity for both enhancements to existing technical specifications and development of new technical specifications where required
  • studying the overall framework, outlining the complete F5G technology landscape

The evolution of the fixed network creates new opportunities by extending fibre to the home to fibre to other scenarios, such as to business and to vertical industries, and will need to meet different needs:

  • Home scenarios, emerging services such as Cloud VR IMAX, and online gaming, introduce the necessity for ultra-broadband, extremely low latency and zero packet loss
  • Business scenarios such as enterprise Cloudification, leased line and POL require high reliability and high security
  • Vertical industry scenarios such as smart manufacturing have specific requirements on the deployment of fibre infrastructures, environmental conditions (e.g. humidity, temperature, electromagnetic), and so on. Various use cases from different industries will be investigated, and the relevant requirements will be identified.

Industry use cases and relevant potential requirements will be clearly documented with the corresponding technology landscape.

F5G full fibre approach aims to maximize the synergy with the related transport, access and in-premises technologies such as OTN, XG(S)-PON and supplementary technologies such as Wi-Fi 6. New technologies or extensions to existing technologies will be identified through gap analyses. These extensions may include:

ODN Technologies XG(S)-PON Enhancements Wi-Fi 6 Enhancements
Control / user plane separation Smart energy efficiency End-to-End full stack slicing
Autonomous O & M Artificial Intelligence Network synergy
Industrial Optical Networks Mobile X-haul Convergence with 5G/6G
Underlay and Service Plane separation Optical Service Networks FTTR/FTTM/FTTO/...

These new features will be supported by an E2E network architecture that includes legacy networks and SDN-based networks, looking at the same time at the best evolution path.

ETSI ISG F5G considers a wide range of technologies, and therefore seeks to actively cooperate with several relevant standardization groups, both inside and outside of ETSI, as well as vertical industrial organizations. ETSI ISG F5G’s work will be oriented to pre-standardization including the identification of technology and standards gaps. Any areas of interest will be referred to the appropriate standardization group and/or organization which may then further enhance or develop the relevant technology specifications.


In the first term of ISG F5G (Year 2020 and 2021), the group published the F5G Release 1. See pdfdescription of Release 1.

During the current term 2 (Year 2022 and 2023) the ISG F5G plans to publish the F5G Release 2. See pdfplan of Release 2.

A full list of related standards in the public domain is accessible via the ETSI F5G committee page.