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Broadband Forum publishes three new standards to accelerate global 5G adoption

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They cover the access ecosystem, from fixed mobile convergence, to the access gateway function and customer premises equipment.

The Broadband Forum has published three new standards, which it says are a major step towards unlocking a new wave of 5G innovation and they prepare telcos for the mass adoption of 5G.

The Forum claims the standards will reduce development time, as well as CapEx and OpEx, compared with the disparate fixed broadband and 5G networks.

Ultimately, they will deliver a common and managed broadband experience to the end-user whatever the final connectivity technology.

True convergence

Santiago Tenorio, Head of Network Architecture at Vodafone, explained, “True convergence requires the use of a single converged 5G core network enabling us to provide exciting services to customers, irrespective of whether they cannot to it via wireless or wireline technologies.

“It also requires a single view of the customer to enable a common approach to authentication credentials and associated network policies. This set of new Broadband Forum convergence standards is a significant step towards enabling the vision of seamless and consistent handling of customer connectivity in the era of 5G and Gigabit access.”

Here are the three major sets of technical specifications that have been finalised:
• 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence Architecture (TR-470) was produced in conjunction with 3GPP and describes the 5G fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) architecture. It provides a high-level guide for network architects and planners, and enabling fixed and mobile functions to coexist over a shared infrastructure. This will facilitate multi-access connectivity and give consumers service experience that is technology agnostic.

For operators, the network functions they need to operate infrastructure will be streamlined and built on common technology, supporting on-boarding, training, services and subscriber management between fixed and mobile divisions. Operators will also be able to generate additional revenue streams as FMC extends the geographical reach of 5G core networks and the service offering of fixed networks.

Rosaria Persico, Principal Broadband Forum Delegate, TIM, stated, “Especially for operators who can count on a large mobile and fixed customer base, the three new standards will provide a great opportunity to offer the revolutionary 5G services to households too, maximising the key benefits of different access network assets and leveraging all the service platforms which will be deployed to unlock the full potential that 5G promises.”

• Access Gateway Function (AGF) Functional Requirements (TR-456) describes the functional requirements of the AGF, which resides between fixed access networks and the 5G core network to support 5G and wireline residential gateways for converged deployments.

• Alongside this, the Broadband Forum’s Device: 2 data model (TR-181 Issue 2 Amendment 14), which is used by user services platform (USP), has been extended to address 5G Residential Gateways. The Device: 2 data model applies to all types of TR-069 or USP-enabled devices, including end devices, residential gateways, and other network infrastructure devices

Robin Mersh, CEO, Broadband Forum, said, “Spanning the full scope of the network, including CPE, these specifications take a holistic approach to network management and operation will greatly accelerate 5G deployments, ensuring operator confidence through an open ecosystem.”