It’s now or never to have a say in 5G core definitions: ETSI
By Tony Chan
The industry’s focus on 5G is leading it to neglect the core network necessary to support future radio access networks, according to ETSI CTO Adrian Scrase. He said the industry should not forget about the next generation core network for 5G as it moves to define the radio component of 5G. “There is a misperception indeed that 5G is all about radio; even if you talk to the learned engineers, they always tend to drop into a radio discussion,” said Scrase in a video interview with Telecom TV. “Then when we start to discuss the core network, that’s a few steps behind in terms of maturity.” More importantly, there is some urgency to define the next generation architecture for a 5G core infrastructure due to the enhanced schedule for the definition of the radio access component. “In terms of the radio component, we have said that by the end of this year, we will have a basic definition of the new radio – that will be available by December,” he said.
“The infrastructure discussion has started now… this has to be completed by June next year, so we have a very, very short window of opportunity now for the infrastructure discussion to catch up with the radio discussion.”
“It’s now or never because by June 2018, it’s got to be finished. It takes a period of time to collect the bright ideas about how the infrastructure could look for the future, synthetise ideas and evaluate them and then reach conclusions in a definitive form by next June, so it is really now or never for anyone in the industry that wants to influence the future design of our infrastructure. It has to be done right now.”
Despite demonstrations of network slicing by multiple vendors and operators, Scrase was quick to point out that a 5G core will be much more than just partitioning a core network to support different services.
“We will be replacing the existing core network with a new core network that looks and feels quite different. Its whole architecture will be different, it will be based on very different parameters… bearing in mind that we have a very important parameter for the new design, is this element of convergence between, say, fixed and mobile architectures.”
(This article first appeared in www.commsday.com)