With each new generation of mobile broadband comes the opportunity for innovation across the entire broadband infrastructure. While the conversations associated with a next-generation 5G-enabled network starts with wireless, there is an enormous amount of interest with bringing fixed access into that discussion as well.
The fact of the matter is that when it comes to data transport, at some point the radio ends and the network begins. And that means all of that traffic and capacity needs to be pulled across the network in some manner. Thus, transport technology remains of vital importance to the evolution of the global network.
Organizations like The Broadband Forum are involved with addressing both routing and transport requirements in order to ensure the fixed network evolves in conjunction with the wireless network. This work involves standards efforts that focus on capacity, performance, reliability, scalability and security of the network.
Look no further than the projects being conducted in cooperation with such global organizations as 3GPP to develop technical specifications for the wireline broadband system evolution to support wireline backhaul for 5G.
The Broadband Forum is defining a path forward for fixed providers, and has defined an architectural track with three components that look to maximize the addressable market. They are as follows:
Examining a co-existence path. This will enable the incorporation of fixed access into 5G so that they can be deployed side by side with existing services. In this path, these services can operate side by side to a common subscriber base on the same access plan
Interworking. Some existing deployed equipment in the home would have access to the service environment in the 5G core.
Full integrated path. This is direct access to the 5G core and complete operational integration with the 5G systems. That could be appealing to a number of carriers due to the increase of operational benefits.
The end game is to ensure the service provider community will have a larger range of tools at their disposal in order to offer serious bandwidth to subscribers. Through a combination of fixed and mobile technologies, it offers an opportunity to provide a much enhanced quality of service to the end subscriber.
TIA’s advocacy, standards and business networking in both wireless and wireline infrastructure arenas offer a foundation for companies to connect to the ecosystem of stakeholders.
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