Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Etsi reports on protocols for 5G

Steve Rogerson
December 6, 2018



European standards group Etsi has released a specification and report on next generation internet protocols to support 5G.
 
The Etsi group dealing with next-generation protocols (NGP ISG) has released a specification and report to optimise the performance, efficiency and scalability of services proposed for 5G such as network slicing or reliable low latency communications.
 
The Etsi GR NGP 010 report 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 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.
 
GR NGP 011 addresses the 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,” said John Grant, chairman of the Etsi NGP 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 GS NGP 013 specification describes Flexilink efficient deterministic packet forwarding in the 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 that is an index into the routing table; this provides better 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.