VICINITY project at “5G Network Infrastructure Workshop” organised by ETSI
The ETSI 5G Network Infrastructure workshop was very well attended and the ETSI Amphitheatre was full.
The workshop focused on the network infrastructure required to support 5G services. It was agreed that NFV (Network Functions Virtualisation), SDN (Software Defined Networks), Service Orchestration and Network Slicing would be key technologies for 5G.
Keith Dickerson from Climate Associates Limited participated as a member of the ETSI Board. The VICINITY project was promoted during the associated AIOTI WG03 event where an attempt was made to include USED and CECED in the AIOTI Standards Landscape.
Network Architecture: Problems with the current Internet include: The Internet has been designed for fixed networking and internetworking with 3GPP designs for mobile access connectivity & centralized subscriber control, and 4G-LTE provides a well received integrated ‘mobile Internet access’ technology. However, in bringing these technologies together users have to take out (expensive) subscriptions to get 3GPP & IP to work together, they have variable performance (throughput & latency) compared with fixed broadband, and they have patchy coverage.
Network Slicing: It was agreed that network slicing would be a key technology to achieve the required performance of a wide range of 5G services such as critical communications and IoT for communication between medical devices. Network slicing is currently being demonstrated by Huawei, DT and Samsung among others, but there are questions about how to get it to work effectively across carrier networks.
Security: There is huge concern about security in the IoT and the possibility of “Internet-connected toasters taking down the network”. In 2016 the number of attacks on the network infrastructure surpassed the number of attacks on the web servers connected to it, with on average 2 Internet segments going down per week as a result of these attacks. It is clear that more attention needs to be paid to the resilience of the infrastructure and security will be a differentiator in the future. The UK recently set up the London Security Centre "to make London the securest place to do business in the world". It is also clear that all future IoT-connected devices such as security cameras will have to be capable of receiving regular software updates to address new security vulnerabilities. However, this process of remote updating must not itself leave these devices open to hacking.
Standards: There needs to be wider range of inputs to standards for 5G. A Letter of Intent (LoI) was signed between ETSI and the 5G Infrastructure Association in order to benefit the ETSI TBs in the Wireless cluster (3GPP, BRAN etc) and make standardization more effective. An ISG has been set up within ETSI to look at Next Generation Protocols (NGP) which is looking at what is wrong with the Internet, how it got that way and what could be done about it.