It’s been just over a year since I wrote a detailed post on what I called ‘5G and Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)’. The technical term being used in the industry for this feature is Wireless Wireline Convergence (WWC).
BBF (@Broadband_Forum) has published 3 new standards to accelerate global 5G adoption – https://t.co/ufoHRfK3BE – Wireless Wireline Convergence (#WWC) allows Wi-Fi and other wireline technologies to be part of 5G#Free5Gtraining #5G #5GNetworks #5GTechnology #FMC #5GConvergence pic.twitter.com/OcCyLYix2b
— 5G Training (@5Gtraining) November 26, 2020
Broadband Forum, the communications industry’s leading open standards development organization focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development has just announced the publication of three new standards to accelerate global 5G adoption. The press release said:
Building on the Forum’s mission to drive a future consolidated approach to 5G, the standards will reduce development time, as well as capex and opex, from the traditional 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.
There are three major sets of technical specifications that have been finalized, including 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence Architecture (TR-470), Access Gateway Function (AGF) Functional Requirements (TR-456) and Device Data Model (TR-181). Together, these documents provide functions and interfaces for Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), the AGF, and customer premises equipment (CPE) such as 5G-enabled routers.
TR-470 – produced in conjunction with 3GPP – describes the 5G FMC architecture, providing 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 a seamless, access-independent service experience.
For operators, the network functions required to operate their infrastructure will be streamlined and common technology, on-boarding, training, services and subscriber management between fixed and mobile divisions can be achieved. Furthermore, additional revenue streams will be created, with FMC extending the geographical reach of 5G core networks and the service offering of fixed networks.
TR-456 describes the functional requirements of the AGF. The AGF resides between fixed access networks and the 5G core network to support 5G and wireline Residential Gateways, creating a truly converged deployment. Alongside this, 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
In addition, the Functional Requirements for Broadband Residential Gateway Devices (TR-124) specification is expected to be finalized in Q4 2020. Moving from the network into the home, TR-124 has been extended to add requirements related to the 5G Residential Gateway extending the 5G control plane to the premises to open up new service opportunities with real time fulfillment.
In the video below, David Allan, Work Area Director for Wireless-Wireline Convergence at Broadband Forum and Christele Bouchat, Innovation Group Director at Broadband Forum discuss what is coming up in the next phase of 5G work and what opportunities this has opened up for the industry
WWC has a great potential to allow wireline and trusted/untrusted Wi-Fi to work with 5G so I am hopeful that operators will adopt this sooner, rather than later.
Follow the links below to learn more about this feature.
- Connectivity Technology Blog: 5G Wireline Access Architecture
- The 3G4G Blog: 5G and Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC)
- The 3G4G Blog: Introduction to 5G ATSSS – Access Traffic Steering, Switching and Splitting
- The 3G4G Blog: Exploring Network Convergence of Mobile, Broadband and Wi-Fi
- Operator Watch Blog: BT’s Converged Core to Launch in 2023
- Operator Watch Blog: Jio Makes Another Set of Extremely Bold Announcements