The ETSI group on Next Generation Protocols (ISG NGP) has just released a new specification and reports to optimize the performance, efficiency and scalability of new services proposed for 5G, such as network slicing or ultrareliable low-latency communication.
The new ETSI specification GS NGP 013 notes that the ISG NGP is tasked with finding a system of packet routing that doesn’t suffer from the problems operators have experienced with LTE and optimizes the performance, efficiency and scalability of new services proposed for 5G. The Internet Protocol (IP) is not fully able to meet these requirements for a number of reasons, which have been widely documented, according to ETSI.
Many of the constraints, such as memory size, that applied when IP was developed around 1980 are no longer an issue, while other considerations that are important now—such as mobility and latency—were not an issue then. Back then, all processing had to be done by code running on a CPU, whereas now many tasks can be done more efficiently by dedicated logic in a system on a chip.
The new ETSI specification GS NGP 013 describes "Flexilink: an efficient deterministic packet forwarding in user plane as well as packet formats and forwarding mechanisms."
“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 Next Generation Protocols Industry Specification Group (ISG), in a press release. “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.”
ISG NGP also released two new reports. The ETSI report titled "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 new applications proposed for 5G and a framework in which there’s a clear separation between control and data planes.
The other report addresses "End-to-end Network Slicing Reference Framework and Information Model." It says the network slicing concept allows support of logical networks that are tailored for a specific service or set of services over a shared common network infrastructure for the purpose of more efficient use of network resources. The next-gen network slicing framework defined in the report is a generalized architecture that would allow different network service providers to coordinate and concurrently operate different services as active network slices.