Broadband Forum wants to facilitate Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) scalability by creating a more agile architecture and protocols that simplify network operation, address increased bandwidth use and reduce operational expenses.
The Broadband Forum’s BNG Disaggregation project addresses challenges operators experience in control plane and user plane scaling because of the surge in broadband demand, video consumption and additional bandwidth-hungry applications. 5G will only add to this need, and the Forum is incorporating 5G planning into its development, said David Sinicrope, Director of Transport Networks for Development Unit Networks at Ericsson, as well as Broadband Forum Vice President and Access and Transport Architecture Work Area Director, in an interview. He’s heading up the group of router and access professionals working on this project.
Several operators already are interested and involved in disaggregated BNG, said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh to Broadband World News.
“There are a number of areas where you can see direct benefit from disaggregated BNG,” he said. “There’s no doubt we see the advent of what’s happening with NFV – and obviously the various different projects include what we’re doing with Cloud CO [Cloud Central Office] and the other open source projects – and then when you throw in the wireless-wireline convergence, there are all sorts of things happening and new ideas for new business practices that are driving this as well.”
Broadband Forum today announced it will provide an open source USP Agent implementation as it continues to evolve its User Services Platform (USP) to facilitate tomorrow’s connected home and accelerate interoperable Internet of Things (IoT) deployments.
Created as part of Broadband Forum’s Open Broadband initiative, the Open Broadband – USP Agent (OB-USP-Agent) project will provide vendors with a code base that they can either integrate into their devices or use as a reference implementation as they utilize USP. A necessary catalyst to adoption in today’s software development world, OB-USP-Agent will facilitate USP deployment and result in faster time-to-market for USP-based solutions and innovation. Furthermore, as a standards-based solution, operators can have the peace of mind that they won’t become locked into most costly and less flexible proprietary management solutions.
“USP is designed to be flexible, scalable and secure, and the new open source agent implementation builds on this by allowing vendors to integrate it into their devices or use it as a reference implementation,” said Barbara Stark, of AT&T, USP Project Lead at Broadband Forum. “This is a natural evolution for USP as the industry moves more and more towards software development. We are confident the new agent will not only help to increase interoperability but also support operators looking to launch new connected home services as additional revenue streams.”
An influx of bright, new sparks of gigabit fiber-only broadband providers spreading connectivity from Land’s End to John o’ Groats may improve Britain’s place in the world’s FTTx standings.
The nation certainly has a long way to go: Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) penetration in the UK is a pathetic 1.3% of households (Spain, for example, was at 44% in 2018), according to iDate. Whilst these operators are acting separately, there’s a commonality to several founders’ stated corporate vision: to turn around Britain’s dismal broadband presence, reject the uncertainty of Brexit, and heavily invest in UK broadband to build their business and their country.
Who would have thought: patriotism and fiber-optics?
“The critical piece about this is, at a time of significant uncertainty with Brexit, this investment represents a massive dose of optimism in what we’re doing. We think this turns into £80 [billion], £85 billion pounds worth of economic value. In US dollars, that’s about $100 billion worth,” said Clayton Nash, Head of Product at CityFibre, speaking at Calix ConneXions 2018 about the wholesaler’s multi-million-pound, multi-year partnership with Vodafone to extend fiber broadband across many parts of Britain, from Scotland to Wales to southern England (but not London). “That’s a great investment, a great return: $3 billion in, $100 billion back. Five thousand jobs across the country at a point we don’t know where we’re going. And fundamentally underpinning the transformation of the UK service industry. We don’t want to be the fifth-largest economy. We want to be fourth – at least.”
R&D experts from Ericsson and SK Telecom are teaming up to drive the evolution of next-generation 5G stand-alone core networks technology, architecture, implementation and operations.
A three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the companies focuses on possible enhancements and optimization enabled by cloud native micro-services-based principles.
The MoU comes as increasing focus is being placed on the need for a more agile and programmable 5G standalone core network that efficiently manages growth with automation and simplified operations.
Peo Lehto, Head of Solution Line Packet Core at Ericsson, said: “Cloud-native micro-services architecture gives simplified and more granular software life-cycle management, higher degrees of automation, and more robust operations based on common mechanisms like container-based light weight virtualization and orchestration such as Kubernetes.”
Deutsche Telekom and energy and telecommunications company EWE have signed a contract that establishes a joint venture between the two companies, representing the next step in their collaboration. The joint venture is called “Glasfaser NordWest” (“NorthWest Optical Fiber” in English). The two companies also formally notified Glasfaser NordWest with Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.
Glasfaser NordWest aims to provide up to 1.5 million households and business locations with fast internet. The company will be active in parts of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bremen. All customers will be offered FTTH. The two partners expect to invest up to two billion euros over an approximately ten-year period.
“No one invests as much in digital infrastructure as Deutsche Telekom,” said Dirk Wössner, Board of Management member responsible for Germany. “We’re Germany’s digitalization engine and we’re shifting into high gear. Glasfaser NordWest will capture enormous synergy effects, because we will plan and build the fiber-optic infrastructure together. This means we’ll have greater capacity utilization in the operating phase. It also means we’ll be able to connect households that would have been uneconomical otherwise. The new joint venture is logical and a manifestation of our collaboration-based strategy. Ultimately, we are still convinced that we have to team up with other companies to digitalize Germany – and without any regulatory intervention. Our partnership shows: FTTH expansion without regulation works. We’re boosting expansion and we’re willing to cooperate with competitors. We don’t need regulatory intervention.”
Warning, it’s contagious! 5G fever spreads to over 80 countries
At least 211 operators across 87 countries are investing in 5G, according to statistics compiled by consultancy company Hadden Telecoms. Operators investing in 5G are at a variety of stages, ranging from network deployments, to technology testing, demonstrations and pilot trials.
To date, 15 operators have commercially launched 5G services, including Telstra and Optus in Australia, which are offering fixed wireless 5G services on the 3.6-GHz band. Vodafone Australia and the market’s national broadband network operator NBN Co are also investing in 5G.
South Korea’s KT, LG U+ and SK Telecom meanwhile switched on their 3.5-GHz 5G networks last year, initially for enterprise customers only, and are planning to simultaneously launch commercial services for consumers shortly.
The list of operators investing in 5G in Asia Pacific also includes China’s big three operators China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom, Hong Kong’s 3 Hong Kong, China Mobile Hong Kong, HKT and SmarTone, and India’s Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
The UK’s telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its list of priorities for the year 2019/2020, placing 5G and rural connectivity at the top of the list.
“[The annual plan] is a great way of being able to explain why our work matters and what some of the areas are that we want to give a particular focus to. It’s also a way of being able to be held accountable for those areas,” said Sharon White, CEO of Ofcom.
As part of the release, Ofcom promised to deliver a focused regulatory environment to oversee the rollout of 5G. BT is expected to launch commercial 5G mobile services in the second half of 2019, making the UK one of the first countries in Europe to deploy next-generation mobile networks.
Ofcom also pledged to proceed with its spectrum auction as quickly as possible to expedite the rollout of 5G. It will make C Band spectrum in the 3.6-3.8GHz band available for use by the first quarter of 2020.
Opening the door to the connected home – Broadband Forum to host USP Webinar
With one billion installations worldwide of its TR-069 protocol installed, Broadband Forum will reveal in its latest webinar how it has evolved its famous standard to provide application developers, service providers, and consumer equipment manufacturers with the tools to overcome the challenges of the Connected Home.
Addressing the explosion of smart devices, Broadband Forum’s User Services Platform (USP) provides a unified, common approach to controlling and managing all types of connected devices in the home. How USP can be leveraged to accelerate and monetize new, innovative connected home services will also be discussed.
Hear from industry leaders in the network management and home networking device industry how products from ARRIS, AVM, Axiros, Greenwave Systems, Nokia, and QA Cafe are pioneering both development on and deployment of USP today. The webinar, will take place in conjunction with Broadband Forum’s third USP Plugfest, held by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory, where the latest USP-enabled products from all of the aforementioned participants will be tested
The webinar will be hosted during the Broadband Forum’s third USP Plugfest, at 10:00AM EDT, on Thursday, April 4.
Need more to satisfy your Broadband Forum fix? Check out our upcoming events!
The Q1 meeting in Warsaw, Poland drew to a close last week and it was great to see so many in attendance! But don’t worry, we have a lot more Broadband Forum events to bring you this Spring.
The Broadband Forum USP Plugfest will take place at UNH-IOL from Monday, April 1 to Friday, April 5.
Also, registration is now open for the UFBB BASe. To sign up or find out more information about that June BASe event, see https://www.ultrafastbroadband.nl/
For those needing a quick catch-up from the Q1 meeting, the team at Broadband Forum has provided a round-up of the technical projects progressed at the meeting here.