5G needs a new wired transport network. The Broadband Forum say it’s thought of that
Telecom TV – 2020.07.08
‘Broadband Forum say it’s developing a recommended broadband network architecture to support 5G at the transport layer and it’s published a “5G Network Architecture Overview” to get the idea across.
The Forum contends that 5G is going to require a highly scalable and future orientated network architecture – one capable of actioning intelligent, coordinated, automation of the RAN, the mobile core, and the transport networks.
“5G is driving mobile operators to take a holistic approach to transport network planning,” says Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. “The technology brings a significant increase in capacity, requires an estimated doubling of radio sites deployed, and the need for a new architecture with new RAN and Core interfaces. These new architectures and new interfaces each have specific requirements that must be met not only by the mobile equipment, but by the underlying transport network,” he says.
With 2G/3G the upgrade task wasn’t a stretch, it just required what the forum calls transport network ‘on-ramps’ which were relatively easily upgraded to support the RAN as it evolved in terms of its capacity, latency and other demands. With 5G however, the RAN has become a much trickier beast to keep up with.
In fact a 5G RAN brings with it a significant increase in capacity, with no upper end in sight as more demanding frequencies and ever more massive MIMO is applied to it. With this comes new and more stringent interface requirements to cope with higher capacities and guarantee lower latencies as the architecture grapples with stricter timing and synchronization demands.
Disaggregation is also set to complicate things. This is where the transport network meets both the RAN and the core and is complicated by the separation of data plane and control plane elements.’