The Broadband Forum has released its technical report 5G Transport Architecture and Requirements (TR-521) which gives recommendations for architecture and equipment requirements to provide transport networks suitable for supporting 5G mobile radio access network (RAN).
A 5G transport network interconnects a 5G RAN and provides connectivity to the 5G mobile core network.
Various technologies can be deployed to support new 5G use cases within the 5G transport network. Among these are proven technologies such as Ethernet, and Ethernet VPN (as specified in prior Broadband Forum work such as TR-350, TR-224, and TR-221), as well as emerging technologies from Broadband Forum partners such as IEEE 802, ITU-T SG15 and IETF.
“5G cannot perform without the support of well-founded transport networks. These transport networks must be prepared to support the vast number of use cases and services that can be realised with 5G with features including higher capacity, enhanced performance, and high reliability,” said David Sinicrope, Broadband Forum’s Access and Transport Architecture (ATA) Work Area Director.
“The publication of TR-521 provides a functional reference architecture, and equipment requirements for transport networks supporting 5G fronthaul and backhaul.”
“It benefits both operators in specifying what is expected of the transport equipment they procure and transport equipment vendors in deciding what to implement and how it will be used,” he added.
Broadband Forum has also released the specification, Mobile – Transport Network Slice Instance Management Interfaces (MMI) (TR-522) to address, as the name suggests, transport network slice management interfaces.
5G end-to-end slicing facilitates multiple logical self-contained networks on top of a common physical infrastructure platform. In realising a 5G end-to-end slice, the 3GPP management system needs to be aligned with the corresponding transport network management to ensure that the desired performance, functionality, and connectivity are fulfilled.
TR-522 addresses the interfaces between 3GPP Management System and the Transport Network Managers helping to provide this alignment. Specifically, the work defines interfaces to support the configuration, assurance, monitoring and reconfiguration of 5G network slices in 5G networks.
Both specifications, along with accompanying Market Reports (MR-521.1 and MR-522) which explain the motivation for the work, have been completed by Broadband Forum’s Mobile Transport and Routing Project Stream within the Access & Transport Architecture (ATA) Work Area.
The Mobile Transport and Routing Project Stream is responsible for the Forum’s mobile transport and routing architectural work, including the control, management, and data planes. These architectures leverage new industry technology and practices while protecting the investment in deployed networks.