5G and Beyond Technologies


Release 17 Proposed Architecture (Rel – 17 Proposed Architecture)

The 5G architecture builds on a cloud-native foundation using the Service Based Architecture (SBA) in the 5GC (5G core).

This 5GC (5G core) also provides architectural agility by introducing compute-storage split and enablers for 1: N redundancy for control plane resiliency, efficient transaction processing, and operational efficiency.

Rel – 16 focuses on IoT (Internet of Things) related enhancements (URLLC, TCS), NPNs (Non-Terrestrial Networks), wireless and wireline convergence, and full system resiliency.

Rel – 17 architectures will provide further enhancements for analytics-powered networks and enablers for network automation.

-Support for proximity services.

-A multicast and broadcast architecture.

-Enhancements to support edge computing architecture.

-Enhancements to support the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) framework.

-Support for NTNs (Non-Terrestrial Networks) and drones.


Analytic Power Networks

Rel – 15 and Rel – 16 specify the framework for data collection and data analytics in the 5GS by introducing the Network Data Analytics function (NDWAF).

This will pave the way toward utilizing the full potential of AI and ML techniques to realize network automation with little human interaction.

More localized “cognitive self-management” for every radio access point and edge cloud entity is required.

In these networks, the network management moves to higher-level abstractions for clusters of nodes.

The NWDAF (Network Data Analytic Function) plays a key role as a functional entity that collects KPIs and other information about different network domains and uses them to provide analytics-based statistics to 5GC NFs (Network Function) like PCF (Policy Control Function).


Enhancements for Verticals and Industrial IoT

Support for E2E (End to End) IIoT in the 5GS is based on a set of enabling features:

-Support for time-sensitive communication

-Private networks

-Support for 5G LAN type services

-Enhanced location services


Rel -16, TSC (Time Sensitive Communication) support is based on integration with the IEEE Time Sensitive Network (TSN) set of standards developed by the TSN task group.

TSC is a communication service that supports communication with high reliability and availability.

The architectural model considers the 5G system as a bridge of integration of a 5G system with the TSN operating network.

Support for NPNs (Non-Public networks) includes enhancements for network deployment which are dedicated to specific use cases like IIoT and it is fully isolated to allow only authorized subscribers to camp on a network.

Deployment is of two types:

  1.  Standalone NPN and
  2. Public Network Integrated NPN


Standalone NPN-related enhancements include the introduction of a network Identifier (NID) for unique network identification.

Public Network Integrated NPN-related enhancements include support for Closed Access Groups (CAGs), access control, and cell (re-) selection using CAG.

It is proposed that support for NPN will be further extended in Rel -17

Support for emergency service will also be introduced for standalone NPN deployments as well as support for onboarding and provisioning of non-public networks.

Enhancement to support 5G -LAN services enable optimized routing and local switching within the 5G system for UE (User Equipment) to UE (User Equipment) communication.

Different 5G -LAN groups could be maintained and managed for different device types in the industrial environment.

Location services for IIot need to meet requirements on accuracy.


Expansion on Mobility and Altitude

One of the main drivers for the 5G evolution is to expand the reach of mobile connectivity beyond current boundaries.

Enhancement for NTNs (Non-Terrestrial networks) including both satellites and High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS).

Connectivity and control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) including identification, tracking, and authentication.

Proximity Services (ProSe)

-Support for proximity services is beneficial both for public safety and commercial services.

-It is unexpected to introduce support for both ProSe discovery and communication.

-In the case of public safety, it is essential to support ProSe discovery and communication when the UE (User Equipment) is out of coverage.


MBMS (Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services)

Support for MBMS will be introduced for NR (New Radio) mainly for public safety use cases, V2X (Vehicle -to- everything) apps, and railways.

These use cases require broadcasting/ multicasting over an area potentially wider than a single cell.

It is expected to employ independent broadcasting in each cell rather than requiring explicit support for wide-area single frequency network operation.


Edge Computing Enhancements

The 5G system in Rel -15 introduces a strong foundation to enable edge computing using support for local (User Plane Function) UPF (re -) selection, and concurrent access to local and central data networks.

Rel -16 provides further enhancements to improve the coordination of mobility procedures with the application.

Introduction of further enhancements to improve coordination of mobility procedures with the application. 


Security Evolution

5G networks ensure the privacy of their users, confidentiality protection, integrity of the traffic they transport, and protection against attacks that can affect availability, the integrity of the network, and confidentiality of stored data.

New security features in Rel -16 help multiple industry segments.

Support for Non-Public Networks with new authentication schemes will drive 5G adoption in industrial environments.


Security Evolution

Security features for IoT communication will help massive IoT adoption.

Network Slice Selection Assistance Information (NSSAI) for slice access can be protected.

Security for duplicated transmission is expected to provide support for new apps such as medical imaging.

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