ETSI publishes white paper on Network Transformation for 5G

Image courtesy ETSI

ETSI has announced the availability of a new white paper, entitled Network Transformation: Orchestration, Network and Service Management Framework, written by several of its Industry Specification Groups’ (ISG) Chairs. These groups have released specifications on key building block technologies for next-generation networks, feeding the 3GPP 5G specifications.

As the network industry undergoes a significant transformation, it requires the best open standards to ensure interoperability and faster time to market. Driven by the needs of 5G networks and applications, and enabled by transformative technologies, such as NFV and cloud-based deployment practices, this change is likely to be the single biggest technological and business transformation of the industry since the consolidation of mobile communication infrastructures.

On the other hand, networks are going to become software-defined, running primarily on homogeneous, highly distributed cloud-like infrastructures. These characteristics will allow network providers to address the heterogeneous and diverse needs of 5G applications and to guarantee that overall network services can be properly managed. But the issue of management is perhaps the most critical challenge, as we move into future networking. Given the scale, heterogeneity and complexity of emerging networks, management solutions need to be highly automated and extremely “intelligent”, in the sense of a “machine intelligence”, able to collect large amounts of relevant data, process it and act on it in an automated fashion.

The ETSI white paper gives an insight into how ETSI tackles these network transformation challenges through network function virtualization (NFV), multi-access edge computing (MEC), experiential networked intelligence (ENI) and zero-touch network service management (ZSM).

Specifically, the authors address the common framework for the management of virtualized network environments, as defined by ETSI NFV, and extended to the distributed edge with public-cloud aspects by ETSI MEC. They discuss how ETSI ENI solutions can be deployed within or across network domains to optimize the processing of data, extract knowledge, and thus enable decision-making. Finally, they demonstrate how the work of ETSI ZSM is bringing all these and other technologies together into a single automated management framework.

ETSI started the network transformation journey some time ago, addressing the different stages as they were reached, through the relevant communities to achieve open collaboration within the appropriate focus. These communities share a vision and a common way forward, and actively collaborate through it.

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