Broadband Forum and NTT Launch 5G Project


The Broadband Forum and NTT are partnering on a project to enable 5G network development.

As CivSource reported last week, major carriers including AT&T and Verizon are working toward commercial deployments of 5G network technology in 2018, but work still remains to improve standardization and make the technology easily deployable. The Broadband Forum and NTT partnership is designed to support Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN).

The project was just part of the activity at the Broadband Forum’s quarterly meeting taking place this week in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Network Functions Virtualization and Software Defined Networking provide platforms for carriers to manage network upgrades and legacy systems with limited service interruptions. This includes the key issue of fronthaul for 5G services, adding to the Forum’s ongoing work on the convergence of fixed and mobile networks.

“As users’ usage changes, both in regard to the different services required and the amount of data coursing through fiber networks, operators need to update their PON networks,” said Akihiro Otaka, Executive Manager at NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories. “With demand for this increasing, it is important we ensure there are standards in place to achieve a vendor-agnostic system and ensure mass deployment.”

The project looks at how SDN and NFV can be applied to Optical Line Terminals to disaggregate PON functions to functional modules with open interfaces. The partnership has also attracted new members to the Broadband Forum as the industry becomes more focused on how the fixed network can help deliver 5G.

5G networks are envisioned to have greater capacity to handle voice, data and video traffic. With added capacity, 5G networks can improve service relability during major events or in geographically challenging areas.