5G challenges and contributions regarding reliability

Extending 5G beyond mobile broadband enhancements, presenting effective support to massive and, especially, critical IoT use cases, requires remarkable enhancements in cellular key capabilities. High devices and connections density, energy efficiency and lower latency are the most relevant. Reliability, defined as “the capability to provide a given service with a very high level of availability”, is also identified as an imperative enabler for the development of a new generation of machine-centric communications. It is an essential aspect in the areas of e-health, real-time traffic control and optimization, emergency and disaster response, smart grid or efficient industrial communications, fitting in Ultra Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLCC), as defined by ITU-R (ITU-R, M.2083).

3GPP specification work addresses that, defining a new architecture and radio for 5G, integrating the mechanisms and characteristics that will increase 5G reliability as compared to previous generations of mobile communications. First 3GPP 5G specifications (Phase 1/Rel-15), approved last July, permit 5G to go into production during 2019. Focusing at broadband connectivity enhancements (bandwidth and mobility), the new radio and architecture already provide latency reduction and better energy efficiency. 5G modular and service-based architecture provides flexibility and is suited to integrate other technologies in its deployment, like NFV and MEC, both under ETSI standardization, and being important contributors to 5G reliability enhancements.

However, only 5G Phase2/Rel-16 will address the full range of use cases, especially the URLLC ones. Effective data redundancy and diversity, bounded latencies, stringent timing mechanisms, will be incorporated to enhance reliability, latency and jitter control, opening the door to demanding applications like industrial wireless use cases.

End-to-end 5G reliability also depends on other external factors. Front/backhauling and transport networks, monitoring and management systems, play an important role in this. Operators need to invest in improving those networks and systems to achieve a highly efficient, available and reliable network, having 5G as the access part.

Altice Labs is planning to run use cases with local industries, finding the best solutions and configurations, and testing the 5G technology for URLCC support. These include, among others, transportation, smart grids, drones, eHealth, fishing and industry.
This keynote talk will introduce the 5G technology, highlighting its main characteristics and performance improvements. Latency and reliability will be focused, identifying how 5G addresses those, providing support to ITU-R URLCC requirements. Considering a holistic view, challenges, especially external ones, will be identified and characterized. Altice Labs planned experiments in the area will be presented.

FF 1by Francisco Fontes (Altice Labs, Portugal)

Francisco Fontes received his degree in Electrical and Computers Engineering from the Instituto Superior Técnico - University of Lisbon (Sep/91) and his PhD (Nov/00) from the Technical University of Madrid, in the Telematics Engineering Department, in the area of Distributed Management of Telecommunication Networks. Since Sept/91 he has been working with Portugal Telecom, with main activities in several research areas (including participation in several EC funded projects, from RACE II to H2020), demonstration projects, training to PT staff and internal and external consultancy. More recently, he has focused on Next Generation Networks architectures, as a Technology Senior Consultant at Altice Labs (a PT Portugal company, owned by Altice), being responsible for the establishment of solutions in some PT clients. He has specialized in IP networks, with a focus in local and fixed access networks (DSL, GPON and HFC), IPv6 and Multicast but also in IMS, EPC and VoLTE, C-RAN and MEC. More recently he focused in the SDN and NFV areas, and the 5G technology. From Sep/02 to Set/12, he has collaborated with the University of Aveiro, Department of Electronics Telecommunications and Informatics (DETI), as invited professor, teaching and coordinating MsC and PhD students, in the areas of IP telecommunication networks and related services. He is a senior researcher of Instituto de Telecomunicações and member of the board for the Aveiro pole.