With the forthcoming 5G network, service providers have set the ambitious goal of delivering a highly reliable, secure and resilient network that will provide communication services to a wide variety of industries — anywhere, at any time, over any access technology and on any device. New 5G Core network capabilities will be a key element in fulfilling this goal. Although basic network slicing is supported in 4G, in addition to network slicing enhancements, the 5G Core introduces a more robust and flexible authentication framework, a new QoS and Policy framework and adds new data exposure capabilities that will be leveraged for innovative AI-based network applications. That’s why ATIS sees the new 5G Core as foundational to the success of the network.
Unlike previous mobile network architectures, which relied on a point-to-point architecture, the 5G Core will be a “Service-Based Architecture.” It uses service-based interfaces between control-plane functions, while user-plane functions connect over point-to-point links. This provides a modular, dynamic, agile and flexible environment that allows operators to rapidly add, move or change virtual network functions to address shifting service needs, demand or other requirements.
5G Core and 4G Core Architecture Comparison
A key capability enabled by the 5G core is network slicing. Although this capability is found in 4G networks, it is significantly enhanced in a 5G environment – allowing the “slicing” of a single physical network into multiple, virtual, end-to-end networks. Each slice will be composed of the necessary logical network functions that support the service requirements of a particular use case or even class of service, while allowing both the operator as well as third-party entities using the slice to dynamically define the necessary performance criteria — such as speed, security and coverage area — to match the requirements required by a service using the slice.
A New Authentication Framework
Although not available in the initial 5G releases, the new robust and flexible authentication framework will enable a wider variety of devices, both 3GPP and non-3GPP, to authenticate to the network, enabling new identity-based services.
A New QoS Framework
The new QoS framework makes it much easier for enterprises to control QoS for their applications and devices. And the expanded data exposure functions available in the 5G Core will provide the necessary detailed data that will be required by future AI applications to optimize all aspects of network performance, operations and security.
The Core of 5G Success
By leveraging these new 5G Core capabilities, operators will be able to better monetize their network assets and both quickly and more easily roll out new end-user services — often while reducing service creation time from months to weeks.
ATIS and the 5G Network
As the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), ATIS is taking a leadership role to ensure that 5G is positioned to deliver the long-promised convergence of all services onto a common framework, with corresponding enhancements to efficiency, security and service velocity. By representing North American 5G requirements globally, ATIS will leverage members’ thought leadership and the region’s recognized role as the incubator of new business models.
ATIS has delivered a broad range of resources that will help the 5G network reach its potential: