Over the past few years, industry and government have continued down a path toward full digital transformation. More recently, 5G networks have enabled innovative solutions across new markets and applications. As 5G continues to advance in the marketplace, the 5G supply chain is becoming the foundational linkage to delivering assured 5G networks.
From a practical perspective, the pathway to assured 5G networks should be more appropriately viewed as progression than a binary transition. In addition, it is acknowledged that public and private networks will need to support various levels of assurance to meet customer demands and 5G application needs.
In 2019, discussions between the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the U.S. Department of Defense set the stage for the launch of ATIS’ 5G Supply Chain Working Group (5G/SC WG). While it is recognized that significant focus has been placed on creating recommendations and best practices for supply chain risk management over the past few years, there is no single standards-based framework for supporting the concept of assured 5G networks. The ATIS 5G/SC initiative launched in late 2019, chaired by T-Mobile USA, Verizon, and NTIA, to address this urgent need. Over the past two years, this initiative has grown to over 50 companies, government agencies, and academic institutions, with the goal of finalizing the 5G/SC standard by the end of this year.
This paper provides a high-level overview of the current approach and framework being fully developed within the ATIS 5G/SC initiative.