NGP * Activity Report

NGP Activity Report 2016

Chairman: Kevin Smith,  Vodafone Group Plc

Established to examine the future requirements for Internet Protocols

The TCP/IP protocol suite has enabled the evolution of connected computing and many other developments since its invention in the 1970s, but it can no longer provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The industry has reached a point where developments in the technology of local access networks (such as LTE™-Advanced, G.Fast, DOCSIS 3.1 and 5G) will not deliver their full potential unless, in parallel, the communications and networking protocols evolve holistically. 

ETSI’s Industry Specification Group (ISG) on Next Generation Protocols (NGP) was established to review the future landscape of Internet Protocols, identify and document requirements and trigger co-ordinated follow up activities. Its driving vision is a more efficient Internet that is responsive to the user – whether ‘the user’ is an individual person or millions of devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). The prize is to allow next generation networks to interwork in a way that accelerates a post-2020 connected world, unencumbered by past developments.

ISG NGP held its first meeting in January 2016 and began work on a series of Group Specifications (GSs) which will include a summary of relevant technologies, architectures and protocols under research, together with an assessment of their maturity and practicality for implementation to begin by 2020. The group was not formed to compete with other Standards Developing Organisations (SDOs) – rather to stimulate work within SDOs (including the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP™), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Telecommunications Standardisation sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T)) to consider the problem statement and develop solutions. 

In October, the group’s first GS was published, defining key scenarios needed to support existing defined next generation use cases. Work then began on a new version of the specification with additional scenarios. 

At the same time, building on this specification, the ISG began defining a GS outlining the requirements for NGP, and a Group Report (GR) identifying and evaluating routing technologies likely to be suitable for NGP.

The ISG also began preparing a GR on the evolved architecture for mobility using Identity Oriented Networks, and a GS on self-organising control and management planes. New work in 2017 will provide a model for new protocols for SDOs to consider, which will supplement the scenarios, requirements and examples.

ISG NGP also provides a forum for interested parties to share research and results from trials, as well as other developments, with a wider audience. In particular, the group offers an opportunity for the 5G community to discuss options and prepare the case for the Internet community’s engagement in a complementary and synchronised modernisation effort.