The proposals made by Broadband Forum were created at the request of carriers that participate in both Broadband Forum and 3GPP and were developed after a comprehensive cycle of iterative feedback between the two organizations. The suggestions address the common interfaces for access networks and 5G core networks to support the convergence of wireline and wireless networks. Detailed recommendations on a number of interfaces in the context of fixed 5G have been passed on to 3GPP, which will allow its members to evaluate the interfaces that run between the 5G core and the fixed network. In addition to this, recommendations on signaling changes and enhancements were also provided, addressing how wireless access can be fully integrated into the 5G core.
As part of its efforts to drive Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), Broadband Forum is also developing a specification for a 5G Access Gateway Function (AGF) that adapts fixed access onto the 5G core, specifications for 5G-capable Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), and specifications which address the interworking of existing fixed access subscribers and deployed equipment into a 5G core that encompass a variety of deployment scenarios. This will enable the integration of wireless and wireline technologies, empowering operators to create powerful new converged service offerings.
"As we reach this milestone in our work on Fixed Mobile Convergence, we are able to deliver the detailed feedback and recommendations which will drive the core convergence of fixed and mobile networks," said Dave Allan, Broadband Forum's Wireless and Wireline Convergence Work Area Director. "In many ways this is just the beginning and, as Release 16 progresses and 5G further expands, our work with 3GPP will continue to ensure standardization of this new technology is successful. With 5G promising a variety of new and innovative applications such as autonomous driving and healthcare, this work is crucial to enabling converged operators to unlock these opportunities – empowering them to deliver a uniform experience to their customers irrespective of the access media type, technology, or appliance they are using."