TNO looks at balance between 5G services and net neutrality

Monday 16 April 2018 | 10:53 CET | News

Dutch research institute TNO is studying the link between net neutrality and 5G, and in particular into Network Slicing (NWS) and Quality of Service (QoS). Using three applications from 5G, TNO is looking at which aspects of 5G technology can be easily assessed in the context of net neutrality, and which aspects are more complex and require further analysis.

Companies worldwide are working on the development of 3GPP IMT2020, or 5G. Standards are made developed for customised connectivity, such as for traffic that depends on high reliability. The networks will allocate capacity and resources, depending on the type of user. This is at odds with the principle of net neutrality, which stipulates that all traffic should be treated equally.

Various players in the industry are afraid of a strict interpretation of the regulations, which from their perspective would make the roll-out of network services more difficult, according to TNO. Policymakers, however, expect that there will be enough room in the rules to allow 5G services, including differentiated IP connectivity services.

TNO is examining three expected important use cases. The result is a model that establishes the relationship between net neutrality rules, the requirements for connectivity in the use cases and the different ways to provide this connectivity in a 5G network.

Three use cases

The three examples are VR/AR in media and entertainment; mission-critical communication for the government; and automated/autonomous driving. TNO will be conducting research for various clients in all three cases. At the IBC fair in September 2017, TNO showed an application that let people see on TV how fit a footballer is. For the app, each player has a wearable device, and part of the generated data is shared with the viewers. TNO also has a research centre for cooperative vehicle systems and self-driving cars.

TNO's model focuses on important 5G technology ingredients such as network slicing, edge computing and QoS differentiation. TNO will not draw any firm conclusions, leaving that to the policy makers. Berec, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, is itself conducting an investigation in order to give advice to the European Commission. 5G is one of its priorities for this year.

Industry sponsoring TNO research

Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm noted the subject during his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress, illustrating the fact that the issue has the attention of many. TNO mentioned a number of sponsors for its study: the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, KPN, T-Mobile Netherlands and thethe federation of employers in the technology industry (FME), and specifically Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei.

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Categories: Mobile & Wireless
Companies: ACM / Berec / Ericsson / Huawei / KPN / Nokia / T-Mobile / TNO ICT
Countries: Europe
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