Non-IP networks a better fit for 5G

April 13, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Non-IP networks a better fit for 5G
ETSI has published three reports that look at the shortcomings of TCP/IP for fixed and mobile networks, while detailing alternatives.

The ETSI Non-IP Networking group (ISG NIN) has just released its first three reports set the scene for standardising non-IP networks for 5G. The first reoprt, ETSI GR NIN 001, details the shortcomings of TCP/IP for fixed and mobile networks; the second, ETSI GR NIN 002, considers testing Non-IP Networking over 5G cellular Radio Access Networks; and ETSI GR NIN 003 describes the networking model that is the foundation for the new technology.

“Finding new networking protocols more suitable to the 5G era was essential. These reports set the scene for standardization of technology that meets the requirements of mission-critical systems such as industrial control, intelligent vehicles, sound reinforcement for live events, and remote medicine,” explains John Grant, Chair of ISG NIN.

ETSI GR NIN 001 describes the challenges of IP-based networking for fixed and mobile networks and ways in which new network protocols can result in improved performance and more efficient operation. Topics covered include efficient use of the cellular radio spectrum, naming and addressing (including addressing lifecycle), Quality of Service (QoS) and time-sensitive traffic, security, network management, efficient forwarding, and migration.

ETSI GR NIN 002 covers implementing Non-IP networking over 3GPP cellular access It describes and recommends approaches to test Non-IP Networking (NIN) using mobile radio access. This includes existing mechanisms specified by 3GPP for both LTE and 5G Radio Access Networks, as well as guidance on enabling a non-IP protocol stack directly atop the 3GPP PHY (physical) radio layer. The report suggests test scenarios appropriate to proof-of-concept testing for low-power IoT devices, for video and audio services, and for tactile feedback in applications such as remote surgery.

The third report, ETSI GR NIN 003 , illustrates how the Flexilink technology described in another ETSI Specification, ETSI GS NGP 013, can carry multiple services, using as examples RINA, TCP/IP, and digital audio and video, including example packet formats and requirements for the control


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