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ETSI looks beyond TCP/IP with Next Generation Protocol group


With TCP/IP, nobody knows you're a dog... © cc-licence/Arnaldo Zitti

  • Requirements for new protocols and network architectures
  • Evolution of systems architectures and networking protocols
  • Input from network operators and industry verticals
  • Action plan to engage other standards bodies

European standards body ETSI has opened a new Industry Specification Group to start work on so-called Next Generation Protocols. ETSI believes local access networks will not deliver their full potential unless, in parallel, the underlying protocol stacks used in core and access networks evolve. The development of future 5G systems presents an opportunity to address this issue, as a sub-optimal protocol architecture can negate the huge performance and capacity improvements planned for the radio access network.

“The TCP/IP protocol suite has undoubtedly enabled the evolution of connected computing and many other developments since its invention during the 1970s,” said Andy Sutton, Chairman of the new Industry Specification Group. “NGP ISG aims to gather opinions on how we can build on this momentum by evolving communication systems architectures and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century.”

The ETSI Next Generation Protocols Industry Specification Group (NGP ISG) will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network architectures, from all interested user and industry groups. Topics will include:

  • Addressing
  • Security, Identity and Authentication
  • Mobility
  • IoT requirements
  • Video and content distribution requirements
  • Requirements from ultra‐low latency use cases from different sectors (i.e. automotive)
  • Needs of network operators (e.g. challenges with E2E encrypted content)
  • eCommerce requirements
  • Increased energy efficiency requirements within the global ICT sector

The ISG will provide a forum for interested parties to contribute by sharing research and results from trials and developments in such a way that a wider audience can be informed. An action plan to engage other standards bodies will be developed so that parallel and concerted standardisation action can take place as a further step in the most appropriate standards groups.

“Bringing together interested parties to solve current and future technical challenges such as this one, is why standards developing organizations exist,” said David Bell, Director of Standards Policy at BSI, which hosted the first meeting of the group last week in London.

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