The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Ltd. Alliance has identified the four key areas it will focus on in the coming year, a move that signifies some of the major networking trends in the mobile networking sector.
The four "project activities" identified by the operator-led industry group are:
- Next Generation Converged Operations Requirements -- with a particular goal to help identify "standardised interfaces between the telco infrastructure and the OSS." (It's shocking that any industry group still has to focus on such Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) issues in 2013.)
- Evolution of the Radio Access Network (RAN) -- NGMN notes that "the activity will cover, amongst other items, the evaluation of Centralised Cloud-based RAN, CoMP [Coordinated Multi-Point transmission and reception] schemes, Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, Backhaul/Fronthaul, and will finally define the overarching requirements for a Multi-RAT [radio access technologies] architecture evolution." Things of note here: "fronthaul" refers to the connection between the base station and antenna, which are, in some topologies, becoming increasingly distributed; and the reference to "Centralised Cloud-based RAN" suggests that the NGMN Alliance is taking a look into the potential of network functions virtualization (NFV). (See What's NFV All About? and Packet Core Looks 'Ripe' for Virtualization.)
- Mobile Content Delivery Optimisation -- with a major focus on the role of CDNs (content delivery networks).
- Deployment and Operation of Small Cells -- as you'd expect, the focus here is on network planning, operational and deployment challenges, the role of Wi-Fi, backhaul possibilities and so on.
For the full details, see this NGMN Alliance announcement.
The NGMN Alliance appears to have covered the bases with these projects, but has it missed out anything glaring? Feel free to make some suggestions using the message boards below.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading