5G, Edge, mIoT Technology Primer Articles

A Comparison of 5G Core Network Architectures

5G Cloud Architecture
The 5G Core network is a Service Based Architecture. It evolves the traditional appliance based 4G Core Network to support services. It offers more agility and flexibility. The major building blocks of this architecture include Service-Based Interface: The Service Based Interfaces rely on HTTP/2 The 5G Network Functions: As explained by Ericsson “is built using IT network principles and cloud native technology. In this new architecture each Network Function (NF) offers one or more services to other NFs via Application Programming Interfaces (API). Each Network Function (NF) is formed by a combination of small pieces of software code called as microservices.” The Network Functions are all “Virtual”. Cloud Native Functionality: The 5G core is Cloud Native, i.e., it leverages microservices,...

The Open RAN Lexicon You Need

oran lexicon
The telecoms and digital technologies sectors are notoriously jargonised. Eavesdrop on any conversation at an industry conference (remember those?) and you’d be treated to a parade of acronyms, initialisms and technical terms that would sound like ancient Greek to an outsider. However, with new technologies being developed and deployed at an accelerated rate, staying on top of terminology can be challenging for even seasoned professionals. This is nowhere as apparent as in the evolving debate around Open RAN and its applications. Open RAN and its variations became the next "big thing" in wireless and I thought I'd try and help clarify some of the related terms that often get confused. People often mean different things when they talk about Open RAN....

Open RAN May Be the Future of 5G, but Can We Keep It Secure?

Open RAN Security
It's been a year of contradictions for the telecommunications industry. Like most sectors, it has been heavily impacted by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a slowdown in global 5G roll-outs being a notable result. Geopolitical conflicts have continued to muddy the market, with governments playing a more active role than ever in setting telecoms-centred policy. At the same time, however, the air is thick with promise and opportunity. Over the last nine months, entire organizations have transitioned to remote working and high-bandwidth video communication. Corporations have accelerated digital transformation initiatives. Online shopping has soared. The appetite for autonomous manufacturing and other aspects of Industry 4.0 has grown. The telecoms industry has proven resilient and cemented its status as critical national...

5G in Manufacturing – 5G and Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) for Industrial Automation

5G TSN Manufacturing
In the recent report by IHS Markit - "The 5G Economy - How 5G will contribute to the global economy" - researchers claimed that manufacturing will garner almost $4.7 trillion in sales enablement by 2035. Or 36% of the $13.2 trillion total opportunity of 5G by 2035. Manufacturing will be by far the largest industry beyond mobile to be impacted by 5G. In the manufacturing sector the adoption will benefit in the short-to-medium term from enhanced indoor wireless broadband coverage. Other early use cases include asset tracking such as visibility over incoming and outgoing components and goods in the supply chain; remote access solutions that enable remote machine maintenance from the internet; and industrial automation, such as continued automation of...

Introduction to 5G Core Service-Based Architecture (SBA) Components

5G SBA IMS MEC Architecture
The interest in 5G and mIoT is exploding. It's exciting to see so many IT and cybersecurity professionals in my network trying to learn more about 5G and related technologies. In addition to my usual articles about the societal impacts of these innovations, I'll start a series of articles introducing key 5G and mIoT technology concepts. Before we move on to technical aspects of 5G security. Let's get started with reviewing the 5G core service-based architecture and learning the first few dozen acronyms, out of approximately a gazillion. The cellular industry loves acronyms. Even more than the cybersecurity industry. 5G architecture is an evolution of current 4G architectures but based on a Service-Based Architecture (SBA). The 3GPP defines the SBA for a...

Smart Home / Smart Building Connectivity Options and Their Cybersecurity

Smart Home Wireless Connectivity
In a recent session on smart building cybersecurity, a student cheekily asked me "How did we ever connect anything before 5G?" At that moment I realized I might have been overdoing my 5G cheerleading recently. To atone, here are the key performance and cybersecurity attributes of the most commonly used connectivity technologies in smart home / smart building use cases... And 5G. If you thought that the "traditional" home life is under heavy attack from digitization of media and constant communication, wait until you learn about the Internet of Things (IoT) and Smart Homes. Our most personal spaces - our homes - are rapidly getting digitized and connected. Hundreds of IoT devices - sensors, actuators, smart speakers, smart toothbrushes, and smart...

Introduction to 3GPP and 3GPP 5G Releases 15, 16 and 17

5G 3GPP Release Timeline
In a major milestone for 5G, 3GPP finalized the Release 16 in July - its second set of specifications for 5G New Radio (NR) technology. As a second article in my series of 5G 101 articles, this is a good opportunity to review the 3GPP process and major 5G-related technical specification releases. As well as to clarify some misconceptions about the 5G development process. This article provides an overview of what is 3GPP and its importance. It also explains the Releases related to 5G including Release 15, 16 and 17. The focus will be on 3GPP Release 16 and 17. Release 16 was completed on July 3, 2020 with the slight delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, 3GPP Release...

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