How will we get there?
Converged Wired-Wireless Infrastructure
Both mobile and wired technologies are moving toward a cloud-based architecture and virtualization which offers a great opportunity for convergence. In other words, because there are virtual versions of many network functions, DOCSIS and wireless networks can now share hardware and software resources. CableLabs has already submitted contributions to 3GPP, the governing body responsible for the 5G specification guidelines, detailing requirements for 5G convergence with cable’s hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks. These specifications are slated to be released by the end of 2019.
As national mobile 5G rollout draws near, the number of small radio equipment that bolsters the speed and capacity of mobile networks called “small cells” has been skyrocketing. Those small cells require a fast and efficient way to communicate with each other and the core network. That’s where cable’s DOCSIS® networks come in. We’ve developed technologies that allow the wireline network to efficiently carry the mobile traffic back to the mobile network and significantly reduce latency and improve the service quality.
Network slicing is a form of network virtualization that allows multiple mobile networks to exist on one radio or Xhaul path. For this to work, all individual parts of the mobile network “slice,” including its wireless, IP Core and DOCSIS components, have to act as one whole and maintain the same Quality of Service (QoS)—for example the same low latency. A common operation support system (OSS) can be used to manage both mobile and DOCSIS parts of the unified network.