The International Network Generations Roadmap - Executive Overview

IEEE 5G Transmissions: Podcasts with the Experts
An IEEE Future Directions Digital Studios Production 

The International Network Generations Roadmap – Executive Overview

The International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) is stimulating an industry-wide dialogue to address the many facets and challenges of the development and deployment of 5G in a well-coordinated and comprehensive manner, while also looking beyond 5G. Future network technologies (5G, 6G, etc.) are expected to enable fundamentally new applications that will transform the way humanity lives, works, and engages with its environment. The INGR, created by experts across industry, government, and academia, helps guide operators, regulators, manufacturers, researchers, and others involved in developing new communication technology ecosystems by laying out a technology roadmap with 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year horizons. 

Subject Matter Experts

  • Narendra Mangra
    Co-chair, International Network Generations Roadmap
    Principal, GlobeNet, LLC

  • Rose Qingyang Hu, PhD
    Co-chair, International Network Generations Roadmap
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Associate Dean for Research, College of Engineering, Utah State University

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Podcast Transcript 

Brian Walker:  Welcome to the IEEE Future Networks Podcast Series, Podcast with the Experts, an IEEE Future Directions Digital Studio Production. In this episode, Co-chairs Narendra Mangra and Rose Hu discuss the International Network Generations Roadmap, commonly referred to as the INGR. Narendra is a Principal at GlobeNet, LLC, and Rose is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an Associate Dean for Research for the College of Engineering at Utah State University. The INGR is stimulating an industry-wide dialog to address the many facets and challenges of the development and deployment of 5G in a well-coordinated and comprehensive manner, but also looking beyond 5G. Rose and Narendra, thank you for taking some time to discuss the INGR with us today. Can you describe what IEEE Future Networks seeks to provide with the International Network Generations Roadmap?

Rose Hu:  I think the purpose of the International Network Generation Roadmap, or INGR, is to provide a good platform for the general community, the dialog, technical dialog to address the many ideas and challenges of the development and the deployment of 5G and beyond in the coordinative and the comprehensive manner.

Brian Walker:  Can you describe some of the challenges that the Roadmap takes on?

Narendra Mangra:  I think it's interesting for roadmaps to look at the different ways or paths forward. Not every path will lead to a productive solution. So, we want to look at some of the obstacles or problems along the way, and what needs to be solved, and so it's different groups that are looking at either solving problems or creating solutions or just looking at the overall passage points for the different paths.

Rose Hu:  Yeah, I think to add to what Narendra just said, I think the challenges itself actually comes from, for the Roadmap, to quickly identify new technologies in its migration and takes lots of expertise to do that, and also because the Roadmap, the scope of the Roadmap itself is quite large. It covers the system side, hardware, and application, technology from the interface all the way to the network, so I think how to group people together to work in the comprehensive and coordinative manner, I think itself is very challenging, but also very rewarding.

Brian Walker:  Great. Now who's contributing to the INGR?

Rose Hu:  I think it's generally, it is a community effort. So, the older techno community people from industry, government and academia should be able to identify areas and to work together and to get all the benefits from that.

Narendra Mangra:  Yeah, and then also I would say that the industry, government, and academia; they would have different focuses obviously, whether it'd be research and development or policy, those basic solutions. But we also have about 15 working groups. At least six of them are new that will be working in the second edition as well, that will have quite a diversity of different perspectives and provide a lot of benefits to the overall communities.

Brian Walker:  So, the INGR has 15 working groups covering a very broad range of technology and business and social issues. What can telecom industry manufacturers learn from this first edition?

Narendra Mangra:  The first edition actually lays the structure and foundation for subsequent editions. So, a lot of the work for the first edition actually was to fill the frameworks and the pattern of how we're going to move forward for a lot of the working groups. That at least has been part of the first edition, that will continue on with the second edition. New working groups, I suspect, will be doing a lot of the foundation building for the second edition. But that should help shape a lot of the different areas for development to move forward.

Rose Hu:  Yeah, to add to what has been said, I think because we have 15 working groups covering a very broad range of technology, business and social issues, I think from telecom manufacturers, or in general, from the telecom ecosystem perspective, different stakeholders should be able to identify and shape the divestment of key areas of interest and also get key input, or output, from what has been provided from this first edition to either provide guidelines or advise in each specific area from the whole ecosystem perspective. I think that actually is very important, because the whole system is designed from the future 5G and the 6G beyond is really that the efforts all together from the ecosystem perspective.

Brian Walker:  And what should, for example, an enterprise pay attention to?

Rose Hu:  I guess from enterprise perspective, it was the immediate sphere of the current focus. Because, so 5G can be viewed as a network of networks, and can drive evolutions in various ecosystems that result in shifting industry structure. And also, adjacent industry bond race. So that actually is very important perspective for enterprise to pay attention to.

Narendra Mangra:  Yeah, and to add to Rose's description, I mean, yes, for sure that is a very important area for shifting boundaries to see where a particular company or firm may fall, but also 5G moves well beyond just another extension of 4G with high-speed communications. There are a whole lot of different types of communications capabilities related to ultra-reliable low latency communications and Internet of Things as well that we need to factor in.

Brian Walker:  What would you like government representatives and regulators to learn from this Roadmap?

Narendra Mangra:  I think it is important for government representatives and regulators to look at and see what policies that can promote that would help implement some of the technologies that would provide benefits to society. And there are certain issues that should be sorted out, too, and are relevant later, especially as it relates to data security, privacy, and ethics.

Rose Hu:  Yeah, and also I think through the Roadmap I wish we can get more active engagement from government representatives and regulators, because the future of 5G and the 6G definitely, the key issue of that, for example, is spectrum. and everybody's talking about spectrum 5G and the 6G. That's actually itself, the research, development, and the deployment, that actually, both sides actually from Roadmap perspective, we can provide input, and from government representatives and regulators, they can provide lots of advice in the guideline as well.

Brian Walker:  With everything in telecom's network generations constantly evolving, how will the INGR effort address the constant change?

Rose Hu:  We actually considered this constantly evolving nature of telecommunications, that's from generation to generation. We actually have thought of defining Roadmap in both short-term and long-term perspective to address those different changes. Such as three-year, five-year, or ten-year scope so that we can provide a coordinated and a structured approach to new technologies and enablers for the advance of society.

Narendra Mangra:  To add to Rose's comments actually, it's important to see where these different technologies would lead towards. So, we want to see, I guess the philosophy, where it could possibly lead towards. But part of this effort is also to really look at this as more of structured approach, so we don't stumble along. And we're not saying that we can see the future to know where all these things will lead, but we want to address this in a more coordinated approach. As these different technologies evolve to see where we're going, and to be a guiding light with industries as possible.

Brian Walker:  The INGR is a very large effort with a very large effort with a lot of people involved. What's needed for it to be successful for the publics you want it to serve?

Narendra Mangra:  At a minimum, we want to be able to have enough foresight to identify and prioritize the different areas of interest. So, we welcome feedback from industry, government, and academia as well. And of course, we were always looking for volunteers for the 15 working groups we have.

Rose Hu:  Yeah, I think just to add to what Narendra said, yeah, we actually actively try to engage volunteers from different disciplines and different segments: industry, government, academia to get involved in both technical ways, but also help us to distill and a broad and a diverse perspective and the divestment into the general public. I think that actually is very important to help the success of this INGR effort.

Brian Walker:  And where can people go to learn more?

Rose Hu:  Again, we have various ways actually to promote or disseminate what we are doing. So, I think a good way for people to learn more is through our IEEE Future Network International Network Generation Roadmap web page. So, this webpage you can actually found-- it can be found online. And also, we have like whitepaper and also different working group delivery. So, all those actually provide a very good technical contents and also progress on what we are doing, to the general public.

Narendra Mangra: So, in addition to Rose's comments, they can go to Future Networks at at "slash" Roadmap. And we will be having periodic working group meetings throughout the year and they can find out more information on the progress of the chapters.

Rose Hu:  I think, yeah, that's a very good point. I have like something actually try to promote here as well, because associated with IEEE Network Initiative and this Roadmap, we have different workshops and conferences such as 5G Summit and 5G Forum and some other related workshops. So, we actually all welcome people to attend and we can learn tremendously the state of art of this Roadmap effort there.

Brian Walker:  So, we've covered a lot in this podcast, but is there anything else that you would like people to know?

Narendra Mangra:  We are just gearing up for the second edition of the INGR, and volunteers are welcome to reach out to the working groups at this point, so they can help steer as far as where are the contents and what are the main areas that we should be focusing on. And to provide feedback as well, too, as we move forward.

Rose Hu:  Yeah, and I don't have much to add. Just one thing I want to emphasize, because this is effort that actually from these different experts from industry, government, and academia, and also experts open to public. So, we do welcome and highly encourage volunteers to participate and to be part of this great effort.