IEEE International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR)


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About the IEEE International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) 

The purpose of the International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) is to stimulate 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. INGR, created by experts across industry, government and academia, is designed to help guide operators, regulators, manufacturers, researchers, and other interested parties involved in developing these new communication technology ecosystems  by laying out a technology roadmap with 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year horizons. 

Development of the INGR has produced a technical community that fosters the exchange of ideas, sharing of research, setting of standards, and identification, development, and maturation of system drivers, system specifications, use cases, and supported applications. As work continues with the Second Edition, new experts are encouraged to participate, to evolve and strengthen this crucial document. Join us! 

Please send a message to one of the groups listed below to express your interest in participating. 

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Working Group Teams

Working Group  Chairs  Email to contact to participate 
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Applications and Services Working Group 

The Applications and Services WG is focused on a sustainable interconnected ecosystem of ecosystems framework and roadmap development to identify evolving applications and services, common needs, challenges to achieving those needs, and potential solutions to those challenges. This structured, flexible, adaptable, and scalable approach extends across end-to-end ecosystems, and caters to different stages of priorities, resources, and technologies.

Specific ecosystem frameworks include the continuum of care (health care), recovery continuum (public safety), intermodal / multimodal transportation, supply chain management frameworks for electric and water utilities, food supply chain (agriculture), education, etc. They span geographical, political, and cultural boundaries across urban and non-urban areas, but typically converge in complex and dynamic urban environments as in the case of smart cities.

Severe stress or inefficiencies on one ecosystem, e.g. pandemics (health care), disasters (public safety), etc may negatively impact adjacent ecosystems. Alignments within and among ecosystems is essential. The WG also addresses inter ecosystem touchpoints, key performance indicators (KPI), and the need for technology standards development. Fixed and mobile future network functions for access, service delivery, network operations, and network interoperability may require communications capabilities that include a combination of enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC), and network operations enhancements.

Deployment Working Group 

The Deployment Working Group (DWG) will serve as a conduit for municipal stakeholders to communicate their goals and concerns to the wireless industry vendors who are specifying and designing future network products, equipment, and systems.  It is hoped that by doing this, the products the industry ultimately produce will have a better chance of making it through local government and municipal agency review, permitting, and appeal processes.  

Topics covered by the DWG Roadmap are:

  • Local government factors and perspectives affecting deployment.
  • Regulatory factors affecting deployment.
  • Public/Community factors and perspectives affecting deployment.
  • Technology issues affecting deployment.

Wireless communication facility deployments occur primarily on three general property categories; privately-owned, publically-owned, or tribal.  Some types of property such as transit stations, water towers, etc. will fall into one of the three categories depending on local variance; e.g. a utility poles might be owned by a government entity, a private utility, a tribal government, or by a joint powers authority.

In most cases the factors and perspectives affecting deployment are common to all wireless technologies, and in those cases we make no distinction between 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, etc.  In some cases there are differences between wireless technologies that affect deployment, and these are noted as such.

Regulation and/or legislation affect the deployment of wireless technologies.  As is often the case, the tensions over local control with state/regional, national, tribal, or international interests are dynamic and evolving.  For this roadmap, we note and discuss the effects of regulation and legislation, but the Deployment Roadmap deliberately avoids making policy recommendations. 

Energy Efficiency Working Group Scope

The Energy Efficiency (EE) Working Group (WG) is committed to the education of energy-related issues/concerns/opportunities across all industry stakeholders and associated, extended ecosystems.  This vision is accomplished via inclusion in the IEEE Future Networks (FN) International Network Generations Roadmap (INGR) and the critical interactions with the many cross-functional stakeholder areas that are all inexorably dependent on the intricacies of energy architecture, distribution, and utilization.

Ideally, all industry stakeholders will come to realize the importance of a maniacal focus on optimizing energy efficiency/utilization at every level (i.e. – from component to system to network) as a critical area as early in the development/deployment/standardization processes as possible to maximize positive results when deployed at all scales (i.e. – from edge or small cell to the full network and utility levels).  Whether the incentives come from technical, business, and/or sustainable motivations, the concepts and associated, critical dependencies of the Power Value Chain (PVC) and the 5G Energy Gap must be internalized and applied appropriately.  A roadmap format is an ideal way to accomplish the vision as it provides awareness, guidance, and tiered approach for near- (~3 years), mid- (~5 years), and long-term (~10+ years) action.

Massive MIMO Working Group Scope 

The use of a large number of antenna elements, known as Massive MIMO, is seen as a key enabling technology in the 5G and Beyond wireless ecosystem. The intelligent use of the multitude of antenna elements unleashes unprecedented flexibility and control of the physical channel of the wireless medium. Through Massive MIMO and other techniques, it is envisioned the 5G and Beyond wireless system will be able to support high throughput, high reliability (low bit-error-rate (BER)), high energy efficiency, low latency, and an Internet-scale number of connected devices. Massive MIMO and related technologies will be deployed in the mid-band (sub 6 GHz) for coverage, all the way to mmWave bands to support large channel bandwidths. It is envisioned Massive MIMO will be deployed in different environments: FDD, TDD, indoor/outdoor, small cell, macro cell, and other heterogeneous network (HetNet) configurations.

The scope of the Massive MIMO Working Group includes the following topics:

  • Framework for large number of active users with massive connectivity.
  • Framework for high spectral efficiency and energy efficiency with high user density and emerging applications having the strong need of QoS guarantees.
  • Big Data Management.
  • Cost-effective, reliable, and scalable implementation for Massive MIMO.
  • Machine-type communications and low complexity transceiver design.
  • PHY design for mmWave massive MIMO systems.
  • Analog and digital hybrid precoding design
  • Secure communications for massive MIMO systems
  • The integrating of machine learning into massive MIMO systems.

Security Working Group Scope 

The digital transformation brought by 5G is redefining current models of end-to-end connectivity and service reliability to include security-by-design principles necessary to enable 5G to achieve its promise. 5G trustworthiness highlights the importance of embedding security capabilities from the very beginning while the 5G architecture is being defined and standardized. Security requirements need to overlay and permeate through the different layers of the 5G systems (physical, network, and application) as well as different parts of an E2E 5G architecture including a risk management framework that takes into account the evolving security threats landscape.

5G exemplifies a use-case of heterogeneous access and computer networking convergence, where 5G fundamental building blocks include components such as Software Defined Networks (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and the edge cloud. This convergence extends many of the security challenges and opportunities applicable to SDN/NFV and edge cloud to 5G networks. Thus, 5G security needs to consider additional security requirements (compared to previous generations) such as SDN controller security, hypervisor security, orchestrator security, cloud security, edge security, etc. At the same time, security opportunities provided by 5G networks, should be considered where 5G can harness the architecture flexibility, programmability and complexity to improve its resilience and reliability.

The IEEE FNI security WG’s roadmap framework follows a taxonomic structure, differentiating the 5G functional pillars and corresponding cybersecurity risks. At the infrastructure level the scope of the working group includes, Virtualization/Softwarization Security; Optimization / Orchestration Security; SDN Security; Network Slicing Security; Edge Security. Third party security includes supply chain security; open source and API security. Data security, privacy, security monitoring and analytics, proactive security, and digital forensics are also part of the scope for the working group. As part of cross collaboration, the security working group will also look into the security issues associated with other roadmap working groups within the IEEE Future Network Initiative.

Systems Optimization Working Group Scope 

The Systems Optimization WG has been formed to explore various approaches to manage complexity of future systems with non-traditional design and operational methodologies. One of the first uses of self-optimizing or self-governing systems came about in cellular radio systems, with the SOC capabilities by NGMN and 3GPP for optimization of resources across heterogenous access networks. These systems, however are based on static policies and are limited in functional scope that addresses 3GPP RAT only. The Systems Optimization WG is exploring use of emergence to address full-stack self-organizing systems, i.e., multi-layer and multi-domain organization and optimization of multiple stacks comprising of heterogeneous radio resources (e.g., 3GPP and non 3GPP RAT), fixed access and transport resources (e.g., optical wavelengths), and compute and store infrastructure resources contributed by disparate service providers.