As the Broadband Forum held its quarterly meeting in Berlin, Deutsche Telekom’s 5G Executive Program Manager Antje Williams called for true convergence between fixed and mobile networks so that a seamless experience could be delivered to consumers.
Access-agnostic networks are a vital component in realizing the full potential of 5G, and in order for this to happen, more collaboration is needed between different standards bodies, including open source communities, according to Williams.
“When you look at the amount of challenges and traffic that has to be transported in the future, we will not manage that with just the mobile network,” said Williams. “Today, a much bigger portion of whatever is transported runs through fixed line networks and we strongly believe the solution for the future has to be a combination of the two, or access-agnostic networks. This means that when using the networks, consumers shouldn’t see a difference between mobile access and Wi-Fi access.
“Today, standardization of the two networks is done separately and to become one network, we need more alignment,” she added. “From a consumer perspective one of the most important topics is convenience. Therefore, it is essential that 5G delivers to its full potential.”
Williams concluded her presentation with a call-to-action to Broadband Forum members to play their part and start engagement and work on this area, in order to realize the broadband networks of the future.
The theme of Williams’ presentation echoed the perspectives of the Broadband Forum’s special meeting on Broadband Network Evolution, which was held in Atlanta in May. Following this meeting, the Forum set out a course of action which reinforces its interaction and commitment to embracing the best of both open source and standards development, and increasing its work with key industry groups.
“Convergence of fixed and mobile networks is absolutely vital for 5G and Antje’s thoughts today reflect the thinking of our members and are very much in line with our agreed plan as we move forward in an ever-changing telecoms landscape,” said CEO Robin Mersh. “I’m sure our members will rise to the challenge set by Deutsche Telekom today and this strengthens the importance of the work we are already doing around SDN, NFV, ultra-fast access and 5G.”