The project has been given a rather forced acronym – NORMA – which stands for Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture. Since the 5GPPP is principally a European initiative the key players in this are also European, Such as Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Real Wireless and King’s College London.
By the end of 2017 the aim seems to be to have a new and improved mobile network architecture, from the core to the edge, to propose to the world. It will take into account the forecasted needs for increased bandwidth, lower latency, IoT support, etc. The new architecture will also need to support other technological developments such as hetnets, SON, virtualization and full duplex transmission, and there’s an emphasis on the flexibility of the architecture.
“The technical approach is based on the innovative concept of adaptive (de)composition and allocation of network functions, which flexibly decomposes the network functions and places the resulting functions in the most appropriate location,” said the release.
“5G is not only about new radio access technology, network architecture will play an important role as well,” said Dr. Werner Mohr, Chairman of the 5GPPP Association. “5G networks will have to be programmable, software driven and managed holistically to enable a diverse range of services in a profitable way. With 5G NORMA, the consortium aims to ensure economic sustainability of the network operation and open opportunities for new players, while leveraging a future-proof architecture in a cost- and energy-effective way.”
There will presumably be parallel research initiatives going on in the Americas and APAC as well as countless other technological developments laying claim to be key 5G technologies, so the 3GPP, ITU or whoever decides on these things will have their work cut out sorting the wheat from the chaff.