Tag Archives: V2X

5G Network Slicing – Moving towards RAN

28 Aug

The CU-UP is a perfect fit for the Radio Network Sub Slice

Network Slicing is a 5G-enabled technology that allows the creation of an E2E Network instance across the Mobile Network Domains (Access, Transport, & Core). Each slice is ideally identified with specific network capabilities and characteristics.

The technique of provisioning a Dedicated E2E Network Instance to End users, Enterprises, & MVNOs is called “Slicing” where one Network can have multiple slices with different Characteristics serving different use cases.

The technology is enabled via an SDN/NFV Orchestration framework that provides Full Lifecycle management for the Slices enabling the dynamic slicing (on-demand instantiation & termination for Slices) with full-Service Assurance Capabilities.

The Concept is not relatively new where the Mobile Broadband Network has always succeeded to provide services to end-users via partitioning the network through Bearers & APNs. Below is how the evolution looks like transiting from one Network serving all services to Dedicated Core Network Instances serving more targeted segments.

 

With the introduction of 5G, the 4G Dedicated Core logic evolved to be 5G Network Slicing with a standard framework that advocates 4 standard slices to be used for global Interoperability (eMBB, uRLLC, MIoT, & V2X)and allowing more space for dynamic slices addressing different Marketing Segments. These slices are globally identified by Slice/Service Type (SST) which maps to the expected network behavior in terms of services and characteristics.

 

New terms and concepts are introduced with Network Slicing such as

  • Network Slice Instance (NSI) – 3GPP Definition – A set of Network Function instances and the required resources (e.g. compute, storage and networking resources) which form a deployed Network Slice.
  • Network Slice Subnet Instance (NSSI) – 3GPP Definition – A representation of the management aspects of a set of Managed Functions and the required resources (e.g. compute, storage and networking resources).

If the above definitions are not clear, then the below diagram might clarify it a little bit. It is all about the customer-facing service (Network Slice as a Service) and how it is being fulfilled.

I’d say that the Core NSSI is the most popular one with a clear framework defined by 3GPP where the slicing logic is nicely explained in many contexts. However, the slicing on the RAN side seems to be vague in terms of technical realization and the use case. So, what’s happening on the radio?!

The NG-RAN, represented by gNB consists of two main functional blocks (DU, Distributed Unit) & (CU, Centralized Unit) as a result of the 5G NR stack split where the CU is further split to CU-CP & CU-UP.

Basically, a gNB may consist of a gNB-CU-CP, multiple gNB-CU-UPs & multiple gNB-DUs with the below regulations

  • One gNB-DU is connected to only one gNB-CU-CP.
  • One gNB-CU-UP is connected to only one gNB-CU-CP;
  • One gNB-DU can be connected to multiple gNB-CU-UPs under the control of the same gNB-CU-CP.

The Location of CU can vary according to the CSP strategy for Edge and according to the services being offered. There can be possible deployments in Cell Sites, Edge DCs, & Aggregation PoPs.

The CU-UP is a perfect fit for the Radio Network Sub Slice.

But Is there a framework to select the CU-UP based on Network Slice Assistance Info?!

Ideally, The CU-CP must get assistance information to decide which CU-UP will serve the particular PDU. Let’s explore that in the 5G (UE Initial Access) Call flow below

 

At one step, in RRCSetupComplete message, the UE declares the requested Network Slice by having the NSSAI (Network Slice Selection Assistance Information) that maps to SST (Slice/Service Type). However, this info is not used to select CU-UP but can be used by CU-CP to select the Serving AMF.

The mapping between PDU Session(s) and S-NSSAI is sent from AMF to gNB-CU-CP in Initial Context Setup Request message. This looks like the perfect input to build logic for Selecting the gNB-CU-UP but looking to the standards, one may realize that the mechanism for selecting the gNB-CU-UP is not yet clear and missing in 3GPP.

Although it is mentioned in many contexts in 3GPP Specifications that the CU-CP selects the appropriate CU-UP(s) for the requested services of the UE, the full picture for the E1 Interface is not yet clear especially for such detailed selection process

This will definitely impact the early plans to adopt a standard RAN Slicing Framework.

The conclusion from my side and after spending some time assessing the Network Slicing at the RAN Side is summarized in the below points.

It is very early at this stage to talk about a standard framework for 5G RAN Slicing.

The first wave for Network slicing will be mainly around slicing in the core domain.

RAN Slicing is a part of an E2E Service (NSaaS) that is dynamic by nature. An Orchestration Framework is a must.

5G Network slicing is one of the most trending 5G use cases. Many operators are looking forward to exploring the technology and building a monetization framework around it. It is very important to set the stage for such technology by investing in enablers such as SDN/NFV, automation, & orchestration. It is also vital to do the necessary reorganization, building the right organizational processes that allow exposing and monetizing such service in an agile and efficient manner.

Source: https://www.netmanias.com/ko/post/blog/14456/5g-iot-sdn-nfv/the-cu-up-is-a-perfect-fit-for-the-radio-network-sub-slice

Spectrum co-existence challenges in the fully connected car

13 Aug

High-performance RF bandpass filters may hold the key to autonomous vehicle communication without interference.

Continuing advances in technology are making the autonomous vehicle a practical reality, and there is frequent discussion among technologists about Wi-Fi and 5G as enablers of the connected car.

Equally important, but less talked about, are the complexities of bringing these technologies together and making them work hand-in-hand without creating interference issues that impact safety and operation.

The players in the autonomous vehicle industry must solve these challenges before the world can realize the potential of truly autonomous vehicles.

An autonomous vehicle is one capable of navigating itself from point A to point B without human intervention. This will take place through the sharing data, such as position and speed, with surrounding vehicles and infrastructures.

the 5G spectrum

As depicted by this figure from Qualcomm, the 5G spectrum is divided into a sub-6-GHz region and a millimeter wave region.

The data sharing will happen via Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication systems that enhance driver awareness of potential hazards, improving collision avoidance and significantly reducing fatalities.

V2X is a wireless technology aimed at enabling data exchanges between a vehicle and its surroundings. It includes capabilities for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle-to-Network (V2N) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrians (V2P) communications.

V2X is based on 5.9-GHz dedicated short-range communications, specifically defined for fast-moving objects and enabling establishment of a reliable radio link, even in non-line-of-sight conditions.

In addition to boosting safety, V2X will also enhance traffic efficiency by providing warnings for upcoming traffic congestion and proposing alternative routes. This supports eco-friendly driving with reduced CO2 emissions, greater transport efficiency and less need for vehicle maintenance.

DSRC vs. C-V2X

V2X can either be DSRC (Dedicated Short-Range Communications) or C-V2X (Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything). Until a few years ago, DSRC, based on the IEEE 802.11p standard, was the only V2X technology available, with production in the U.S. and Japan beginning in 2017. C-V2X, which utilizes cellular technology, was introduced more recently to create a direct communications link between vehicles.

DSRC and C-V2X

The similarities and differences between DSRC and C-V2X, as depicted by Qualcomm.

Complicating the market situation as a whole is the fact that different countries and automakers are supporting one or the other approach. But while C-V2X and DSRC are different standards, they address the same problem using the same spectrum, and can co-exist.

A wide range of technologies play a role in providing full vehicular connectivity. Each technology has its own niche and must work with all the others in the autonomous car without degrading the performance of other technologies.

V2X (DSRC, C-V2X) for automotive safety: The automotive ecosystem will use V2X to communicate among vehicles, with roadside infrastructure, and with the overall environment to improve safety-consciousness and pave the way to autonomous driving.
4G/5G cloud connectivity for vehicle OEM services: 4G/5G connectivity could be used to remotely diagnose and monitor car operations, make over-the-air software updates, perform teleoperation, and redefine car ownership by operating a fleet of shared, autonomous vehicles.
4G/5G cloud connectivity for in-vehicle experiences: Drivers and passengers could use this type of connectivity to enjoy new in-vehicle experiences, from augmented reality-based navigation, to rear-seat entertainment and music streaming services.
Wi-Fi for premium in-vehicle experiences and automotive dealer services: Drivers and passengers could enjoy many enhanced in-car Wi-Fi based experiences. For example, efficient
Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the vehicle could support ultra-high definition (ultra-HD) video streaming to multiple displays and enable screen mirroring from compatible devices and wireless back-up cameras. Wi-Fi could also support automotive dealer services, enabling automatic check-in, diagnostic data transfer and software updates.
Bluetooth: Drivers and passengers could stream high-fidelity music via Bluetooth, as well as benefit from practical services such as using a smartphone as a key fob.
SDARS (Satellite Digital Audio Radio Services): With connectivity to satellite-based radio services, vehicle occupants are connected to their favorite radio broadcasts no matter where they are.

With an understanding of the various technologies involved and their respective missions, we can better examine their interoperability challenges, which will include compatibility with 5G and LTE.

5G is the fifth generation of cellular technology. It is designed to further boost data rates, reduce latency, and make wireless services more flexible. 5G also promises lower latency, which can improve the performance of business applications as well as other digital experiences such as online gaming, videoconferencing and self-driving cars.

5G spectrum is classified as sub-6-GHz and millimeter wave. Wi-Fi operates in 2.4 GHz, 5.2 GHz and 5.6-GHz spectrum.

comm bands near wifi

The products using 2.4-GHz Wi-Fi must co-exist with LTE B40 and B41. The key to allowing the coexistence of products employing the two communication standards lies to a great degree in RF filters able to realize sharp skirts outside their pass bands.

2.4-GHz Wi-Fi must co-exist with the LTE B40 and B41 frequency bands. For this to work, radio designers must ensure they are using the right filter products that provide enough attenuation in adjacent bands to ensure good receiver sensitivity, or risk degrading the user experience.

5-GHz Wi-Fi enables higher data rates than 2.4 GHz because more channels can be bundled together in the 5-GHz band thanks to larger bandwidth. However, there are a few issues here.

For 5.2-GHz and 5.6-GHz Wi-Fi to co-exist, radio designers will need to ensure adequate out-of- band attenuation to get the full benefit of wider bands (i.e. data rates).

Another issue is 5.6-GHz Wi-Fi co-existence with V2X. Imagine a scenario where a passenger in the autonomous car is using a 5.6-GHz hot-spot. For reliable V2X operation (communication between the cars on the road), the V2X radio must ensure ‘zero desense to the receiver,’ which can only be realized with a choice of good filter products that provide enough out-of-band attenuation to 5.6-GHz Wi-Fi.

High-performance filtering

As automobiles evolve with enhanced features and added functions, the number of radios they carry is rising, up from the traditional two to three to as many as five. (i.e. V2X, 4G/5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SDARS).

To enable the best performance and a better user experience, some of these technologies must interact with each other and work together seamlessly. It’s clear from the discussion above that highly reliable co-existence is key to the success and widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.

coexistence V2X & wifi

Products employing 5.6-GHz Wi-Fi will be able to co-exist with those communicating via V2X only through use of high-performance RF filters able to realize super-sharp skirts outside their pass bands.

Filter products are the key to enabling this kind of coexistence. Two of the parameters that characterize high-performance filter products are the resonator qualities, i.e. quality-factor (Q) and coupling-factor (k2). High Q is necessary to minimize insertion loss, while high k2 enables wider bandwidth.

Technology advances at the resonator level have brought low insertion loss and high selectivity performance with wider bandwidth filter products at frequencies up to 6 GHz. As an example of what’s possible in RF filtering today, consider that Qorvo’s filter products are designed using patented, Bulk-Acoustic-Wave (BAW) technology that is optimized to address complex selectivity requirements, from 1.5 GHz up to 6 GHz in standard footprints.

The Qorvo QPQ2200Q filter is the world’s first filter product designed to address coexistence of V2X with 5.6 GHz Wi-Fi for autonomous vehicles. Another example is the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi coexist filter, QPQ2254Q, designed to enable coexistence with LTE B40 and B41.

Qorvo automotive V2X, Wi-Fi front-end modules, along with filter products and SDARS offerings, have been developed in close alignment with chipset and module suppliers – as well as carmakers. Through design and packaging, these solutions are delivering the accuracy, reliability and ruggedness essential to intelligent communication systems in the autonomous vehicle. Seamless co-existence of all the technologies on the connected car spectrum will ensure that our ever-mobile world is safer, more reliable and more enjoyable for all of us.

References

Qorvo RF filters, https://www.qorvo.com/products/filters-duplexers/rf-filters

Source: https://www.microcontrollertips.com/spectrum-co-existence-challenges-in-the-fully-connected-car/

The Use of Cellular Wireless Communications in Support of Dedicated Short Range Communications for the Connected Vehicle

15 Feb

I originally investigated the potential synergies and resultant barriers and challenges for integrating public/commercial grade wireless communications in support of the “Connected Vehicle”, back in 2007. (then known as “Intellidrive”)  A brief summary of the initial findings and a proposed architecture was presented in a blog post in August, 2011.  Since the initial posting, the Connected Vehicle ecosystem has started to take shape and is gaining significant momentum on multiple fronts, including the automotive and telecommunications industries, as well as the Federal Government.  As a result,  I thought it might be of some value to revisit and update the hybrid communications framework originally proposed for the Connected Vehicle.

DSRC-Cell_DiagramCurrent Values

The primary attractiveness of commercial cellular continues to be maturity of technology and network coverage, including for most major urban areas, suburban areas and even significant coverage of rural areas.  Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) is currently limited to approximately 1200 feet, line of sight, and will require significant investment in new infrastructure. Commercial wireless and Wi-Fi technologies continue to show promise for providing secondary, tier-two services associated with the Connected Vehicle.

Current Barriers and Limitations

Substantial limitations still remain. The prevailing barrier is communications latency with regards to minimum requirements associated with V2V and V2I. In addition, commercial cellular networks remain vulnerable to network congestion issues (peak periods), including denial of service and dropped calls.    Also, cost remains a significant hinderance, as the Federal Government has taken the stance that automotive safety should be free to the end-user.

Source: http://terranautix.com/2013/02/13/the-use-of-cellular-wireless-communications-in-support-of-dedicated-short-range-communications-for-the-connected-vehicle/

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