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BT and Vodafone UK Support Converged 5G and Fixed Broadband Project

Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 (2:36 pm) - Score 4,584
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The Broadband Forum has revealed that BT, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and others have given their support to help develop a new Open Broadband standard – WWC Reference Implementation for 5G-RG [Residential Gateways] (OB-5WWC), which aims to bring the full benefits of the 5G mobile ecosystem to fixed-line broadband.

A number of telecoms operators around the world are already working on the convergence of fixed line and mobile networks, which is something that BT has been slowly developing ever since their merger with EE. Similarly, we expect Virgin Media and O2 to eventually follow down a similar path.

The challenge is that many wireless and fixed line broadband infrastructures are currently served by completely disparate aggregation and core networks. All of this helps to explain why it’s taken BT so long to get to where it is today with their existing Halo and related products.

The open source centric idea behind OB-5WWC is to provide a “production grade 5G solution stack capable of integration with OpenWRT/RDK-B frameworks.” By integrating the 5G Quality of Service (QoS) model to the home, 5G-RG can also “natively support 5G signalling protocols and capabilities, as well as help connect services and opportunities.”

In theory, if enough support gets behind this project, then vendors and operators could more easily bring related products to market, and in a shorter timeframe.

David Woolley, Broadband Forum’s OB-5WWC Project Leader, said:

“The formation of the OB-5WWC project will help to fulfil the need for 5G and fixed-line convergence that is now viewed as a fundamental need, and will ensure the full benefits of the 5G ecosystem can be realized. We have already received strong support from the service provider community and are calling for all interested parties across the industry, including customer premises equipment (CPE) manufacturers, end-to-end integrators, and hardware and software vendors, to join the project and share ideas.”

All of this might also benefit consumers by moving the market toward a point where 5G and fixed broadband connectivity solutions are much more seamless and cost-effective, although this probably won’t be so vital for those of us who prefer to keep both services separate – not least to avoid being tied down to a single operator.

In the meantime, the founding members include BT, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, Telstra, Verizon and Vodafone UK.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. David Morton says:

    Not sure it is sensible if we end up in a position where all mobile and broadband operators are essentially using the same technology stack. Bit of a big target for cyber disruption.

  2. Billy Nomates says:

    That’ll be nice.

    For the big cities Vodafone and BT/EE have bothered to put 5G in.

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