Service Management & Orchestration of 5G and 6G Non-Terrestrial Networks

International IEEE Aerospace Conference (AeroConf)


The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has been adding support for Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) into the 5G standards, with increasing NTN features included between Release 17 and 18 of the 3GPP’s 5G standards. To enable NTN services to users, the 5G Service Management & Orchestration (SMO) functions will need support for directing the physical link topology, routing, and radio resource management of satellite and airborne nodes in the radio access network. These networks may include mobile Integrated Access & Backhaul (IAB) nodes and mechanically steered, highly-directional beams. These new requirements motivate the development of non-real-time and near-real-time Radio Intelligence Controller (RIC) implementations that leverage a relatively new paradigm called Temporospatial Software-Defined Networking (TS-SDN). The 5G Core Network will also need to support internetworking with untrusted, non-3GPP access networks that use contemporary protocols, like DVB and Link 16. This paper provides an overview of these new requirements and motivates the necessary changes to the 3GPP backend software architecture and interfaces.

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