New ETSI group steers FTTH towards ‘Fibre To Everything Everywhere’

Created March 2, 2020
News and Business

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has launched ETSI ISG F5G, a new group dedicated to specifying the fibre-heavy, fifth generation of fixed network. The standards body notes that society is entering an exciting new era of communications, and fixed networks play an essential role in that evolution alongside, and in cooperation with, mobile networks. Building on previous generations of fixed networks, the 5th generation will address three main use cases: a full-fibre connection; enhanced fixed broadband; and a guaranteed reliable experience.

ISG F5G describes how, for home scenarios, emerging services, such as Cloud VR, AR video streaming or online gaming, introduce the necessity for ultra-broadband, extremely low latency and zero packet loss. Business scenarios such as enterprise cloudification, leased line, or Passive Optical LAN require high reliability and high security. Other industry sectors have specific requirements on the deployment of fibre infrastructures, including environmental conditions such as humidity, temperature or electromagnetic interference.

The ETSI ISG F5G aims to study the fixed-network evolution required to match and further enhance the benefits that 5G has brought to mobile networks and communications. It will define improvements with respect to previous solutions and the new characteristics of the fifth-generation fixed network. This, it reasons, opens up new opportunities by comprehensively applying fibre technology to various scenarios, turning the FTTH paradigm into ‘Fibre to Everything Everywhere’.

The kick-off meeting for the group selected Dr. Luca Pesando (pictured), TIM, as the Chairman of the ISG, and defined five areas to work on.

“I’m happy to be the Chairman of this new ETSI group. Fibre is one of the cornerstones of communication technologies, supporting fixed access and the interconnection between any other access networks. Defining its future developments to maintain this fundamental role through the overall evolution of communications is therefore essential” said Pesando.

ISG F5G considers a wide range of technologies, and therefore seeks to actively cooperate with a number of relevant standardisation groups as well as vertical industrial organisations. ISG F5G will address aspects relating to new Optical Distribution Network technologies, XG(S)-PON and Wi-Fi 6 enhancements, control plane and user plane separation, smart energy efficiency, end-to-end full-stack slicing, autonomous operation and management, synergy of transport and access networks, and adaptation of the transport network, amongst others.

The five work items already approved deal with:

  • F5G use cases: the use cases include services to consumers and enterprises, and will be selected based on their impact in terms of new technical requirements identified
  • Landscape of F5G technology and standards: this work will study technology requirements for F5G use cases, explore existing technologies, and perform gap analysis
  • Definition of fixed network generations: to evaluate the driving forces and the path of fixed network evolution, including transport, access and on-premises networks. It will also identify the principal characteristics demarcating different generations and define them
  • Architecture of F5G: this will specify the end-to-end network architectures, features and related network devices/elements’ requirements for F5G, including on-premises, access, IP and transport networks
  • F5G quality of experience: to specify the end-to-end quality of experience factors for new broadband services. It will analyse the general factors that impact service performance and identify the relevant QoE dimensions for each service.

Members of the new group include: Association eG4U, Altice Portugal, Bouygues Telecom, BTC, Cadzow Communications, CAICT, CATT, China Unicom, China Telecommunications, CICT, ECO, Fraunhofer HHI, Futurewei, Huawei Technologies, JSPRC Kryptonite, POST Luxembourg, Rostelecom, TIM, and Turk Telekomunikasyon.

For more information, visit


This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.