Improving QoS in fixed mobile convergence applications
October 7th, 2022 by The Beacon
Wi-Fi Alliance® is committed to delivering a high-quality connectivity experience through thought leadership, spectrum advocacy, and innovative technologies. Key to this effort is giving service providers the information they need to optimize networks and deliver value added services to their customers, such as video streaming, smart home systems, and home security — all while reducing overall costs.
Service providers are turning to fixed mobile convergence (FMC) to streamline their operations and ensure multi-access connectivity over wired or wireless networks while offering converged data services to their customers. In order to deliver these value-added services reliably, operators need to apply consistent treatments across these networks. One way to achieve this is by applying consistent quality of service (QoS) treatments. Customer premises equipment (CPE) should be capable of translating QoS treatments between wired and wireless access networks and between Wi-Fi® and 5G access networks to provide a consistent and end-to-end QoS experience. Learn more about how FMC can enhance QoS by reading this executive summary or downloading the full Wi-Fi Alliance paper here.
Deployment scenarios for Wi-Fi and 5G convergence
For FMC, there are three possible deployment scenarios for Wi-Fi and 5G convergence, with 5G connectivity as a backhaul. For each of these scenarios, the CPE implements functionality for mapping service flows between Wi-Fi and 5G networks.
- Fixed wireless access (FWA) – An alternative method of providing broadband connectivity to homes or businesses using the 5G network as backhaul, eliminating the need for physical connections (phone lines, cable, or fiber). The FWA CPE consists of a colocated wireless local area network (WLAN) access point (AP) and 5G user equipment (UE).
- Fixed network-residential gateway (FN-RG) with mobile back-up unit (MBU) – A traditional residential gateway that supports wired network access for backhaul. The MBU is a complementary device that provides 5G backhaul access whenever there is a failure on the FN-RG’s fixed access network.
- 5G residential gateway (5G-RG) – A converged residential gateway that can use both wired and 5G access networks for backhaul.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management certification program
Wi-Fi QoS Management™ builds on the widely adopted Wi-Fi Multimedia™ (WMM®) technology and helps deliver consistent, end-to-end QoS treatment across networks. To ensure appropriate traffic prioritization for time-sensitive applications and services, Wi-Fi QoS Management enables network managers, Wi-Fi devices, and applications to prioritize and manage traffic flows. It supports both client-centric and network-centric use cases, where the AP or the client assigns QoS treatment for selected downlink or uplink IP flows respectively.
Wi-Fi QoS Management features four key technologies:
- Stream Classification Service (SCS) – Enables classification and Wi-Fi QoS treatment of specific IP flows, including flows to and from 5G core networks, allowing sensitive traffic such as gaming, voice, and video to be prioritized over bulk data traffic.
- Mirrored Stream Classification Service (MSCS) – Enables a client device to request the AP to apply specific QoS treatment of downlink IP flows using QoS mirroring.
- Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) mapping – Aligns QoS treatment across Wi-Fi and wired networks and also enables network managers to configure specific QoS policies.
- Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) Policy – Enables dynamic configuration of clients with DSCP policies for specific uplink IP traffic flows. This allows them to be marked with different DSCP values, further improving the experience with applications requiring low latency such as extended reality (XR).
Delivering a high-quality experience
It is essential that networks support a range of service categories that differentiate and prioritize data flows for applications. Networks that give equal priority access to all connected devices and data flows cannot provide the throughput and stability required when traffic demands exceed the available bandwidth.
FMC opens new opportunities for operators to optimize and streamline their access network and work more closely with mobile operators to expand their broadband user subscribers. Having a common understanding of QoS flows between 5G and Wi-Fi networks is crucial for the success of FMC deployments. Additionally, the 3GPP-defined architecture for convergence between Wi-Fi and 5G enables operators to offer converged services seamlessly over Wi-Fi and 5G access networks.
By applying end to end QoS between Wi-Fi and 5G networks for emerging FMC deployment scenarios as well as the Wi-Fi and 5G system convergence scenario, operators can maintain consistent QoS for service data flows across these networks.