By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
In paper released this week dubbed “Analyzing operator QoS deployment scenarios between Wi-Fi and 5G” Wi-Fi Alliance is advocating for the use of a common quality of service (QoS) approach across all network types including wired, Wi-Fi, and 5G networks. The idea is to secure consistent end-to-end QoS for connectivity services regardless of medium as the various technologies begin to converge, Wi-Fi Alliance says.
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As both Wi-Fi and 5G networks continue to expand so does the need for bringing Wi-Fi and 5G network services together into a single service fabric for user convenience and quality of service – a trend known as Fixed Mobile Convergence, or FMC. This week Wi-Fi Alliance released a paper advocating for the adoption of a consistent quality of service approach across Wi-Fi and 5G networks based on Wi-Fi Alliance’s already existing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Multimedia™ (WMM®) programs.
To maintain consistent QoS across wired and Wi-Fi networks the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) RFC 8325 defines a mapping between IETF’s differentiated service code point (DSCP) and IEEE 802.11’s user priority (UP), which is then mapped to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Multimedia™ (WMM®) access categories. Wi-Fi Alliance says DSCP mapping can also act as a bridge between Wi-Fi QoS and the 5G QoS identifier (5QI) scheme defined by 3GPP by defining a mapping between 5QI to DSCP.
The paper presents various examples as to how this mapping can take place depending on the exact infrastructure convergence scenario. These include architectures with separate or integrated 5G and fixed core networks, fixed wireless access (FWA) using 5G, and more. It also looks at actual system convergence – as proposed by the 3GPP – between Wi-Fi and 5G.
In Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ approach DSCP markings are mapped to Wi-Fi user priority access categories for voice, video, best effort, background, and so on. In this way differentiated QoS can be achieved by for example in managed enterprise and carrier Wi-Fi networks, Wi-Fi Alliance says. In the paper Wi-Fi Alliance proposes a new mapping scheme to be introduced between DSCP and the 3GPP’s defined 5QI values, which would be usable by network nodes including CPE, client devices, and 3GPP defined gateway functions.
By applying end-to-end QoS between Wi-Fi and 5G networks for emerging FMC deployment scenarios as well as for the Wi-Fi and 5G system convergent scenario, operators can maintain consistent QoS for service data flows across these networks, Wi-Fi Alliance says.
“Operators and ISPs should use Wi-Fi QoS Management and DSCP-5QI-UP mapping in their Wi-Fi devices, and submit their products for Wi-Fi QoS Management certification, in order to provide their customers a consistent connectivity experience for traffic traversing wired or wireless networks,” says Consuelo Ortiz, Senior Product Manager at Wi-Fi Alliance.