The Broadband Forum published new standards for modularization of the Dynamic Bandwidth Assignment (DBA) function that are designed to speed up the transition to 5G networks.
The standards define an API that can be used to replace the DBA software module typically used by carriers. Japan’s NTT and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom worked with the Broadband Forum on the specifications for the API.
The API represents “a significant advance in the quality of service of optical access systems and is a milestone for 5G by accelerating the time-to-market for time-critical applications,” the trade organization noted in a statement.
A DBA function is used in point-to-multipoint optical access networks. In an optical line terminal (OLT) the DBA helps carriers avoid the collision of upstream data from multiple optical network units by assigning times to each unit for the start and duration of a transmission.
With the API, carriers will have a common access system for a diverse range of services, including how base stations function for 5G mobile systems. Standards for 5G mobile base stations place strict requirements on reducing latency to the sub-10 millisecond range.
“We believe the widespread use of the API as an international standard will lead to the drastic expansion of the application area of optical access systems,” said Ju Terada, general manager of NTT Access Network Service System Laboratories, in a statement.
NTT successfully demonstrated OLT modularization last year, after having created the concept of Flexible Access System Architecture.
The new standards and API will help operators upgrade their networks for 5G in a cost-effective way, predicted Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh.
Roger Entner, founder and lead analyst at Recon Analytics, said the new API will have its biggest impact on companies that do business with NTT and Chunghwa Telecom in Japan and Taiwan.
“Companies can adopt a standard, but don’t have to,” Entner added. “There are a lot of standards in the graveyard of un-adopted standards.”