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Home : ITU-T Home : Study Groups : Study Group 13
Question 21/13 – Future networks
(New Question)


To support the requirements of future emerging applications and users, telecommunications technologies beyond current IP oriented technologies will need to be developed. The Future Network (FN), which is anticipated to provide futuristic functionalities beyond the limitation of the current network including Internet, is getting a global attention in the field of communication network and services. There are growing concerns with respect to the following aspects of the current network, including IP based networks: scalability/ubiquity, security/robustness, mobility, heterogeneity, Quality of Service (QoS), re-configurability, context-awareness, manageability, data-centric, network virtualization, economics, etc. Also, the Future Network will be more deeply incorporated and composed with new emerging technologies and services, such as intermittent network capabilities, DTN (Delay/Disruption-Tolerant Networks), vehicular/airborne networks, programmable and cognitive radio networks, network virtualization, etc.

These topics will be considered during the development of the requirements for Future Networks, which aim to meet future services and overcome the deficiencies of the current IP based networks. It is also recognised that backward compatibility with existing network and systems technologies may not need to be considered.

Not only for cooperation among the experts from all interested parties but also for ensuring global interworking possibilities among the future networks and systems, it is necessary to start new standardization work on future networks technologies which may provide a new paradigm beyond current telecommunication technologies including IP. This work will need to be accomplished in cooperation with other standards bodies as appropriate.


The Question is intended to study a how a futuristic architecture and a framework, which includes high level requirements and functional architecture and use cases and services, meets the new Future Network requirements.

Study items to be considered:

  • Problem statements on current IP-based network architecture (which should consider the current vision of future services and applications)
  • Design goals and general requirements for the Future Network (scalability, transparency, multi-homing, traffic engineering, mobility, security, robustness, re-configurability, context-awareness, manageability, heterogeneity, data-centric, and economics)
  • Gap analysis between existing standards and/or proposals for next generation networks and the design goals and requirements for the Future Network (FN)
  • Study of Meta architectures (network virtualization, cross-layer communications) and architectural framework for the Future Network (e.g. wireless, advanced photonics, embedded computing, intermittent network/DTN, vehicular/airborne network, programmable and cognitive radios, network virtualization, overlay service control)
  • Study on how to incorporate new communication and service technologies into Future Networks, such as wireless edge network (e.g. mesh/sensor, ad-hoc, network movement) or optical backbone network (e.g. optical switch or router).
  • Identify functions and capabilities necessary to support new services for the Future Network (e.g. user-centric, context-aware, user's preferences considering, proactive users provisioning, seamless services, QoS)
  • What enhancements to existing Recommendations are required to provide energy savings directly or indirectly in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) or in other industries? What enhancements to developing or new Recommendations are required to provide such energy savings?


Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Produce document(s) on vision and service scenarios of future networks as well as on problem statements of current and evolving networks and systems.
  • Produce inputs to new Recommendations on:
    • requirements of the future networks, which provide enhanced features as well as on gap analysis between existing technologies including recent evolving technologies and the requirements of future networks.
    • framework and model of future networks, which may provide a common basis for further development of specific recommendations on functions and facilities.
  • Collaborate with other standards bodies e.g. ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6 on future networks (including the possible development of common text standards for both standardization bodies where appropriate).


Recommendations: NGN related Recommendations

Questions: All NGN and network related Questions

Study Groups: ITU-T Study Groups involved with NGN and future network studies

Standardization bodies, fora and consortia: ISO/IEC JTC1 SC6


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Updated : 2009-02-06