As mobile broadband begins to reach every corner of the world, people’s desire to unfold the blueprint of the coming fully connected world is increasing. In the era where all things will be connected over mobile broadband, 5G networks need to meet the requirements of unprecedented connectivity in three scenarios:
- Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) focuses on services that require ultra-high bandwidth, such as high-deﬁnition video (4K/8K), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR), meeting user demands for a digital life.
- Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC) focuses on scenarios requiring high-density connections, such as intelligent transportation, smart grid, intelligent manufacturing (Industry 4.0), and smart logistics, meeting user demands for a digital
- Ultra-Reliable and Low-Latency Communications (URLLC) focuses on latency-sensitive services, such as autonomous driving/assisted driving, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), and remote control, meeting user demands for a digital industry.
To meet the increasing requirements for new experiences and applications, 5G scenarios need to be enhanced and expanded. Huawei proposes the 5.5G industry vision and deﬁnes three new scenarios that enhance the three standard 5G scenarios. This allows the evolution from supporting Internet of Everything (IoE) to realizing intelligent connection of everything, and creates new value for social development and industry upgrade. The three new scenarios are as follows:
- Uplink Centric Broadband Communication (UCBC) will enable a 10-fold increase in uplink bandwidth. This is perfect to support high-volume upload in production and manufacturing scenarios for machine vision and massive broadband Internet of Things (IoT), accelerating their evolution towards intelligence.
- Real-Time Broadband Communication (RTBC) supports high bandwidth and low latency. It will also enable a 10-fold increase in bandwidth at a given latency and reliability, offering an immersive experience for the interaction between the physical and digital worlds.
- Harmonized Communication and Sensing (HCS) extends the capability boundaries of mobile networks and enables centimeter-level positioning and It applies to indoor digital management, intelligent transportation, and low-altitude drone scenarios.
So far in 5G evolution, visions have been proposed, technical directions have been deﬁned, and the pace of standards formulation has been determined. Currently, the action plan is being implemented. As the communications industry has high expectations for the future development and evolution of 5G, Huawei will continue to innovate and work with the industry to create a golden decade for 5G.
In general, most threats and challenges faced by 5G security are the same as those faced by 4G security. However, the additional security challenges brought by new architectures, services, and technologies to 5G networks must be considered.
In terms of new architectures, new 5G software and network deployment architectures introduce new interfaces and boundaries. The new Service Based Architecture (SBA) and slice architecture shall adapt to new security requirements, such as SBA-based identity authentication, slice security protection, and multi-slice risk management, to prevent attacks. In 5G network deployment, the User Plane Function on the core network is moved from the central equipment room to the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), introducing new boundaries. The convergence of connection and computing also creates new security challenges.
As for new services, 5G networks empower vertical industries and shall provide better security capabilities for industry applications to meet these industries’ security requirements.
In terms of new technologies, cloudiﬁcation and virtualization technologies are widely used on 5G core networks, which creates security risks in the sharing and virtualization of infrastructure resources. In the future, the impact of quantum computing on traditional cryptographic algorithms shall also be considered to ensure network security.
The industry is working together to address new security risks faced by 5G architectures, technologies, and services, and address potential security challenges through uniﬁed 5G security standards, common 5G security concepts, and an agreed 5G security framework. In 2020, 111 companies (including their subsidiaries) from around the world sent technical experts to six SA3 meetings to develop the latest 5G security standards. The 3GPP SA3 Working Group has established 42 projects to analyze security threats and risks in various 5G scenarios. Conclusions are gradually being drawn from these projects and implemented in security standards. The GSMA and 3GPP jointly deﬁne NESAS to assess the security of mobile network equipment development and veriﬁcation. The GSMA 5G Cybersecurity Knowledge Base proposes the security concept of shared responsibility and baseline security controls based on typical 5G network threats and key security solutions. The top-down design principles of the 5G security architecture ensure a systematic, dynamic, and adaptive security framework. With these measures, we believe that 5G cyber security is manageable and veriﬁable.