Many network capabilities will need to grow exponentially over the coming decade to unlock the full potential of technologies such as XR, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet The senses. Having successfully managed the exponential growth of each previous technology generation, our industry is now investing in advanced 5G and 6G research to meet future demands.
Industry leadership will require QoE differentiation from the best-effort services that have traditionally dominated the IT industry. Guaranteed QoE requires solutions that span the end-to-end (E2E) ecosystem of device, network, distributed and core computing, and application players. This requires collaboration between different players in the ecosystem to establish open standards that enable global scale, innovation, interoperability and performance.
Open the door to extended reality
From more basic functions, XR apps will grow as devices and network capabilities advance. Important application clusters for this evolution are games, entertainment, social communication, retail, shopping and virtual work, for example.
Existing XR apps mainly focus on a single user who is physically present in a predefined static environment with semi-static immersive content in the sense that they only partially adapt to the environment, for example by fixing themselves to the ground or other flat surface. This will evolve into dynamic environments containing moving objects and people, which means applications need to start adapting to such dynamics.
As XR continues to mature, it will eventually be possible for multiple users to be physically present in dynamic environments with content that dynamically adapts to the environment. Real-time occlusion of rendered content will enable a fully spatialized digital experience.
To make content immersive, the physical environment must be reproduced in a digital format called a spatial map. Spatial maps are built on static physical environmental data, such as real estate and roads, overlaid on real-time physical environmental data such as moving cars and pedestrians.
To master rendering, the spatial map information should also include the application user’s location and orientation, including head movement and foveal area, i.e. the area covered by the part of the human eye responsible for high acuity. vision.
XR applications will require further system design optimization across device E2E, connectivity, edge and cloud. For example, the calculation of the spatial map and the rendering distribution will have a strong influence on the power consumption, weight and size of the device. Spatial mapping and rendering processing will need to be offloaded in order to design iconic devices with a slim form factor and long battery life. Our research at Ericsson indicates that offloading XR application processing to the edge reduces device power consumption by three to seven times depending on how much processing is offloaded from the device.
The shift from traditional 2D media to advanced immersive media services increases the information load, due to the multiplicity of media streams and increased demands on media quality. It puts a lot of pressure on processing and transmission rates across the entire communication chain in an asymmetric way depending on how the XR use case is implemented – i.e. it can impact the uplink, the downlink, or a combination of both. For example, offloading spatial mapping computation from devices (to the edge/cloud) will result in a more symmetric traffic load in the downlink and uplink compared to mobile broadband (MBB) traffic, which is primarily a heavy downlink traffic.
To ensure QoE for XR applications, strict bounded latency requirements are needed when device compute is offloaded to the edge and cloud. To reduce limited latency requirements, intelligent on-device processing techniques will be implemented, such as asynchronous time warping which transforms rendered content over the network to compensate for pose changes between render time and render time. the display.
To optimize QoE for all network users, XR application traffic can be segregated from other MBB traffic using Intent-Based Network Slicing. Additionally, to ensure that latency requirements are met, critical communication features such as Radio Access Network (RAN)-assisted rate adaptation (using low-latency scalable rate technology, low loss) and latency-optimized scheduling will be introduced.
There is a strong relationship between wide area cellular network coverage, capacity, and latency demands. The key parameters for improving WAN coverage are allocation spectrum efficiency and inter-site distance. For 2030, the Ericsson Mobility Report forecasts an increase in traffic greater than the spectrum gains expected. As this will not be sufficient to support the expected increase in traffic, network densification will gain in importance to provide increased uplink capacity and coverage for unlimited connectivity.
The growing differentiation of XR services and the variety of new device types require smarter interaction with the network. In a cognitive network, orchestrating these interactions involves tasks such as device onboarding, connectivity management, and QoS policy selection. The network must have the ability to distribute actions across devices, RAN, core, edge, and application to dynamically secure QoE with minimal E2E resource usage. A first step in this direction is the Dynamic End-user Boost developed by Ericsson, a smartphone application that allows the user to dynamically optimize the QoE.
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