Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) D. Allan, Ed.
Request for Comments: 8822
Category: Informational D. Eastlake 3rd
ISSN: 2070-1721 Futurewei Technologies
5G Wireless Wireline Convergence User Plane Encapsulation (5WE)
As part of providing wireline access to the 5G Core (5GC), deployed
wireline networks carry user data between 5G residential gateways and
the 5G Access Gateway Function (AGF). The encapsulation method
specified in this document supports the multiplexing of traffic for
multiple PDU sessions within a VLAN-delineated access circuit,
permits legacy equipment in the data path to inspect certain packet
fields, carries 5G QoS information associated with the packet data,
and provides efficient encoding. It achieves this by specific points
of similarity with the Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE)
data packet encapsulation (RFC 2516
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
published for informational purposes.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents
approved by the IESG are candidates for any level of Internet
Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8822
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Table of Contents 1.
Requirements Language 1.2.
Data Encapsulation Format 3.
Security Considerations 4.
IANA Considerations 5.
Normative References 5.2.
Converged 5G ("fifth generation") wireline networks carry user data
between 5G residential gateways (5G-RGs) and the 5G Access Gateway
Function (identified as a Wireline-AGF (W-AGF) by 3GPP in [TS23316])
across deployed access networks based on Broadband Forum [TR101] and
[TR178]. This form of wireline access is considered to be trusted
non-3GPP access by the 5G system.
The transport encapsulation used needs to meet a variety of
requirements, including the following:
* The ability to multiplex multiple logical connections (Protocol
Data Unit (PDU) sessions as defined by 3GPP) within a VLAN-
identified point-to-point logical circuit between a 5G-RG and a
* To allow unmodified legacy equipment in the data path to identify
the encapsulation and inspect specific fields in the payload.
Some access nodes in the data path between the 5G-RG and the W-AGF
(such as digital subscriber loop access multiplexers (DSLAMs) and
optical line terminations (OLTs)) currently inspect packets
identified by specific Ethertypes to identify protocols such as
the Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE), IP, ARP, and
IGMP. This may be for the purpose of enhanced QoS, the policing
of identifiers, and other applications. Some deployments are
dependent upon this inspection. Such devices are able to do this
for PPPoE or IP-over-Ethernet (IPoE) packet encodings but would be
unable to do so if a completely new encapsulation, or an existing
encapsulation using a new Ethertype, were used.
* To carry per-packet 5G QoS information.
* An encapsulation that minimizes processing since fixed access
residential gateways are sensitive to the complexity of packet
processing. While not a strict requirement, this is an important
A data encapsulation that uses a common Ethertype and has certain
fields appearing at the same offset as the PPPoE data encapsulation
] can address these requirements. This data encapsulation is
referred to as the 5G WWC user plane encapsulation or 5WE. Currently
deployed access nodes do not police the VER, TYPE, or CODE fields of
an RFC 2516
PPPoE header and only perform limited policing of
stateful functions with respect to the procedures documented in RFC 2516
. Therefore, these fields have a different definition for 5WE
and are used to:
* Identify that the mode of operation for packets encapsulated in
such a fashion uses 5G WWC session establishment based on non-
access stratum (NAS, a logical control interface between user
equipment (UE) and a 5th Generation Core Network (5GC) as
specified by 3GPP) and life-cycle maintenance procedures as
documented in [TS23502] and [TS23316] instead of legacy PPP/PPPoE
session establishment procedures [RFC2516
] (i.e., PADI discipline,
LCP, NCP, etc.). In this scenario, "discovery" is performed by
means outside the scope of this document.
* Permit the session ID field to be used to identify the 5G PDU
session the encapsulated packet is part of.
* Communicate per-packet 5G QoS Flow Identifier (QFI) and Reflective
QoS Indication (RQI) information from the 5GC to the 5G-RG.
This 5G-specific redesign of fields not inspected by deployed
equipment results in an encapsulation uniquely applicable to the
requirements for the communication of PDU session traffic between the
subscriber premises and the 5G system over wireline networks. The
6-byte RFC 2516
data packet header followed by a 2-byte PPP protocol
ID is also the most frugal of the encapsulations that are currently
supported by legacy access equipment that could be adapted to meet
This encapsulation is expected to be used in environments where RFC 2516
is deployed. Therefore, implementations MUST
* If the version number is 1 and PPPoE [RFC2516
] is supported,
process the frame further; else, silently discard it.
* If the version number is 2 and 5WE is supported, process the frame
further; else, silently discard it.
In both cases, frames for the supported version number should have
session IDs corresponding to established sessions for the respective
protocol models. A 5WE frame with an unrecognized session ID MUST
This encapsulation may have MTU issues when used for Ethernet
multiplexing in networks where the underlying Ethernet payload is
limited to 1500 bytes.
This encapsulation is not suitable for other network environments,
e.g., general use over the public Internet.
1.1. Requirements Language
The key words "MUST
", "MUST NOT
", "SHALL NOT
", "SHOULD NOT
", "NOT RECOMMENDED
" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
BCP 14 [RFC2119
] when, and only when, they appear in all
capitals, as shown here.
This document uses the following acronyms:
3GPP 3rd Generation Partnership Project
5WE 5G Wireless Wireline Convergence User Plane Encapsulation
5GC 5th Generation Core (network)
DSLAM Digital Subscriber Loop Access Multiplexer
W-AGF Wireline Access Gateway Function
IPoE IP over Ethernet
NAS Non-Access Stratum
OLT Optical Line Termination
PDU Protocol Data Unit
PPPoE PPP over Ethernet
QFI QoS Flow Identifier
QoS Quality of Service
RG Residential Gateway
RQI Reflective QoS Indicator
WWC Wireless Wireline Convergence
2. Data Encapsulation Format
The Ethernet payload [IEEE802] for PPPoE [RFC2516
] is indicated by an
Ethertype of 0x8864. The information following that Ethertype uses a
value of 2 in the VER field for the repurposing of the PPPoE data
encapsulation as the 5G WWC user plane encapsulation (5WE). The 5G
WWC user plane encapsulation is structured as follows: 0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
| VER | TYPE | QFI |R|0| SESSION_ID |
| LENGTH | PROTOCOL ID |
| DATA PAYLOAD ~
The description of each field is as follows:
VER: The version. It MUST
be set to 0x02.
TYPE: The message type. It MUST
be set to 0x01.
QFI: Encodes the 3GPP 5G QoS Flow Identifier [TS38415] to be used
for mapping 5G QoS to IP DSCP/802.1 P-bits [IEEE802].
R: (Short for Reflective QoS Indication [TS38415]) Encodes the
one-bit RQI. It is set by the network-side 5WE termination
for downstream traffic and ignored by the network for
0: Indicates the bit(s) that MUST be sent as zero and ignored
SESSION_ID: A 16-bit unsigned integer in network byte order. It is
used to distinguish different PDU sessions that are in the
VLAN-delineated multiplex. A value of 0xffff is reserved
for future use and MUST NOT
LENGTH: The length in bytes of the data payload, including the
initial Protocol ID. It is 16 bits in network byte order.
PROTOCOL ID: The 16-bit identifier of the data payload type encoded
using values from the IANA "PPP DLL Protocol Numbers"
The following values are valid in this field for 5G WWC use:
* 0x0021: IPv4
* 0x0031: Bridging PDU (Ethernet)
* 0x0057: IPv6
Packets received that do not contain one of the above
protocol IDs are silently discarded.
DATA PAYLOAD: Encoded as per the protocol ID.
3. Security Considerations
5G NAS procedures used for session life-cycle maintenance employ
ciphering and integrity protection [TS23502]. They can be considered
a more secure session establishment discipline than existing RFC 2516
procedures, at least against on-path attackers. The design of the
5WE encapsulation will not circumvent existing anti-spoofing and
other security procedures in deployed equipment. The existing access
equipment will be able to identify fields that they normally process
and police as per existing RFC 2516
Therefore, the security of a fixed access network using 5WE will be
equivalent or superior to current practice.
5WE-encapsulated traffic is used on what the 5GC considers to be
trusted non-3GPP interfaces; therefore, it is not ciphered. 5WE is
not suitable for use over an untrusted non-3GPP interface.
The security requirements of the 5G system are documented in
4. IANA Considerations
IANA has created the following registry on the "Point-to-Point (PPP)
Protocol Field Assignments" page:
Registry Name: PPP Over Ethernet Versions
Registration Procedure: Specification Required
| VER | Description | Reference |
| 0 | Reserved | [RFC8822
| 1 | PPPoE | [RFC2516
| 2 | 5G WWC User Plane Encapsulation | [RFC8822
| 3-15 | unassigned | |
Table 1: PPP Over Ethernet Versions
IANA has added this document as an additional reference for Ethertype
0x8864 in the "Ether Types" registry on the IANA "IEEE 802 Numbers"
5.1. Normative References
] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119
, March 1997,
] Mamakos, L., Lidl, K., Evarts, J., Carrel, D., Simone, D.,
and R. Wheeler, "A Method for Transmitting PPP Over
Ethernet (PPPoE)", RFC 2516
, DOI 10.17487/RFC2516
February 1999, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2516
] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119
Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174
, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174
May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174
[TS23316] 3GPP, "Wireless and wireline convergence access support
for the 5G System (5GS)", Release 16, TS 23.316, December
[TS23502] 3GPP, "Procedures for the 5G System (5GS)", Release 15,
TS 23.502, December 2016.
[TS38415] 3GPP, "NG-RAN; PDU session user plane protocol", Release
15, TS 38.415, March 2018.
5.2. Informative References
[IEEE802] IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Networks:
Overview and Architecture", Std 802-2014,
DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2014.6847097, June 2014,
[TR101] Broadband Forum, "Migration to Ethernet Based Broadband
Aggregation", TR-101, issue 2, July 2011.
[TR178] Broadband Forum, "Multi-service Broadband Network
Architecture and Nodal Requirements", TR-178, issue 1,
[TS33501] 3GPP, "Security architecture and procedures for 5G
System", Release 16, TS 33.501, December 2019.
This memo is a result of comprehensive discussions by the Broadband
Forum's Wireline Wireless Convergence Work Area. The authors would
also like to thank Joel Halpern and Dirk Von Hugo for their detailed
review of this document.
Dave Allan (editor)
2455 Augustine Drive
San Jose, CA 95054
United States of America
Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
2386 Panoramic Circle
Apopka, FL 32703
United States of America
242 Exhibition St