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Faster speeds. Lower latency. Increased availability. Improved reliability. Innovative new use-cases and applications. More cost-effective. That's the 5G promise. In a world that's always ON, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) need to be able to scale existing 4G networks, while transitioning to 5G—and maintain profitability throughout.
5G: It's ON. How will your network adapt?
The move to 5G won't be a simple network upgrade. It's a long journey with a high-performance wireline network as the critical component to commercial success for both 4G strategies and the evolution toward 5G. Scalability, automation, and openness will help ease the transition to high-performance 5G networks.
A high-performance wireline network is critical to the success of existing 4G rollout strategies and the evolution towards 5G. It interconnects all 4G/5G cell sites together, as well as to and from data centers where content and applications accessed by both humans and machines (IoT) are hosted.
Greater return from network investments comes from 5G network solutions built upon an open and flexible architecture, using a strategy based on best-in-breed products and technologies. This provides the ability to select products to address immediate 4G needs, with the option to invest over time as 5G evolves and matures.
Networks that can adapt to meet the ever-changing needs of mobile end-users—man and machine—will provide the necessary network performance required to achieve a more agile and responsive mobile network environment.
The evolution to 5G is being contemplated around the world. Operators have different deployment strategies—or may still be working on them—but the eventual move to 5G is obligatory, and beneficial for both users and operators. Operators will need to support a diversity of revenue streams. Those will vary between MNOs and may change over time. The key, therefore, is to develop a 5G platform with sufficient capacity and flexibility to enable any use case which makes commercial sense, now or in the future. Fiber throughout the network, and flexible resource management across fiber and radio, will be essential to this network versatility.
5G mobile networks will significantly affect both the wireless and wireline side of the global network infrastructure, as airborne wireless bits jump to and from wireline networks. The expected performance increases of 5G over existing 4G networks include:
It's not economically feasible to scale existing wireline networks by a factor of 10x to 100x from cost, complexity, space, and energy consumption perspectives to support the expected 5G performance gains over 4G. This means adopting automation and agility to more intelligently and flexibly allocate network resources when and where required.
Since 5G is not intended to outright replace 4G, meaning the two will coexist well into the future, the demands of both must be satisfied—all over a common, cost-effective wireline infrastructure, wherever possible. Specific wireline technologies applicable to 5G include:
Ciena is intensely focused on innovation across coherent optical, edge packet platforms, automation, and multi-domain service orchestration technologies, products, and services. The combination of these components provides a highly differentiated, best-in-breed, and open solution giving MNOs ultimate choice in scaling their existing 4G networks and their future 5G networks.
The future of 5G will change everything in terms of network performance and enabling an incredible amount of new services and applications. For example, powering Smart Cities where hundreds of thousands of sensors are added to the network every minute, making cities "smart" by gathering, analyzing, and acting upon vital collected sensor data.
Ciena is known for having deployed some of the largest and most secure open networks on earth. Our Adaptive Network capabilities ensure an optimized and uninterrupted flow of critical data, where and when it is needed. It's precisely this real-world field experience and technology expertise that's being applied now to prepare for the 5G networks of tomorrow.
Ciena CEO Gary Smith describes how the “greenfield” nature of India’s digital revolution is allowing it to use mobile access to leapfrog more advanced economies. This article was originally published on Techonomy.
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