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Ciena 5G Network Solutions

Turn ON the untapped potential of your mobile network

Adapting networks for the ongoing transition from 4G to 5G—creating unlimited possibilities with minimal risk and maximum performance

Faster speeds. Lower latency. Increased availability. Guaranteed network performance. Edge computing. Innovative new use-cases and applications. More cost-effective. That's the 5G promise, and much more. In a world that's always ON, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and wholesalers alike need to be able to scale existing 4G networks, while transitioning to 5G—and maintain competitiveness and profitability throughout.

5G: It's ON. How will your network adapt?
The move to 5G is not just about a simple capacity upgrade. It’s a long and often complex journey involving significant performance improvements to the Radio Access Network (RAN) as well as the extensive wireline (fixed) network interconnecting RAN cell sites and data centers, where accessed content is hosted, and everything in between.

Successfully enabling new applications and business models requires a change in the way networks are designed, deployed, and managed. MNOs must embrace concepts like virtualization, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), and Network Slicing—these are critical to ensuring the commercial success of 5G. Scalability, automation, and openness ease the transition from existing 4G networks to high-performance Full 5G networks.

The Big 3

No. 1

Wireline network upgrade

A high-performance wireline network is critical to the success of existing and ongoing 4G expansion and the evolution toward 5G. It interconnects 4G/5G cell sites, as well as data centers that host content and applications accessed by both humans and machines (IoT).

While traditional mobile networks relied on a Carrier Ethernet to interconnect mobile sites to the 4G Evolved Packet Core (EPC), when compared to LTE, LTE-Advanced, LTE-Advanced Pro, and 5G implementations will be far more distributed, taking advantage of virtualization and MEC to support new applications. This means the IP networks holding everything together must be open, automated, lean, and simpler—mandatory requirements for the commercial success of 5G network services and their associated applications and use-cases.

No. 2

Open ecosystem

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 that leverage a broader multi-vendor ecosystem. This provides the ability to select products to address immediate 4G needs, with the option to invest over time as 5G evolves and matures.

No. 3

The Adaptive NetworkTM

Meeting the ever-changing needs of mobile end-users—both humans and machines—requires an optimized mobile network environment. Networks that can adapt—by leveraging programmability, automation, and analytics-driven intelligence across optical, packet, and virtualized layers—are more agile and responsive, delivering the end-to-end network performance needed to keep up with end-user demands.

Adaptive IP

5G applications are driving the need for increased IP capability at the network edge. Ciena’s Adaptive IPTM is designed to enable this by offering a rich portfolio of purpose-built platforms, supported by an agile and targeted set of open, standards-based IP protocols. Together with multi-vendor, multi-layer automation and analytics, Adaptive IP also provides end-to-end visualization and path computation, making it simpler and more cost-effective to manage and optimize IP networks. Ciena’s Adaptive IP easily supports concepts like network slicing, virtualization, and edge computing that will be at the forefront of any successful 5G deployment.

The Conversation

Industry insights

The evolution to 5G is already happening around the world. MNOs have different deployment strategies, but the eventual move to 5G is inevitable—and beneficial for both end-users and operators. Operators must support a diversity of revenue streams, which will vary across MNOs and wholesale network operators that will constantly change over time. The key, therefore, is to develop a 5G platform with sufficient capacity, flexibility, and automation to enable any use-case that makes commercial sense—now or in the future. Fiber throughout the network and flexible resource management across all layers, as well as wireless and wireline domains, are essential to increased network versatility.

Ciena insights

5G mobile networks will significantly affect both the wireless and wireline side of the end-to-end global network infrastructure, as airborne wireless bits jump to and from massive wireline networks. The expected performance increases of 5G over existing 4G LTE networks include an order of magnitude improvement, or more, in network performance related to speeds, capacity, latency, and the number of connected devices.

It's not economically feasible to scale existing wireline networks by an order of magnitude or more from cost, complexity, space, and energy consumption perspectives—to support the expected 5G performance gains over 4G LTE. This means it’s essential to adopt automation, analytics, and streaming telemetry to more intelligently and flexibly allocate network resources, when and where required.

Since 5G is not intended to outright replace 4G—the two will coexist well into the future—the demands of both must be satisfied, wherever possible, over a common, cost-effective wireline infrastructure. Specific wireline technologies applicable to 5G include:

Ciena is intensely focused on innovation across coherent optical, edge packet platforms supporting Adaptive IP, automation, and Multi-Domain Service Orchestration (MDSO) technologies, products, and services. The combination of these components provides a highly differentiated, best-in-breed, open solution giving MNOs ultimate choice in scaling their existing 4G networks and their future 5G networks.

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What’s next

The future of 5G will change everything in terms of network performance and enabling an incredible amount of new services and applications. For example, it will power Smart Cities where hundreds of thousands of sensors are added to the network every minute, making cities ‘smarter’ by gathering, analyzing, and acting upon vital collected sensor data, in real-time.

Ciena is known for having deployed some of the largest and most secure open networks on earth. Our Adaptive Network vision ensures an optimized and uninterrupted flow of critical data and content, 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.

Additional 5G resources

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