The next-generation edge needs to bring far more bandwidth closer to business, residential, and mobile customers. It also needs to be scalable, efficient, and smart enough to support network slicing and automation. If that wasn’t enough, edge infrastructure also needs to be tough enough to operate in street cabinets, on buildings, and in other challenging edge locations.

Make sure your edge solutions have these 7 key attributes:

  1. Universal and multi-service enabled - Your network edge needs to provide universal access – meaning support for all kinds of services in a single platform. This way, you can roll out private line business services, layer 2 and layer 3 business services, PON services, and even 4G/5G services on a single, efficient device architecture. With this approach you can simply roll out new services as and when you want to, helping you tap into new commercial opportunities as your business needs change.

  2. Scalable and future-proof - While 1G used to be enough for most edge locations, 10G is the new normal, and 100G access speeds are now common. This means that your edge devices need to scale seamlessly to meet growing traffic demands, with no need for forklift upgrades, or major hardware or software changes in your network. To protect your edge investments and to scale your business without limits, you’ll need devices that scale seamlessly from 1G to 10G, 100G and beyond.

  3. Consolidated and cost efficient - The number of connected sites and devices at the edge will be huge – especially for mobile operators rolling out thousands of new macro and small cell sites for 5G, while supporting 4G. By using a single, efficient edge device architecture for multiple services and applications from layers 0 to 3, you can strip out legacy routing infrastructure and other costly devices from the network. This supports major savings for the business in terms of real estate, power, management, and support – all contributing to a healthier bottom line.

  4. Smart and automated - The next-generation edge needs to be much smarter to support new differentiated and ultra-reliable-Low-Latency Communication (urLLC) use cases. In particular, edge devices need to offer both hard and soft network slicing capabilities to support differentiated application and service SLAs. Automation is also needed to ensure resources and bandwidth can be allocated dynamically on demand, and that any network issues can be predicted and rectified before they impact customer-facing services.

  5. Street-hardened - To handle massive volumes of traffic created at the network edge, more bandwidth needs to be available far closer to user populations. This means devices need to be temperature hardened and able to function reliably in street cabinets, on buildings, and in other edge locations.

  6. Fast and simple to deploy - Avoiding truck rolls and on-site configuration is the key to upgrading hundreds or even thousands of edge sites quickly and cost effectively. To enable this, next-generation edge devices need to offer Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) capabilities that reduce the need for skilled staff and complex set-up processes. With ZTP, a device can simply be plugged in and connected, and all the required software and configuration images are downloaded automatically over the network – dramatically reducing manual effort and associated costs.

  7. Open and agile - The edge needs to integrate seamlessly with existing infrastructure and software across the network. Additionally, operators need to be free to choose and integrate new, best-of-breed technologies in the future. All this means that edge devices must be built on open standards, with open APIs and toolkits that help you mix and match best-of-breed technologies in your environment.

Build your next-generation edge

Your new network edge needs industry-leading, street-hardened routing and switching. Ideally with:

  • The ability to scale programmatically from 1G and 10G, to 100G, 200G, 400G and beyond.
  • Converged network options that provide optical transport, layer 2 Ethernet services, and a wide range of IP services on a single, cost-effective architecture.
  • Incorporate Intelligent Automation for optimizing your network operations, with hard and soft network slicing for differentiated app performance and SLAs.
  • A simplified approach that lets you accelerate time to market, grow your revenues and margins, and retire costly legacy infrastructure from your network to achieve major savings on real estate, power, and overall operating costs.
  • A trusted partner that can guide you through any challenge—big or small—as you evolve your network.

To find out more about starting your journey, click here.

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