5G is coming! Are your migration plans ready?
Download our new 5G ebook, Three Keys to Success Preparing Your Mobile Network for 5G
5G is coming, 5G is coming!!! That’s what our technology Paul Reveres are calling as they ride through our industry journals. And they are right, 5G is coming and it’s coming fast. Oh what to do, and what to do first? Indeed, 5G migration really does require a strategy to prepare your network and your operations to derive the greatest benefits for your business.
Much of the 5G conversation has been about the new radios, but the most powerful hi-tech radio does nothing special without an infrastructure that can accommodate the new connections, special requirements and increased traffic load. Additionally, 5G is really what your network and what your business will be between the years 2020 and 2030. When we examine 5G through that prism, we understand there are many aspects that must be considered. Consider for a moment that, unlike previous mobility generations, 5G is not meant to replace 4G/LTE, but rather to augment it. 5G done right will be a convergence generation or licensed, unlicensed (and lightly licensed), macro, small cells, and so on. So the well-designed 5G network needs to be heterogeneous (HetNet); this also has implications on the transport and the core.
This eBook is in three sections and looks at HetNet, Mobile Core and xHaul (Fronthaul and Backhaul).
On HetNet we will cover what and how you will create a seamless experience for your customers and maximize efficiency via new network intelligence like advanced self-organizing (optimizing, orchestrating) networks (SON). We also look at new business opportunities as well as potential challenges and pain points to be addressed.
The section on mobile core examines the evolution of this very key area of the network (has often been referred to as the anchor). The 5G mobile core is a matured virtualized solution. You will read about the benefits of a core that not only supports control, user plane separation (CUPS) but uses that function to enable a true distributed architecture. A study by IDC in June 2016 compared the benefits of a virtualized mobile core to a truly distributed virtualized core.
IDC’s study concluded that by virtualizing all mobile core functions the operator would achieve improved functional utilization of up to 87%; resulting in improved cost efficiencies of up to 25%. The study went on to show that a distributed virtualized mobile core can result in potential opex cost savings in the range of 20– 40% over a five-year period.
This distributed virtualized network enables network slicing – the software based network constructs delivering custom networks for specific use cases and customers. But to make this an enablement platform to quickly create new services requires automation and orchestration.
The third section is about xHaul, meaning both Fronthaul and Backhaul IP transport. Mobile backhaul networks are well known, but the notion of the fronthaul network relatively new. They became necessary with the buildout of small cell networks. 5G will heavily use small cells to eliminate “drop spots” in mobile networks. Fronthaul is also very important to delivering on one of the most talked about 5G requirements – ultra low latency.
xHaul is a unified approach to transport supporting key timing issues, like phase and frequency, as well as huge increases in scale, via IPv6 segment routing. As the number of connections greatly increases (over 12 billion IoT connections by 2020) and traffic load increase (80% of mobile traffic will be video), you will need SDN controllers to provide the intelligence to route a d switch traffic accordingly. This is called application engineered routing and segment routing and is invaluable for networks coping with high traffic demands.
Each of these elements requires a tight approach to technological implementation and business integration. Yet across all of these three areas, one message rings true with consistency – 5G is about creating a new enablement platform for the delivery of business-ready services.
Enterprises and service providers – be they traditional, web-based or newcomers to the market – will see 5G as a way to launch new services quickly and easily on behalf of their customers. That can only happen if you start thinking about the key elements of your mobile networks now.
As we will see in this eBook, providers that focus on HetNet, Mobile Core and xHaul will be able to use 5G as an agile platform from which to deliver new business services quickly and easily.
There has never been a better time to read this eBook on 5G.