Service providers have a lot to be thrilled about 5G. Its speed (think 10 Gbps), coverage, reliability, and lower latency will be a game changer in an increasingly mobile world.

5G networks are well-suited to deploy massive machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. This opens up the potential to plenty of lucrative 5G use cases aimed at public and private enterprises, all of whom are looking to digitally transform.

Service providers who answer the call will be able to successfully move up the value chain. By offering 5G-enabled services to different industry verticals—from gaming to manufacturing—they cast a bigger net to capture more enterprise revenue. We are starting to see the momentum burgeoning in the connected car and smart city markets.

Combined AR/VA of the global Collaboration Market by 2022

 Source: Markets and Markets

Connected Cars

Over the past decade, the adoption of digital and smart technologies in the automotive sector has accelerated from piecemeal (remember the hands-free earpiece?) to the full-blown integration we currently see with self-driving cars and driverless vehicle trials.

5G access will provide a whole load of horsepower for the auto industry to build advanced solutions to make cars smarter, safer, and more energy-efficient. The innovations are not just to improve a car’s internal functions. They are also used to make the vehicle connect and interact with the outside environment to enable better and safer use of road infrastructure.

connected cars

Cisco is working with Hyundai to realize its ambitious vision of the hyper-connected intelligent car, by co-developing a connected car platform that will allow data to be transferred internally within the car’s network and externally with road infrastructure, other vehicles, and the cloud.

Beyond broadband access, service providers can tap the strong demand for 5G connected car services in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications. Vehicles need persistent connectivity and coverage since they move around, as well as low latency to ensure uninterrupted data transmission, especially when it comes to mission-critical applications that concern the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

Smart Cities

Wireless connectivity is a basic building block of any smart city. It is vital that as populations get denser and needs more complex, cities have the proper network infrastructure that can keep up and run the applications and services meant to address the changes.

5G networks, which are faster, lower latency and more responsive, will mark a watershed moment in accelerating the market potential of smart cities for service providers.

smart cities

Increasingly sophisticated IoT and M2M solutions created for smart cities require high levels of connectivity, reliability and energy efficiency at massive scale. Some will necessitate zero latency to provide 24/7 streaming of data, such as traffic management systems. All these will finally be within reach, since 5G is designed to support not hundreds, but billions of devices, sensors and gadgets.

Teaming up with public and private organizations, Cisco has been a major force in shaping smart cities all over the globe—from Kansas City (USA) to Jaipur (India), from Incheon (South Korea) to Adelaide (Australia).

In Adelaide, we are working with city officials to kickstart pilot programs, including more efficient smart lighting on the streets, sensor-based alerts for parking spots, and CBD-wide public Wi-Fi.

Succeed with 5G services

The immense commercial potential of 5G services is obvious. With the arrival of every new wireless generation, service providers need to upgrade their infrastructures and invest in new network equipment and spectrum.

But the good news is that service providers do not have to wait until 5G standards are finalized or commit hefty investments before they can start monetizing 5G services. A majority of what’s termed as “5G services” can actually be delivered over existing radio technology—if you have the right 5G-ready network foundation in place. A GSMA report in 2015 noted that some 85% of 5G services can operate with latency below 5 milliseconds, whereas the rest need less than 1 millisecond latency.

So, how should a 5G-ready network look like?

The Cisco 5G Unified Enablement Platform—based on Cisco’s Open Network Architecture (ONA) for service providers—is the unifying network fabric tying access, transport, core and services altogether. It gives you the right network foundation with advanced automation, virtualized functionality, orchestration, telemetry, and security.

With it, you can launch 5G services today over your existing radio, while being more pragmatic and shrewd in planning your future 5G investments. Simply put, a 5G-ready network lets you unlock more value out from your current architecture and investment and minimize wastage.

Australian carrier Telstra is building a futureproof network as such, with next-generation automation capabilities to support the evolution of new services including 5G. By deploying Cisco network service orchestration (NSO) automation across its Ethernet and IP platforms, it shortened the provisioning time of equipment for new services from hours to minutes. It also reduced the number of failed service activations and network issues, as the risk of human error is removed.

The time is ripe to start capitalizing on the possibilities catalyzed by 5G.
Explore how our Unified Enablement Platform empowers you to leverage the promise of 5G to enter new business verticals and opportunities.


More news and resources for Telecom Service Providers also available here.



Andrew Eaton

General Manager,Management and Orchestration Software Sales

Global Service Provider - Asia Pacific & Japan