Private cellular might be the marquee network technology among today’s 5G advances & Network Convergence should provide a boost to it in 2022. But the tool has different flavors and architectures for taking advantage of new opportunities to inform the larger deployments and in shaping their respective ecosystems. Learn what is the “just right” mix.
10 Ingredients for Realizing the Promise of 5G
The telecom industry has been characterized by the ‘generational’ evolution of technology in the past four decades.
Mobile telephony took shape starting from 1G (1st Generation wireless) in 1979 when the first cellular network was launched in Japan. This was soon followed by the rollout of 1G in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in the early 1980s.
The next decade witnessed an inflection point, with 2G being launched in Finland in the 1990s. 2G was also known as GSM, which became popular across the world, and made cellular ‘voice’ telephony ubiquitous.
The industry witnessed two more advancements, namely 3G (in 2001) and 4G (in 2009) that aimed at offering faster data speeds. These important milestones in cellular ‘data’ telephony fueled the massive growth of the internet and digitized our lives.
While 1G and 2G introduced voice and text as the ‘killer apps’, 3G and 4G offered mobile broadband connectivity in the comfort of our hands – enabling the OTT and smartphone ecosystem.
5G will not only enable person-to-person communication, but it will digitize society and industries by connecting billions of machines and “things” in addition to people. Consumers will experience blazing fast speeds at lower latencies leading to more per capita data consumption.
Everything that we touch, experience, or “wear” will generate data that will be connected via 5G. Early indicators of this trend are visible, through the popularity of wearable devices for example, and smart connected homes. This explosive demand for data and low latency interactivity will be fulfilled by 5G, which will fuel revenue growth in the retail consumer segment.
Businesses on the other hand will leverage 5G to automate their industrial setups, supply chains as well as connect their assets through sensors for business intelligence. Data-driven decision-making will be facilitated through 5G proliferation as Machine-to-Machine communication gets deployed in volumes.
This will benefit OPEX optimization.
These strategic directions of 5G adoption will have a larger macro-economic impact as the benefits of technology will directly contribute to the bottom-line of businesses – either through new revenue streams or through greater OPEX savings.
Bridging the Chasm between Promise and Practice
From the point of view of carriers, the 5th generation standard is not a mere “upgrade” from its predecessor. It is a complete overhaul of how telecom networks are architected, designed, and deployed.
Carrier networks today are encumbered by legacy software, and with 5G – the network is re-imagined into a cloud-native, composable, and nimble architecture. 5G opens up an entirely new market that extends far beyond the traditional revenue streams of voice, messaging, and internet connectivity.
For bridging the gap between the promise of 5G, and its realization, there are ten key ingredients that will require flawless execution.
Cloud-Native Standalone 5G – Ease of deploying new use cases
5G embraces the cloud ‘by design’, rather than as an after-thought. Traditional network “boxes” have been re-architected as ‘network functions’, and organized around service-based interfaces.
5G Network Functions are packaged as portable images which can be deployed either on-premise or in the public cloud. Hybrid models are also supported through this architecture, which may involve both the public as well as the private cloud.
As a result, hyperscalers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have become potential deployment choices. This accelerates the lifecycle of new services and use cases that are developed over 5G. Moreover, it gives carriers and their customers an asset-light option for scaling new services on-demand.
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The 5G trends and technologies in 2021 and predictions for 2022 from Neil McRae, Managing Director, and Chief Architect at British Telecom. Some of the key trends of 2021 include private networks, edge computing, Open RAN, swapping vendors driven by security concerns (i.e. clean network), keeping networks up in the Covid-19 pandemic, and rolling out 5G and 4G networks.
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The FCC sold off sections of C-band in two separate auctions this past year, several of the big, nationwide telecom providers jumped at the chance to bolster their frequency portfolios. But questions about C-band and its capabilities still linger. How are telecoms going to deploy C-band? Will it finally deliver true 5G? In this article, Broc Jenkins analysis the 5G C-Band challenges and presents what lies ahead to deliver a true 5G.
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As of December 2021, the 5G network has been commercially deployed by 190 wireless service providers across the world and Open RAN has been deployed/trialed in 48 countries across 30+ countries.
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