A Multipoint-to-Multipoint Fronthaul Network: The Key to Future-Proof, Resilient Network Infrastructure
5G is on the cusp of evolution, with AT&T and Verizon leading the charge. They’ve tackled growing industry speculation head-on by announcing plans for new live network deployments before the end of 2018, shifting the question from who will get there first to how will they make it happen — and how else will this impact the industry along the way?
The generation game
Despite confidence from U.S. operators that the fifth generation of cellular broadband technology will be up and running in 2018, a number of challenges still need to be addressed before these deployments can truly take shape. Alongside valid comments from T-Mobile’s CTO Neville Ray, who slammed Verizon’s decision to use pre-standard technology, a list of network design concerns, virtualization considerations and spectrum efficiency questions are currently flying under the radar which must be addressed before 5G networks go live.
At the heart of these is the need for operators to take advantage of the lessons they learned from previous network rollouts — and there are plenty to be had. The shift from 2G to 3G was a considerable step function change for the industry. The move from 3G to 4G was a bit more drastic, and 5G will present even greater hurdles. All were dependent on new infrastructure to soak up heightened data demand and use cases without any real attention being placed on capital expenditure (CAPEX).