Pipeline Magazine: 5G: Network agility comes of age

August 17, 2017

Self-driving automobiles require that network delay or latency be reduced to less than a millisecond. Streaming 3D video and new immersive applications require massive bandwidth. Multi-millions of IoT devices will require spectrum beyond what is currently accessible. Dramatic increases in data use at events and public venues will exacerbate already existing swings in capacity demand. A proliferation of devices will intensify the need for densification of base stations — the ability to deliver more and more capacity within the same space.

The demands placed on mobile networks by the 5G air interface will be complex, varied and strenuous. While current networks effectively support today’s requirements, delivering on the dramatic increase in demand, density and diversity of network requirements associated with 5G will require a very different approach, as today’s networks are simply inadequate. The limitations of fixed point-to-point architecture, of a dependence on traditional dedicated hardware, and of legacy technology have saddled operators with networks that cannot flex, adapt or scale to meet future needs. Current networks, by design, are rigid and rather limited.

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