But don’t fret, because fairly soon you’ll get a similar experience with 5G and augmented reality, even if you’re way up high in the cheap seats. Using special goggles, you’ll get a front-row experience. See the action on the floor like never before. Pull up comprehensive stats on your screen that go well beyond what’s in the game program or on the jumbotron. View replays from other games during timeouts. Have delicious refreshments delivered to your seat. Now that’s having fun!
This is just one example of the many new business opportunities that communications service providers (CoSPs) will provide via their next generation 5G networks. Let’s look at some of the technologies laying the foundation for these opportunities, including an augmented reality experience you’ll find in the Intel booth at Mobile World Congress 2017.
I’ve talked to many CoSPs, and they all echo the same message. We need network infrastructure that is flexible, easily installed and managed, automated, secured, and highly reusable. To help achieve that, most have endorsed the concepts put forward by network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN).
With NFV and SDN as a basis, we believe CoSPs will need to deliver services over a cloud-architected infrastructure using a mix of:
- a centralized cloud for consolidated applications, like business support systems (BSS),
- distributed multi-access edge computing (MEC) for localized applications and content,
- virtual customer-premises equipment (CPE) supporting a wide variety of enterprise, residential, and Internet of Things (IoT) uses cases.
In fact, this is already being done today with the Telco Cloud infrastructure, as shown below.
When implemented with Intel® architecture processors, the Telco cloud further increases agility by delivering a high degree of scalability and code reuse. For example, the same software code can run on Intel® Xeon® processors in a centralized cloud, on the Intel® Xeon D-1500 at the edge or at a central office, or on the recently announced Intel® Atom™ processors in MEC or small branch vCPE devices. This enables the CoSPs to easily deploy applications wherever needed in the network and allows infrastructure vendors to scale or upgrade to new processor versions in the future without rewriting software code.
Since virtualization is a core feature of Telco Cloud infrastructure, it’s well-suited to take full advantage of network slicing, a new technology being ushered in by 5G. The technology makes it possible to partition a single network into multiple virtual networks, with the ability to configure each to support specific customer requirements.
This flexibility will support the creation of flexible tiered offerings, with various cost-performance points to address the wide range of anticipated IoT and 5G use cases. Take autonomous vehicles, for example, they need millisecond response times and ultra-high reliability. On the other side of the spectrum are cost-sensitive vending machine applications that can communicate over relatively slow, low-bandwidth connections. In the middle are consumers streaming video to their smart phones.
With network slicing and agile delivery of services by Telco Cloud, CoSPs will be able to meet the low latency, power, and cost demands of new, diversified use cases.
Making augmented reality sports a reality
Lynn Comp experiencing the virtual reality solution at the Verizon Innovation Lab in Waltham, MA.
Late last year, we teamed up with the Verizon* Network Visionaries program to host an Innovation Challenge to accelerate the use of NFV and SDN technologies. Winning the low latency category, Artesyn Embedded Computing* and Vantrix Corporation* developed a virtual reality solution that can provide an immersive customer experience at live sports events.
Close to the action, the Vantrix PRO25* camera delivers broadcast quality video. The video feed is processed by the control station and prepared for cloud livestreaming and/or handoff to a broadcast system, which in this case is the Artesyn Maxcore* platform.
The Maxcore edge compute platform is a multi-function, video-streaming server that performs de-warping for local production, transcodes video for local wireless delivery, and optimizes uplink video transfer for cloud distribution. The device uses Intel® Xeon® processors for host compute and Intel® Core™ processors for video transcode.
This augmented reality sports experience solution interfaces to Verizon’s Telco Cloud infrastructure, providing the flexibility to create a new live event experience within the venue or away from the action for subscribers at home or on the go.
If you happen to be at MWC, come to the Intel booth (Hall 3, Stand 3E31) to see the augmented reality experience and catch a glimpse of the new opportunities 5G has in store for us. We’d also like to show you other ways Intel and Intel Network Builders members are working to make network infrastructure more agile, flexible, and capable to deliver on the promise of 5G.
For more information about Intel solutions for network infrastructure, go here.
Follow Lynn Comp on Twitter @comp_lynn.
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