With 5G just around the corner, I’ve started to think about the ways it could improve my life as a busy executive and working mom. I’m starting to imagine how technology innovation can expand beyond connectivity to my family while away, to enriching every part of my life. Autonomous cars could make it easier to efficiently travel to customers and more effectively use commute time as work time. Smart medicine may let me “see” my doctor when on the road or tied up at work. Virtual reality (VR) could allow me to “attend” more of my daughter’s softball games, like I was really there. And as I watch my son master Pokemon-Go, I look to a future with augmented and virtual reality, with new opportunities to more deeply engage with him while I’m half a world away. But this is just the beginning.
5G Will Transform Business
These simple examples of how 5G could positively influence my life are indicative of the broad impact that we expect 5G to have across technology use cases and industries. In fact, 5G represents a significant shift for the industry where mobility and computing converge and become indistinguishable. Wireless networks must transform to become more powerful, agile and intelligent to enable richer experiences throughout daily life. A few examples are: automotive companies will produce autonomous cars; manufacturing companies will further automate processes, the medical field will increase efficiency with telemedicine; and retailers will enhance the shopping experience with a 3D immersive experience where we can try on clothes and see how they look before buying them online – and delivered to our doorsteps via drones. The Internet of Things (IoT) will accelerate these innovations by connecting 10,000 times more devices to public networks than what is connected today. All of these transformative use cases will make bigger demands on network infrastructure resulting in data capacity demand at an estimated 1000x today’s demand and an estimated ten-fold reduction in data latency requirements. How do we prepare our networks for the future that is 5G?
Intel is helping to transform the wireless networks and supporting infrastructure that lays the path to 5G. By partnering with industry leaders – from device manufacturers, solution providers and network operators – and investing in networking and wireless communications innovations to define standards and develop technologies for next-generation wireless networks that are smarter and more cost-effective, efficient and scalable.
Transforming the network end-to-end for 5G
Today’s networks are architected using static, purpose-built hardware. These fixed-function platforms are designed to serve mass consumers as a homogenous One-Network-Fits-All offering. Future 5G networks will be heterogeneous with composable architectures that change based on network usage. In the 5G era, “users” are not just humans, but the billions of devices that will be provisioned to specific end users, specific verticals, and specific needs. As we are seeing in so many markets, customer value is derived from personalization. Applying that user-orientation to network deployment will usher in the next wave of “can’t live without” services. Just imagine, each specific use case traveling through a network architecture that has been optimally suited for it.
So how do we get there? In the near-term, LTE/4G will continue to be the fabric that runs the network backbone. 5G innovations will provide new capacity and coverage capabilities while enabling new use cases that require massive bandwidth and low latency. To realize the true potential of 5G, however, the network infrastructure must transform end-to-end: from the access to the core to the cloud. This transformation will result in a high-performing, agile and flexible network that can accommodate the new exciting use cases that 5G will bring to all of us. The foundation of this end-to-end network is occurring today, with Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) based solutions that take advantage of server volume economics, virtualization technology, and cloud technologies and business models.
Advanced Technologies for Network Transformation
Intel is working with industry leaders to develop 5G infrastructure. The goal is to transform not just certain elements of the network, but the entire network from end-to-end. Here are some of the technologies that will drive agile communications from mobile devices to the cloud.
Intel’s innovations in Radio Access Technology, Access Networks, and Core Networks, enables our full view of the compute continuum, truly enabling 5G as an end-to-end system of systems. The advances in Radio Access Technology, Mobile Edge Computing, and virtualized Radio Access Networks work towards reducing latency so there is a faster response time to users, increased flexibility and agility to allow dynamic provisioning and services delivery, and increased bandwidth and capacity utilization. They utilize the compute processing power of Intel architecture combined with our virtualization and packet processing technologies.
5G will solve even the most challenging problems of connectivity and communications. Tomorrow’s 5G networks will create experiences that haven’t even been invented yet, and connect those who have never been connected before. The question I want to ask you is simply this: What will you make possible with 5G?
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