Although still in its infancy, 5G is rapidly transforming the telecom industry’s mindset about wireless and its capabilities, with vendors launching plans to deliver ultra-networks with ultra-speed, ultra-latency, ultra-spectral efficiency and ultra-cloud to consumers.
In an effort to address the demand for capacity and average revenue per user (ARPU) pressures, service providers are looking at 5G technology as the engine to optimize the different parts of their networks and deliver faster, new and more profitable services. In many cases, they realize that upgrading their physical infrastructure has limitations because of costs and inefficient time to market constraints, and they are looking for solutions, specifically virtualization, that scale their networks to meet the capacity demand while simultaneously delivering business value – savings.
Network virtualization, through usage-based pricing and resource pooling, seems to be most attractive option for efficient capital expense and operation expense planning. In addition, managing the network virtually adds lower OpEx as operations become more efficient. Managing network operations could become easier, because it is much simpler to monitor and react to network changes through a central platform and automated processes.
Need for speed
Data centers, flexible virtualized platforms and new software modules are now changing the traditional physical infrastructure thinking. The faster to service option accelerates installations, provisioning, and introduction of new services, as well as faster migration to the new ultra-network. Network slicing and virtual automated platforms could save time and generate quick revenue by offering new rich media services to vertical markets (enterprises, transport etc.) but also to traditional mobile operators’ networks.
However, virtualization and 5G do raise some questions. What is the need and impact of 100G capacity? What should the ultimate end-user capacity be? What are the new customer segments that will generate fast revenue when providing infinity capacity? Will virtualization allow a provider to offer that capacity at a minimum cost and increase ARPU? IT departments and network engineers will need to work together and adapt to the new state of the network in order to optimize the opportunity. Network planners also need to think about infinity capacity lines by creating a fully optimizable and elastic scaled network.