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5G, the game changer for IoT

MP_odini

With Pyeongchang Olympics, 5G is becoming real with 360 videos, holograms, autonomous vehicles and robots! What used to be futuristic 2020 use cases are now being trialled by multiple operators around the world, and it is opening up many new opportunities not only for mobile broadband, but also for IoT, whether it is massive IoT or mission critical. And IoT is definitely one of the big drivers for 5G! Of course the 3GPP specs are not finalized but the key principles are being set:pic.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The access is heterogeneous: for IoT devices it means that they can connect using whatever radio or fixed connectivity is appropriate. 3GPP will converge with Broadband Forum in 2018 to bring together fiber, coax, cellular, non-cellular, satellite etc. 5G New Radio (5G-NR) on new spectrum bands for both low and very high bandwidth will co-exist with 2-3-4G cellular and non-cellular/non 3GPP access networks including not just Wi-Fi(s), 802.11acdxp etc, but also other un-licenced radios.

There is one common 5G Core, whatever the access. Consolidation of device and user profiles, context sharing, data consolidation and exposure, common services on multiple devices and network access will be standard as also the ultimate goal of service continuity, with possibly some degradation if you move from 5G to a poor broadband line, but at least with the guarantee to be ‘always connected’.

The network is software based, deployable on demand on virtualized infrastructure, 5G is NFV based, dynamically reconfigurable, orchestrated, highly automated, low latency and can adapt quickly to new IoT devices popping-up and connecting to send or retrieve data.

The network is also highly personalized and can be tuned to individual needs. Typically a drone that shoots video and drops a huge file from time to time needs instant access to storage capacity at the edge of the network. While a car manufacturer needs to have a set of virtual networks to connect his cars anywhere in the world with different needs: high bandwidth for entertainment,  low latency for emergency services, small bandwidth for collecting metrics using 4-5G or 802.11p alternatively or depending on network coverage. So-called network slices are being defined on the 5G network with some level of control to manage resources, allow partners to access certain functions and data, increase capacity on demand and adapt to industry verticals needs.

slices.jpg

 

New business models will be enabled, much more powerful than existing ones. Operators can offer resources and services at the edge of the network for IoT vendors to deploy applications and store collected data. But edge, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), can also be inside the enterprise: hospitals, airports, factories, harbours, smart cities can have their own virtual private network connectivity with local edge capacity, heterogeneous access, powerful 5G coverage, ultra-low latency if needed, high density.

Alternatively, enterprises can get their own end to end slice between certain equipment and back end applications with given bandwidth, latency, pre-processing such as encryption and compression. This can enable 360 video cameras to push live video, huge files that will be compressed and sent to back end streamers that will then decompress, transcode and dispatch to different user devices on different access networks. While industrial robots may need ultra-low latency slices to be remotely controlled for some mission critical applications. Latency will go as low as 1ms, bandwidth will go as high as 1Gbs and dynamic resource deployment and allocation should allow pay per use mechanism. Network Slicing can also enable a given service provider to ‘rent’ slicing capacity from other operators to expand reach in other regions. But it can also enable an IoT vendor to become virtual operator and build its own virtual network across multiple operators and manage its resources and services across a 5G powerful and heterogeneous network. This is much more powerful than current MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) that have predefined contracts with operators with static parameters.

Come and visit HPE at Mobile World Congress, February 26 to March 1. A number of demos will be demonstrated at HPE booth, Hall 3 Stand 3E11 showing you how you can evolve to 5G.

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About the Author

MP_odini

5G, IoT, NFV, big Data, blockchain

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