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5G

The next generation of wireless technology is here. 5G will enhance connectivity across all platforms, providing more efficient, faster and better signal strength which opens doors for new possibilities across cellular networks. It is predicted that by 2024 more than 1.5 billion devices will be connected to 5G.1 So how will 5G enhance your cellular connectivity?

Differentiating Between 4G and 5G

5G will be a strong enabler in the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), given the speed and versatility it will bring to networks. 5G has a range of benefits when compared to 4G, based on its use of the 30 GHz to 300 GHz spectrum:

  • Higher speeds: 5G peak speeds, at up to10 Gigabits/s, will potentially be ten times the speed of 4G. 2
  • Lower Latency: 5G offers latency below 1ms, compared to a typical 4G performance of 10-50ms. 2
  • Greater capacity: 5G networks will have capacity for a larger number of connected devices, by some estimates as much as one million devices per square kilometer3

5G is gradually being rolled out, so later iterations are expected to have even stronger capabilities.

It’s important to note that 5G, unlike previous iterations, is not expected to replace 4G. Many applications, such as standard mobile phone calls and low-data transactions, will still be carried on a 4G network, with 5G being applied primarily to large-compute and low-latency uses.

Given the higher frequency spectrum, 5G also requires a higher density of towers to cover a given area, meaning that rollout of 5G will initially be limited to metropolitan areas. It is also impacted more severely by physical barriers such as walls, trees, and even bad weather.

5G, IoT and the Edge

Compute locations are moving increasingly to the edge, driven by the growth of IoT and the desire to process and prioritize data closer to the collection point. Faster connections associated with 5G will support that migration as enterprises distribute their network power between Data Centers, Cloud Computing and the Edge.

The low latency and high speed of 5G particularly suit applications such as consumer VR/AR, AI, and autonomous vehicles, with high data density and rapid response requirements, enabling faster adoption of these technologies.

Cellular IoT use case segments
Credit: Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2019

5G and Out-of-Band

Users expect the same level of uptime and response from their network, regardless of where that compute is located. But the reality of edge locations is that the type of system redundancy and staffing that is typical at data centers are not feasible at each location. Reliable, always-on access to the network devices, via out-of-band management, is a critical component of that network resilience.

As levels of automation continue to increase, enterprises will also have to extend the reach of their management and monitoring tools. Opengear solutions anticipate the current and future network needs of 5G.

Opengear smart solutions provide engineers at the Network Operations Center (NOC) with the ability to reach devices located at the edge. Lighthouse ensures access and visibility remotely, during critical failures while Smart Out-of-Band provides advanced troubleshooting to remediate issues that may arise at the network’s edge. The NetOps Automation platform provides additional functionality to streamline repetitive workflows such as secure provisioning and event management.

Deciding When to Adopt

Each organization has a core IT infrastructure and line of business applications. Constantly improving technologies provide an opportunity to help them operate more efficiently. Once the right technologies have been identified, enterprises must identify the right moment to get on board to ensure meaningful results.

For 5G specifically, determining the right time to act requires understanding the most immediate use cases for it within the enterprise. The first is fixed internet connectivity. Instead of using cable, satellite or copper wires/ADSL, edge locations could potentially use 5G to get fixed internet connectivity. Because this eliminates the need for burdensome physical cables and wires, 5G may provide an easier method for deployment.

For many enterprises, it is too early to fully embrace 5G. Unless there are already specific applications that are limited by speed/latency of existing connectivity technologies, the value of deploying it will not yet be realized. Instead, the focus, for now, should be on understanding the technology at a high level and identifying the use cases that are likely to benefit the business most so that they can be prioritized when 5G becomes readily available.

1. https://www.ericsson.com/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2019/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2019.pdf

2. https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-vs-4g/

3. https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-5g-explained-944868/

 

5G AND OOB

The next generation of wireless technology is here. 5G will enhance connectivity across all platforms, providing more efficient, faster and better signal strength which opens doors for new possibilities across cellular networks. It is predicted that by 2024 more than 1.5 billion devices will be connected to 5G.1 So how will 5G enhance your cellular connectivity?

Differentiating Between 4G and 5G

5G will be a strong enabler in the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), given the speed and versatility it will bring to networks. 5G has a range of benefits when compared to 4G, based on its use of the 30 GHz to 300 GHz spectrum:

  • Higher speeds: 5G peak speeds, at up to10 Gigabits/s, will potentially be ten times the speed of 4G. 2
  • Lower Latency: 5G offers latency below 1ms, compared to a typical 4G performance of 10-50ms. 2
  • Greater capacity: 5G networks will have capacity for a larger number of connected devices, by some estimates as much as one million devices per square kilometer3

5G is gradually being rolled out, so later iterations are expected to have even stronger capabilities.

It’s important to note that 5G, unlike previous iterations, is not expected to replace 4G. Many applications, such as standard mobile phone calls and low-data transactions, will still be carried on a 4G network, with 5G being applied primarily to large-compute and low-latency uses.

Given the higher frequency spectrum, 5G also requires a higher density of towers to cover a given area, meaning that rollout of 5G will initially be limited to metropolitan areas. It is also impacted more severely by physical barriers such as walls, trees, and even bad weather.


5G, IoT and the Edge

Cellular IoT use case segments
Credit: Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2019

Compute locations are moving increasingly to the edge, driven by the growth of IoT and the desire to process and prioritize data closer to the collection point. Faster connections associated with 5G will support that migration as enterprises distribute their network power between Data Centers, Cloud Computing and the Edge.

The low latency and high speed of 5G particularly suit applications such as consumer VR/AR, AI, and autonomous vehicles, with high data density and rapid response requirements, enabling faster adoption of these technologies.


5G and Out-of-Band

Users expect the same level of uptime and response from their network, regardless of where that compute is located. But the reality of edge locations is that the type of system redundancy and staffing that is typical at data centers are not feasible at each location. Reliable, always-on access to the network devices, via out-of-band management, is a critical component of that network resilience.

As levels of automation continue to increase, enterprises will also have to extend the reach of their management and monitoring tools. Opengear solutions anticipate the current and future network needs of 5G.

Opengear smart solutions provide engineers at the Network Operations Center (NOC) with the ability to reach devices located at the edge. Lighthouse ensures access and visibility remotely, during critical failures while Smart Out-of-Band provides advanced troubleshooting to remediate issues that may arise at the network’s edge. The NetOps Automation platform provides additional functionality to streamline repetitive workflows such as secure provisioning and event management.


Deciding When to Adopt

Each organization has a core IT infrastructure and line of business applications. Constantly improving technologies provide an opportunity to help them operate more efficiently. Once the right technologies have been identified, enterprises must identify the right moment to get on board to ensure meaningful results.

For 5G specifically, determining the right time to act requires understanding the most immediate use cases for it within the enterprise. The first is fixed internet connectivity. Instead of using cable, satellite or copper wires/ADSL, edge locations could potentially use 5G to get fixed internet connectivity. Because this eliminates the need for burdensome physical cables and wires, 5G may provide an easier method for deployment.

For many enterprises, it is too early to fully embrace 5G. Unless there are already specific applications that are limited by speed/latency of existing connectivity technologies, the value of deploying it will not yet be realized. Instead, the focus, for now, should be on understanding the technology at a high level and identifying the use cases that are likely to benefit the business most so that they can be prioritized when 5G becomes readily available.

1 https://www.ericsson.com/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2019/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2019.pdf
2 https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-vs-4g/
3 https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-5g-explained-944868/

5G and the Future of Failover to Cellular

To learn how 5G will work with Opengear devices to make organizations resilient, I talked to Carrier Sales Manager, Todd Atherton.

Why would a customer want to use 5G?

5G will replace 4G technology. It’s more efficient, faster and has better signal strength. There is a need for something better than 4G because of how crowded that cellular band is getting – there are currently millions of devices operating on 4G, and more are being added every day. With this “overcrowding” there’s the need for something that is capable of handling all of those devices, that need is fulfilled by 5G.

What’s the difference between 5G and 4G?

Previous generations, like 3G, were a breakthrough in communications. 3G receives a signal from the nearest phone tower and is used for phone calls, messaging and data. When 4G was released it worked very similar to 3G, but with a faster internet connection and a lower latency – which is the time between when something is sent and received.

That said, 4G was supposed to be at least five times faster than the existing 3G services and theoretically, would provide download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.  Fast forward to now and, like all the previous generations, 5G will be significantly faster than 4G. This should allow for higher productivity across all capable devices with a theoretical download speed of up to 10,000 Mbps.

To put it into perspective, it will be like the difference of riding your bike to work – 4G – versus taking a Bullet Train to work – 5G.  OK, that might be a little over the top, but it does show that the difference will be very extreme, to say the least.

5G technology will utilize a higher-frequency band of the wireless spectrum called millimeter wave that allows data to be transferred much more rapidly than the lower-frequency band dedicated to 4G. The downside is that millimeter wave signals don’t travel as far: The new 5G networks will require many more – albeit smaller – antennas spaced closer together than previous wireless generations.

But on the plus side, the technology should be able to meet the vast needs for additional data transmission capability that are expected in the next several years. Gartner analysts estimate there will be nearly 21 billion internet-connected devices by the year 2020.1 More than three times as many as there were in 2016. That figure doesn’t just include phones, tablets, computers; devices such as home appliances, cars, dog collars, and many more are getting connected via the “Internet of Things”.

How will 5G effect Opengear devices in the future?

The main consequence of 5G is that it will enable/accelerate the migration of IT complexity to the edge of the infrastructure. More distribution of IT assets. If users want to maintain their current level of end-to-end reliability/availability, they will need to be able to extend it to the edge by implementing a Network Resilience layer. That means giving Network Engineers at the NOC the ability to reach devices at the edge, something enabled by Opengear solutions. As the levels of automation increase, users will need to also extend the reach of their management/monitoring tools. Opengear is preparing to be one step ahead of the market with its NetOps Automation System.

Today’s data centers are typically located in centralized locations. The farther away the data center is, the longer it takes to access that data. 5G networks help them quickly access information. So, no matter where these devices are located the need for visibility is even greater and can easily be accomplished with Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band technology.

To learn more about using wireless 4G or 5G to ensure network connectivity, visit our Failover to Cellular page.

1 https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-02-07-gartner-says-8-billion-connected-things-will-be-in-use-in-2017-up-31-percent-from-2016