Well they definitely will not be based on today’s static, manual networks. No amount of pixie dust can turn our current networks, into the agile, self-organizing networks our industry needs in order to fulfill the 5G promise.
5G will signify a monumental shift in communications. It promises to be the first network to traverse previously untraversed divides: mobile and fixed networks, man-to-man & machine-to-machine, even static and dynamic networks will need to work in conjunction.
Service requests will come from both human and machine end-users, through a large variety of edge devices, for a large number of business and personal applications. Even more, as we move to a 5G world users will request services in more sophisticated ways. Devices, users, and services will all have profiles for predefined service levels and types that correspond to different levels of network capabilities (SLAs), and when users select a service they will also select the relevant profile based on need.
Sound complicated? It is!
The different profiles, and massively changing and dynamic traffic, will place great stress on today’s networks and network operators. How do you plan and commission a network that not only supports dynamic and assured connectivity services, but also has the ability to provision services itself? If we were to build a network like this today, with existing methods, it would likely fail. Not only is resource use usually inefficient, but we are often unable to meet even simplest of user requested changes. Today’s services are mostly binary – on or off. And when on, best effort comes to play.
This presents a significant challenge to current network operators. Given the myriad complexities, pursuing these goals using current methods will undoubtedly result in a network that besides using resources inefficiently, will fall well short of meeting user service expectations.
These changes will bring about a new set of requirements for 5G networks. Future networks will be expected to meet requests for dynamic, assured connectivity services. What is needed is an agile self-organizing network, where human intervention is kept to a bare minimum. One that is made up of a programmable transport network and an agile control layer.
To make this work we need to “line up a number of ducks”, ensuring that five elements are in place:
In my latest white paper I suggest next steps for service providers interested in taking the next step to those agile, AI-based networks of tomorrow. Download this white paper to learn:
Don’t wait, start implementing now!
An agile self-organizing network is not a dream. In fact, it is a fairly accurate description of what the network will look like for a service provider that has undergone successful digital transformation. There should be a sense of urgency among SPs to start laying the foundation for an agile, self-organizing network. Your competitors are not standing still. They are already beginning to automate, and adding machine intelligence will be their next step.
Hayim joined ECI to lead its innovation center and spearhead the efforts in the areas of NFV and SDN. Hayim comes to ECI with much experience both in the SDN/NFV areas as well as in more traditional telecoms. Previous to joining ECI, Hayim held the position of Chief Cloud IaaS and SDN Architect at Toga Networks, Principal Architect at Tejas Networks, Founder and CTO of Ethos Networks and more.