Is 5G alone enough for Asia’s digital agility needs? | Jobs Reply


By Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India

With 5G, we are finally reaching the pinnacle of communication technology. Machines can communicate with other machines, and the speed at which people can talk to each other will increase.
However, 5G is fundamentally different from its predecessor 4G. Until now, to get the most out of your mobile broadband device, you had to wait patiently for data speeds to pick up.

Second, while 5G is a cellular technology, it also represents a major breakthrough in smart cities and smart business planning. Priorities in digitalization are shifting as regions strive to become more resilient in the face of future disruptions and the current high volatility , Uncertainty, complex and ambiguous market environment. With the increased need for data collection and transmission, modern businesses must be adaptable enough to create new connections in each of their locations and activities.

To prepare their networks for the all-digital future, they need the flexibility to scale bandwidth, latency, security, and resiliency to specific business needs and application requirements.

The 5G network will be amazingly helpful in this regard. The general public is under the impression that the new wireless standard does nothing other than bring “super fast internet” to mobile devices such as smartphones; However, this is just the beginning of what 5G can do. The delivery of high definition content to mobile devices is just one aspect of this larger phenomenon.

There are very many economic and industrial sectors that will benefit most from the introduction of 5G technology. With the advent of Industry 4.0, connected factories have become a prominent example. There are a variety of potential applications including but not limited to agriculture, construction, transportation, power generation, healthcare and more.

With all the advantages that a state-of-the-art smart factory with 5G can offer, the connection of the network to the outside world must be just as intelligent. This connection must ensure low latency, high bandwidth, extremely robust connectivity to external networks, and secure connectivity. For the internal network responsible for supporting this external connectivity, Interconnection Platforms offer performance comparable to that of 5G connectivity.

Five essential complementary technologies are listed:
Mobile Edge Cloud (MEC):
Numerous 5G industrial applications require incredibly low latency, which means data processing and storage must be physically placed closer to the machine. These endpoints do not have sufficient resources to process the massive amounts of data collected by sensors. The Mobile Edge Cloud is an infrastructure that is located near the base station and provides computing and storage capacities at the “edge” of the network.

Software Defined Networks (SDN)
Software-defined networking (SDN) allows for greater agility and flexibility in network design by decoupling the control plane from the underlying data plane (which typically consists of physical circuitry) in routers and switches. Therefore, the entire network of SDN switches can be managed by a central controller, which can be either physical or virtual, and packets can be prioritized or blocked as needed.
Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Virtualization is used in the process known as Network Function Virtualization (NFV), in which expensive and inflexible hardware solutions are replaced with software that runs on standard hardware (e.g. off-the-shelf servers). This combination enables faster deployments, upgrades and downgrades, and greater flexibility in service migration. The use of standard hardware also helps to reduce operating costs.

Service Function Chaining (SFC)
Chaining of service functions allows network functions to be used flexibly and efficiently for a wide range of applications and makes it easier to implement use cases that would normally require a full network service consisting of multiple service functions executed in a specific order (e.g. first a firewall, and then a deep packet inspection). In this scenario, NFV must be able to preserve the original order of the packets. Chaining network services allows automating the process of setting up virtual network functions, which is the main benefit of it.

network slicing
The term network slicing refers to an architecture that supports multiple independent and parallel logical networks on the same physical hardware infrastructure. The level of service provided by each of these network segments is determined by factors such as latency or available bandwidth. The end-to-end communication is mapped to each of the individual segments or slices. When it comes to implementing network slicing in 5G environments, SDN and virtualization are absolutely necessary components.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is the latest proof of the concept of how powerful and potent 5G can be. With 2.46 million subscribers, we saw 533 TB of data usage – GSM technology, 136 TB – WiFi technology and 7.5 million calls with a call abandonment rate of 0.03%.

In conclusion, the 5G mobile standard will bring significant improvements in both the business world and society. However, faster transfer of data across mobile devices is unlikely to stimulate the development of apps that generate revenue on their own. To do this, some necessary supporting technologies and infrastructures must first be set up. The new cellular standard will not be able to enable new use cases or add value to businesses until these technologies can cooperate with each other and 5G is widespread.
Despite mounting evidence that 5G will be the standard of the future, most of these use cases for India’s digital agility requirements will not be met without the support of technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) artificial intelligence (AI), augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and Extended Reality (XR).



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