Every generation of mobile technology brings the promise of improved user experience and greater service innovation—and 5G is no exception. More bandwidth, more connected devices, lower latency, and a slew of cool new applications are taking mobile broadband to the next level with enhanced reliability and coverage. More than a network, it's a foundation for innovation.
But meeting the expectations of 5G will take more than just the next generation of radio technology. It also requires a new network that embraces virtualized, cloud-based solutions.
Rapid service innovation will require SDN, NFV and mobile edge computing.
Massive scaling of devices, traffic and services will require automation and ‘big-data’ analytics to manage complexity.
Does your network have the visibility needed to manage this transformation? Will you be able to keep your network operating at peak efficiency and continue to delight your customers?
EXFO has the expertise and solutions you need to make sure your network performs flawlessly as you embrace 5G and all its promises.
Every generation of mobile technology presents challenges to integration. Along with a new radio interface, 5G brings about significant change in the way networks are built and operated. 3GPP R13 has already introduced new functional elements into the network. SDN, NFV and network slicing are key to managing complexity and scale, and mobile edge computing will be needed to address latency concerns.
Managing change without impacting existing services will be key to a successful transformation.
5G promises to revolutionize the way mobile networks operate. Capabilities like 1 Gbit/s to the device, 1 ms latency and five-9's availability provide a fertile breeding ground for service innovation. Traditional barriers to competition disappear as communications service providers become digital service providers and the distinction between content provider and network provider blurs.
Successfully navigating this change requires a whole new level of insight, built from the ground up to provide always-on visibility.
The move to 5G will radically transform networks and services, from core to edge. Virtualized network cores, leveraging SDN, NFV and network slicing. New radio technology enhancing both fixed wireless access and enhanced mobility. Broader reach with more bandwidth, lower latency and higher availability. Each of these will help open the floodgates of service innovation. Having full performance visibility will be key to a successful transformation. Does your network have the insight?
Modern carrier networks are built using millions of miles of fiber optic and copper cables. And as service rates continue to climb, carriers are demanding more and more from this investment. Many customer-impacting service issues can be traced back to quality issues on a fiber or copper cable. Whether it’s something that happened during construction (dirty connectors or a bad splice) or while carrying live traffic (cable break or a patch panel misconnection) or because of degradation issues (wet copper access cables) having the right test equipment to quickly detect and diagnose issues is essential to a quick resolution. And 5G networks are no exception—in fact, given the trend toward higher bandwidth and signal quality, many issues that were not detected in existing networks may become visible as the networks are upgraded.
As the leader in handheld optical test equipment, EXFO has the products and expertise you need to ensure your networks perform flawlessly.
For networks built using SDN/NFV, like the 5G core, end-to-end service assurance must be an essential aspect of every service. In traditional, physical networks there is a direct mapping of service topology to network topology based on fixed or deterministic routing rules and policies. An SDN/ NFV network breaks this relationship by abstracting the service layer away from the physical infrastructure. Because of this, it is no longer possible to infer service quality from network quality.
By utilizing active, end-to-end service assurance techniques carriers can have a real-time view of the service performance, regardless of how the SDN network has routed/re-routed it. Additionally, as services are migrated to new VNFs, there is no need to modify the performance monitoring since it’s built into the service itself and, there will be no gaps in key performance KPIs due to the move.
EXFO has a wide range of active service assurance solutions, including advanced analytics and topology discovery tools to make every network 100% visible and enable carriers to see issues before their customers do.
It is expected that 5G core networks will have millions of services running in thousands of network slices implemented on thousands of servers connected with millions of miles of fiber. Additionally, it is expected that many software defined network services will be highly dynamic in nature, for example with more bandwidth available during non-peak network hours or simply very short lived–days or even hours.
Networks such as this have the potential to generate billions of KPIs per day. Making sense of this volume of data and looking for anomalies or trends requires analytics. Humans are simply not up to the task. Especially necessary, due to the dynamic nature of SDN/ NFV networks, is the ability to map out service topologies in the virtual network so that service issues on independent services can be correlated to enable rapid root cause analysis.
EXFO has the analytics and topology discovery tools needed to allow a carrier’s operations team to keep the network running flawlessly.
The evolution of mobile networks to support 5G represents a significant architectural change, which was first introduced in 3GPP release 13. Verifying that the new functional elements will work as expected and not negatively impact existing services is critical for a smooth transition. Testing new functionality in a live network would be too risky and building a test network of sufficient scale would be cost prohibitive. Network simulators provide a cost-effective, flexible and reliable way for new platforms, functionality and protocols to be designed and tested, including load or stress testing. In this way, network equipment manufacturers can be sure their solutions will not negatively impact the live network or existing services.