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The move toward 5G

Enabling new services. Empowering new user experiences. Connecting new industries

What is 5G?

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.


How will the move to 5G impact networks?

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.

Transformation to SDN/NFV

5G is more than simply a new radio interface. To support the scale of services and devices expected, the 3GPP has redesigned the network core to leverage SDN/ NFV technology to provide a scalable, agile infrastructure. Networks are expected to have hundreds of different network slices to manage everything from quality of service to traffic separation. SDN/NFV is also necessary to support mobile edge computing (MEC), essential for providing 1 ms round trip latency for extreme communications services.

Having the tools and visibility in place to support 5G rollouts by 2020 requires a new way of looking at service assurance and performance monitoring. Rather than part of the network infrastructure, these tools must be part of the service definition.


How will carriers benefit from 5G?

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.

An engine for competitive differentiation

5G promises to dramatically change the cost structure of networks by leveraging the latest technology for virtualized networks. SDN/NFV leverages commercial servers to lower capital costs and move specialized functionality into software, making the core highly scalable and agile. Network slicing will lower operating costs simplifying service management and automation will drive operational efficiencies, making the overall cost to deliver and manage services lower than ever before.

At the same time, having a cost effective, operationally simplified, highly scalable network opens the door to a new model for service innovation. DevOps is essentially the process of building services in the live network with a lead customer concurrently validating functional fit. And since services are built using software virtualized network functions (VNFs) chained together, new functionality can be added by simply installing a new VNF.

This 5G enabled innovation platform will allow new services to be launched in days rather than months. Having full visibility into the performance of networks and services during a launch will be key to ensuring that existing services will not be impacted by the addition of one.

5G solutions

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?

Test and measurement solutions

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.


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