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How the Architecture for Operator Networks Is Changing Because of 5G
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July 21, 2021 News

 

Written by: Rogelio Legaspi

The 5G era has already begun. This is what Nitin Vig, Chief Architect, APAC Solution Specialist Engineering, Juniper Networks and Aditya Kaul, Solution Architect, Professional Services, APAC Juniper Networks discussed during their CommunicAsia session in the virtual Asia Tech x Singapore event.

According to Nitin, 5G is set to have a cumulative capital expenditure of USD $1 Trillion from 2018 up to 2025. In addition, there are already 158 commercial 5G networks across 67 countries and 413 operators actively investing in 5G across 131 countries.

With this widespread adoption, operators are also shifting their architecture to accommodate more 5G deployments. Nitin mentioned three key aspects of this change.

First is the adoption of open RAN (Radio Access Network), which is making the network simpler from a cell site perspective. It also makes the RAN more intelligent by using things like the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) that leverages AI and ML to optimise user/app experience and operations as well as provide a secure and assured service experience.

For Juniper Networks, they are now able to deliver this with an exclusive IP licensing deal with Netsia, a subsidiary of Türk Telekom Group company, an applied research organisation specialising in 5G and a worldwide leader in Open RAN. This gives them exclusive rights to Netsia’s RIC source code and patents.

“The second piece is the transport where we significantly simplify transport by reducing up to 70% of the overheads, making it more application-aware. And we are tightly integrating this with the RAN and the core domains to make this an end-to-end solution,” added Nitin.

This is important to consider, as according to Aditya, operators now need to provide a massive bandwidth and increase scalability in the metro or external networks. This also brings a massive explosion of any user devices, with timing becoming much stricter and with low latency now a key requirement.

Lastly, network slicing has to be multi-domain, multi-tenant and has to be executed at scale. “We not only need to extend to distributed clouds within the operator network but also into the public cloud. We need to be able to ensure that you can do all of this stuff and do it at scale,” ended Nitin.

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