In , CM estimated its network had consumed 14 billion kilowatt-hours kWh of electricity annually.
That study proposed a new method of constructing, deploying, and managing network base stations. Called Cloud architecture RAN C-RAN , it's a method of building, distributing, and maintaining transmitter antennas that history will record as having triggered the entire 5G movement. One of the hallmarks of C-RAN cell site architecture is the total elimination of the on-site base band unit BBU processors, which were typically co-located with the site's radio head. That functionality is instead virtualized and moved to a centralized cloud platform, for which multiple BBUs' control systems share tenancy, in what's called the baseband pool.
The cloud data center is powered and cooled independently, and linked to each of the base stations by no greater than 40km of fiber optic cable.
It also completely abolishes the principal source of heat generation inside the BS, making it feasible for much, if not all, of the remaining equipment to be cooled passively -- literally, by exposure to the open air. What's more, it takes less money to rent the site for a smaller base station than for a large one. Granted, China may have a unique concept of the real estate market compared to other countries. Keep in mind, though, that China Mobile's figures pertained to deploying and maintaining 3G equipment, not 5G. But the new standards for transmission and network access, called 5G New Radio 5G NR , are being designed with C-RAN ideals in mind, so that the equipment never generates enough heat to trip that wire, requiring OpEx to effectively quadruple.
It would appear a lot of the success of 5G rests upon this new class of cloud data centers, into which the functionality of today's baseband units would move. As of now, there is still considerable uncertainty as to where this centralized RAN controller would reside. There are competing definitions. Some have taken a good look at the emerging crop of edge data centers sprouting adjacent to today's cell towers, and are suggesting that the new Service Oriented Core SOC could be distributed across those locations.
Towards Smart Software Defined Wireless Network for Quality of Service Management | SpringerLink
Yet skeptics are wondering, why bother with the elimination of the BTS station in the first place, if the SOC would only put it back? Alternately, a separate SOC station could be established that services dozens of towers simultaneously. The problem there, obviously, is that such a station would be a full-fledged data center in itself, which would have real estate and cooling issues of its own.
Either option might be more palatable, some engineers believe, if the servers operating there could delegate computing infrastructure among internal operations and special customer services -- edge computing services that could compete with cloud providers such as Amazon and Microsoft Azure, by leveraging much lower latency.
The ability to do so is entirely dependent upon a concept called network slicing. This is the subdivision of physical infrastructure into virtual platforms, using a technique perfected by telecommunications companies called network functions virtualization NFV. Also: Microsoft Azure: Everything you need to know about Redmond's cloud service.
Exactly what routes these network slices would take through the infrastructure is completely up in the air. Others, such as the members of the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance NGMN , suggest that slices could effectively partition networks in such a way as suggested by the NGMN diagram above that different classes of user equipment, utilizing their respective sets of radio access technologies RAT , would perceive quite different infrastructure configurations, even though they'd be accessing resources from the same pools.
Another suggestion being made by some of the industry's main customers, at 5G industry conferences, is that telcos offer the premium option of slicing their network by individual customer. This would give customers willing to invest heavily in edge computing services more direct access to the fiber optic fabric that supports the infrastructure, potentially giving a telco willing to provide such a service a competitive advantage over a colocation provider, even one with facilities adjacent to a " carrier hotel.
Read also: Micro circuitry innovation needed to implement 5G. But depending upon whom one asks, slicing networks by customer may actually be impossible. There are diametrically split viewpoints on the subject of whether slicing could congregate telco functions and customer functions together on the same cloud. Some have suggested such a convergence is vitally necessary for 5G to fulfill the value proposition embodied in C-RAN.
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Architects of the cloud platforms seeking to play a central role in the SOC, such as OpenStack and CORD , argue that this convergence is already happening, and the whole point of the architecture in the first place. In a January statement, the company said it has already begun deployments of what it calls Multi-access Edge Compute MEC services with select customers, in some cases using existing 4G LTE connectivity.
The move will enable Bosch itself -- which was evidently aggravated with the pace of the network slicing argument -- to supply 5G wireless service to its own factories. If other major enterprises with large campuses follow Bosch's lead, the principal customers for network slicing services may exit the market before it even begins. Despite what you may have read elsewhere, 5G is not exclusively a mobile wireless standard. Fixed wireless data connectivity will be an option, especially in dense metropolitan areas. Such a system would enable gigabit-per-second or greater bandwidth, through a dazzling, perhaps bewildering, new array of microwave relay antennas.
Ericsson's own forecasts of wireless connectivity have been known to fool people. That forecast generated a truckload of headlines. Ericsson's updated report, published last November , doubled that forecast number for , adding that 5G access would reach one-fifth of the world's population by the end of that year. Read also: Robots could get cheaper, thanks to 5G. The keyword in the above paragraphs is "mobile. For 5G to be truly successful, Ericsson's Koratala told us, it will need to open up access to a broader range of devices, many of which are actually not the least bit mobile.
Then there are some use cases that might be demanding a 5x improvement in latency, a x or x data volume, as well as [extending] battery life. So when you look at that set of requirements, it's very clear that it is not a single use case. It really becomes an enabler for a wide variety of use cases, that will have different requirements to be met to make them viable. The key mission of mMTC is to service wireless devices that don't move. Its transmission scheme will be tuned for very high density -- for situations like factory floors where thousands of individual mechanical elements are sending operational data, simultaneously, to an off-site location for instant analytics.
Read also: UK government seeks city to showcase 5G connectivity. Viewed in this light, the prediction that nine-tenths of mobile data will be consumed by the largest class of mobile devices, seems about as spot-on as a forecast that rain will continue to be wet. Enterprise Service Bus. Service Level Agreements for Cloud Computing. Building Service Provider Networks.
What is 5G? The business guide to next-generation wireless technology
Building service provider networks. A Security Blueprint for Enterprise Networks. Trust Management for Service-Oriented Environments. A Standard for Enterprise Project Management. Networks: Design and Management. She was awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Arts for her work in contribution to arts and ethical and sustainable commerce in Across her advisory roles, she guides complex financial and transactional negotiations in often highly pressurised environments while rapidly building rapport with key senior stakeholders to challenge and nurture collaborative thinking during periods of change.
Craig has worked in the automotive industry for more than 30 years in various strategic, operational and marketing positions.
Previous responsibilities within Cox Automotive have included the provision of strategic planning and market growth support, and assessment of new market as well as investigating opportunities for expansion into new geographies. These evaluations have led to strategic partnerships and alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and new market entry. Craig has worked with the International Business Division at Leeds University for a number of years, supporting Fireside Chats, student visits and the use of student researchers to provide the groundwork information for market opportunity assessments.
Peter was an early champion of Customer Experience Management when monitoring from the customer viewpoint was deemed superfluous.
Creating business intelligence from customer analytics data, he has led unique customer focused strategies at Nortel Networks, 3UK and Mformation Technologies, taking a mobile CEM solution from concept to production and implementation at several tier 1 operators globally. He is also a European Patent Attorney and a European Trade Mark Attorney and has been practising intellectual property for almost thirty years.
Steve began his career with another leading Northern firm of patent and trade mark attorneys before heading to London where he joined a highly regarded firm as a qualified attorney. After several happy years in the capital, Steve returned to his native Yorkshire where he went on to serve as a partner in a well-known international firm for a decade before founding Mohun Intellectual Property. Steve has extensive experience in dealing with a range of clients from small, start-ups and university spin-offs to large UK companies and multi-nationals.
Steve has over many years spoken at seminars and conferences in several countries. He is particularly familiar with the Chinese intellectual property systems, and he regularly advises companies and organisations in Europe on how best to protect their IP rights in Asian markets. Steve Newell joined Portakabin in with responsibility for the permanent buildings business unit.
Portakabin is a market leader in modular buildings for hire or purchase with operations in eight countries. Steve became a Director of Portakabin Ltd in and took on additional responsibilities for Design and Engineering across the group. He has considerable export experience in a wide range of geographic markets, including setting up a subsidiary in China. Steve was a founder member of the Leeds City Region China Business Club and has previously worked with Leeds University Business School exploring a range of options around market entry strategies into emerging markets.