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Design considerations
for a 5G network architecture

Author: Gary Hilson

In order to realize the full benefit of 5G and its many transformative capabilities, firms need to ensure they partner with a provider who has designed and architected their network to help them innovate well into the future.

You should look for a partner who has made the right investments to design, build, and deliver a 5G network that can keep up with the explosive growth of edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) - connected devices.  For instance, in order to support all of the transformative attributes that 5G Ultra Wideband potentially promises—like ultra-low latency, super-fast throughput, massive data volume, and massive capacity—there must be a parallel deployment of massive and pervasive fiber networks (or “highways”), all orchestrated by a highly agile and programmable software-defined core network that delivers services and applications as software.

The core and the edge must be virtualized

You should look for a provider who has not cut corners in designing and deploying a 5G network.  Smart 5G planning and design must include virtualization from the core to the edge. By doing so, you can be assured that a provider will be able to meet you and your customers’ needs by deploying applications and services in near real-time, while supporting new and innovative services that set you apart from the competition. 

It’s also just as important that firms and agencies begin to move from traditional means of deploying services to a virtualized, software defined architecture. This transformation will enable firms and agencies to optimize their own environment by leveraging the capabilities of the service provider’s 5G network. Network virtualization results in the creation of a pool of virtualized resources (think connectivity, routing/switching, compute, storage, etc.) that can enable more applications to run on the same hardware, thereby saving money while offering more services to your customers.

Virtualization can also enhance your systems' security and resiliency, allowing your network to quickly and non-intrusively failover to instantaneously assigned substitute components without the loss of operational continuity. In addition to failover strategies, you can segment the network with both role and location-based permissions and procedures to improve your security posture.

Smart 5G planning and design must include network slicing

A properly designed 5G network will be able to support important features like network slicing. Network slicing will support multiple virtual networks over one physical network infrastructure, which allows you to deploy applications to your customers that are anchored to different service levels. For instance, you may have applications that require ultra low latency; there is a network slice for that. At the same time, you may have another application that does not require ultra low latency, but rather higher throughput; there is a network slice for that as well.

At the edge of the provider network, network slicing will enable virtual partitioning of mobile radio access networks (RANs)—the collection of edge-located functions that connect a mobile device to the core network and move you away from building communications on a single mobile network infrastructure.

Choose a network partner who has already started their own process to transform their network to deploy 5G services into the market place so that you can leverage the expertise and learnings of a true trusted technology advisor with a deep knowledge of cloud-native architectures, operational transformation, and virtual design principles so that you apply the same best practices within your own operational environment.

Careful design considerations for a 5G network architecture will pay off

Make no mistake: To plan, design, build, and deploy your own virtualized, software-enabled, cloud native operating environment to maximize your move to take advantage of 5G capabilities requires your own level of commitment to transform how you deliver and deploy services with the right 5G network provider.

You need to think long-term. Selecting a technology partner who has already made the capital and operational investments in 5G and network virtualization will enable you to focus more on the applications and services you need to deploy to your customers while enabling you to extend those offerings to your customers faster than ever before—services that include AR/VR, Massive IoT and supply chain automation, to name a few.

Smart 5G planning and design with the right 5G partner puts computing resources right where you need them to build out large-scale, latency-sensitive applications that create better customer experiences and drive new business opportunities.

Learn more about how you can harness the power of 5G.