5G connectivity: how it will change the face of network infrastructure
The digital revolution is picking up speed, with 2019 set to see major strides taken towards the new 5G wireless connectivity – the fifth-generation standard for wireless communications. 5G will follow (but not replace) current 4G networks and is expected to be at least 100 times faster, cut latency to less than one-thousandth of a second, and have vastly increased capacity. In fact, the Consumer Technology Association predicates that at 5G speed, a two-hour movie can be downloaded in just 3.6 seconds, versus 6 minutes on 4G or 26 hours on 3G.
These advancements in wireless connectivity promise a world of new opportunity to individuals and businesses, as well as leaps forward in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things and Machine Learning. These advancements however, can’t be realised without massive upgrades to current network infrastructure and changes to how these IT infrastructures are deployed.
You can go fast, but you can’t go far
While 5G’s millimetre-wave spectrum offers faster speeds, it is said to be limited in terms of the geographic area it can cover, meaning that new small cell infrastructure deployments will be needed across both urban and rural areas.
It is predicted that a potential way to address this is by densification, which increases the number of 5G cells to deliver greater traffic capacity per square meter. This would result in shorter distances between a 5G base and terminal needed for higher data rates and lower latency. It’s estimated that implementing 5G through this method of densification would require a network with small cells positioned between 60 to 300 metres apart. It is estimated that this would need approximately 13 kilometres of fibre per square metre to connect these small cells.
To pave the way for 5G, telecommunications carriers and mobile operators will need to invest in these types of infrastructure modifications in order to update their current communications infrastructures.
Network service providers and enterprises will need to look at distributed IT and network infrastructures that place 5G at the digital edge – close to commerce, population centres and digital ecosystems of networks and cloud service providers. Being close to a variety of 5G Network Service Providers in regional metro areas will gives small-to-medium providers the ability to lease 5G networks as a service.
More data requires greater support
Cisco estimates that by 2022, 12% of global mobile traffic will be on 5G cellular connectivity and that its average connection will generate 21 GB of traffic per month globally. This intense level of data places pressures on IT infrastructure capacities in a way that has never occurred before, effecting the ability to secure data traffic.
This will likely see an increased risk in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, which can occur due to malicious attacks, or when multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a targeted system.
Cybersecurity concerns will require administrators to position security policies and controls locally to data sources, in order to best mitigate attacks at the first point of entry. Cloud-based security services have become critical in defending against cyber-attacks, enabled by more edge devices creating greater amounts of data faster than ever before.
More Infrastructure Means More Maintenance
This influx of new infrastructure to support the 5G network will see the need for increased maintenance. A richer and more complex system network requires specialised skills within this area, so as to ensure the networks are well preserved as the networks go into service as predicted by 2020.
The promise of 5G brings with it many exciting advancements, but it will also require an overhaul of current IT infrastructure and professional maintenance to see the full benefits of its potential. To find the best people to help your business progress alongside these technological advancements, contact Bayside Personnel today.