5G. You may feel like you’ve been hearing about its potential everywhere you turn. True; 5G has been getting a lot of press exposure and promotions lately — and expectations are high as it has been under development for many years. A new white paper from Compass Data Centers explores the “what, where, when and why” of 5G.
According to the report, it’s been almost a decade since the first 4G cellular services were rolled out. And 4G meant a relatively good platform to support a growing number of applications. But, according to Compass Data Centers, 4G has reached the “limit of its data channel density and capacity.”
So, what’s the word on 5G? Most of the hype today is being built by smartphone makers and wireless carriers — we have all heard this story many times before. Yes, many smartphone users will be happy to be able to download a moving in 10 seconds, but what’s the bigger picture?
According to the report, “The main long-term strategic benefit of 5G capabilities will be enhanced device-to-device communication. Think about smart cities, or the Internet of Things, as examples. As 4G reaches its limits, 5G is expected to be a much broader platform to support the industrial applications and services of the future. Another aspect of 5G to consider is fixed wireless to the home. Compass points out that some service providers are 5G as a cost effective way to avoid having to add new wiring.
But with any new tech that worth its salt, the development of not only the technology, but also the specifications, can be a lengthy process. According to the report, 5G architecture is made up of a number of multi-layered intertwined technical elements that are still evolving, under a wide umbrella of organizations. Compass outlines some of the organizations involved in the development of 5G standards, including:
- ITU International Telecommunication Union
- 3GPP 3G Partnership Project
- ETSI European Telecom Standards Institute
- IETF Internet Engineering Task Force’
- FCC Federal Communication Commission
- IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
- TIA Telecom Industry Association (US based)
- CTIA, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry
It’s true — 5G roadmap specifications continue to be developed. This is made even more complicated by the fact that wireless communications systems are regulated by each country’s government. For example, in the U.S., there are a couple of key elements that need to be addressed by the FCC:
- FCC Allocation of Frequency Spectrum
- FCC Infrastructure Policy
All this said, while 5G enhanced network capacity and performance may be the enabler of Smart Cities, they will also require mass amounts of data processing and storage.
So, another key cog in the 5G ecosystem is obviously data centers. “What will define a data center in the 5G era?” Compass asks.
“Data centers are now beginning to consider and anticipate the change of where data processing and storage will need to occur.” — Compass Data Centers
In the end, regardless of the application, “5G will change the relationship and resource capabilities of the various stakeholders,” the report stated. This will require technical coordination between wireless services providers and data center cloud and colocation providers.
The report explores the following topics and more:
- 5G may be the accelerator for Smart Cities
- 5G to the Home
- The Development of 5G Technology and Specifications
- Standards Bodies and Industry Organizations
- Mobile and Fixed Wireless
- Implementing and Deployment of 5G Infrastructure
- The 5G Ecosystem
- Data Centers Reimagined
- The Edge Data Center