TECH SUPPLIER Jun 2018 - Technology Assessment - Doc # AP42740618

5G Network Transformation: The Move to Service-Oriented Architectures

By: Bill RojasAdjunct Research Director, IDC Asia/Pacific, Hugh UjhazyVice President, IoT and Telecommunications, Shiv Putcha

Abstract

We review the current progress of 5G New Radio and core network (CN) standardization and discuss different migration and 5G CN deployment scenarios for mobile network operators. Regulators have started to allocate spectrum blocks for 5G in the 3.5–4.7GHz band as well as in the millimeter wave band, such as 26–28GHz. 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) has emerged as a kind of dark horse that had not been fully anticipated by the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and will enable SPs in North America and elsewhere to launch commercial FWA services in 2H18 and 1H19 for residential homes. The 3GPP has split the radio access network (RAN) core architecture into control plane and user plane to support a service-oriented platform in such a way as to enable 5G CN to be constructed from virtualized network functions (VNFs) with a C-RAN architecture. A coalition of network equipment providers (NEPs) and MNOs has identified up to 12 different CN deployment scenarios that stipulate combinations of end-user device to Long-Term Evolution (LTE)/5G basestation to CN.

"Virtualization, orchestration, and VNFs in the 5G CN, backhaul capacity expansion, fronthaul improvements and capacity expansion, multiaccess edge computing, and self-optimizing 5G small cells are all complex tasks/functions that will require MNOs, NEPs, and system vendors to jointly design, test, and deploy 5G services that can unleash the potential of massive internet of things (IoT) and 5G-enabled vertical use cases," says Bill Rojas, adjunct research director for telecommunications, IDC Asia/Pacific. He further adds, "For 5G NEP and IT solutions vendors, cloud-native technologies, such as microservices, containers, software-defined networking (SDN) controllers, network slicing, and software-defined radios (SDRs) provide an excellent opportunity to formulate competitive advantages through innovation."


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