The CCA Voice - Fall/Winter 2017 - 31
E V ERY T HING CON N EC T ED: M A K ING IoT A R E A LI T Y
Get Ready for the 5G Era
By Paul Hanna
VP of Marketing, Casa Systems
Origins of Today's Wireless Networks
Today's macro-cell based cellular
networks were originally designed to
support the first wireless "killer app;"
voice services. These networks provided
subscribers with the opportunity to make
and receive voice calls "anywhere." As
a result, the design of these networks
was engineered to meet "voice"
application requirements to ensure an
acceptable quality of experience (QOE)
for subscribers and a voice experience
similar to fixed wireline. When high-speed
wireless data services were added (like LTE
for example), new data nodes were added
to the existing centralized or regionalized
offices where all control plane and user
plane traffic gets routed before then
proceeding on to its intended destination.
More recently, many network operators
have begun providing carrier and venue
Wi-Fi services that may or may not be
integrated into the mobile packet core
networks. In some cases, operators also
have deployed overlay cellular networks
to support M2M applications, typically
reusing the same network architecture.
This is where wireless networks are today.
5G is on the Horizon
Network operators today are planning
for the networks of tomorrow. The
networks of tomorrow will need to
be able to support "massive" growth.
Enhanced Mobile Broadband Services
and massive IoT will require massive
connection capabilities, massive
throughput and densification of wireless
coverage. Widespread use of wireless
enabled devices and sensors and related
applications are driving expanded demand
for all wireless access technologies.
5G introduces a reduced latency
requirement (round trip delays of less
than 1-2 milliseconds) for mission critical
applications that will force network
operators to separate the control and user
plane; moving user plane resources closer
to their subscribers. Other 5G network
requirements include support for up to
10Gbps sessions in a live environment;
support for denser wireless access usage,
up to 1000x bandwidth per comparable
area; support for up to 100x wireless
attached end terminals; support for high
availability (99.999 percent up-time);
support for network slicing and reduced
network energy usage; and support for
low power M2M devices with extended
battery life (up to ten-years).
Today's LTE networks simply cannot
support all of these requirements and
will struggle to manage the conflicting
set of 5G requirements. Therefore, an
evolutionary change is required in
how wireless networks are designed.
Technologies like NFV (Network Function
Virtualization), SDN (Software Defined
Networks) and C-RAN (Cloud based RAN)
are essential to fully realize the promise
gaming and HD video streaming will
continue to drive an exponential growth
in bandwidth. "Enhancement of
such as autonomous, driverless vehicles
require high wireless bandwidth to
support onboard traffic management
and entertainment systems.
While it's true that the 5G radio
specifications will take time to emerge
from standards bodies, the network
architecture required to support 5G use
cases needs to begin to be deployed
today. Network operators can begin to
gradually migrate their existing cellular
networks by - Densifying the RAN
network by deploying additional small
cells, Pico Cells and Wi-Fi access points;
Converging any available wireline and
wireless fiber transport links; Deploying
high capacity security gateways at the
mobile edge for supporting dense
small cell and Wi-Fi clusters; Deploying
HNB GW, HeNB GW, S/P-GW, Trusted
and Untrusted Wi-Fi Gateways closer
to subscribers at the "mobile edge; and
Investing in virtual solutions for new
infrastructure purchases (NFV/SDN) so
that the equipment will be ready for new
scalable 5G use cases.
Focusing on the above areas today
will ensure that network operators
are ready for the 5G tsunami of new
use cases and associated sessions and
5G Use Cases
A plethora of 5G use cases is driving
these new network requirements.
As previously mentioned, "Massive
Internet of Things" (mIOT) where
tens of thousands of devices are
simultaneously connected in a single
cell sector will require virtualized core
network elements and optimized RAN
networks. "Critical Communications"
applications are mission critical and
require reliable transport with low latency.
"Enhanced Mobile Broadband"
applications such as virtual reality
VOICE * www.ccamobile.org * Fall/Winter 2017 31