How can you transform the underlying architecture in core networks using 5G?
While 5G can be deployed using the existing core in NSA (non-standalone) mode, the desired and ultimate target is to have an end to end 5G deployment using new 5G Core and 5G radio. This deployment called standalone (SA) mode will bring the below architectural transformations to the core.
a) Service-based architecture enabling agile service creation.
b) Functional splits allowing end-to-end slicing.
c) Fully cloud native and virtual network functions.
To enable these, the connected transport and aggregation network also have to undergo transformations. The key changes include bandwidth upgrade to cater 10x speed of 5G, SDN enablement for programmability and Virtualisation as much as possible for enabling dynamic services. Further, these need to be orchestrated through proper cross domain orchestration to make it simple for the consuming layers.
Beyond the 5G core transformation, the RAN (Radio Access Networks) is also transforming from small cell-based architecture to micro deployments. The open network is also fueling this transformation by bringing lot of standards, accelerators and solutions in this area. Service Integrators like Infosys are very active in this space and are driving adoption of these new architecture frameworks without compromising the efficiency or continuity of an extremely large base of existing network services. In summary, 5G is a key driver for making the network architecture more agile, dynamic and cloud native.
How will 5G promote virtualisation, AI and automation?
5G is pretty much fully cloud native and has virtualised network functions. 5G network requires virtualisation at the core and the edge. Most of the telcos are in the journey of setting up a common Network Function Virtualised Infrastructure (NFVI) to on-board 5G VNFs. The trend is to make this as a common ‘Telco Cloud’ across the organisation for hosting other VNFs as well.
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