Virtual Infrastructure - Real Value

Blog published by CW (Cambridge Wireless), under 5G

Political and economic groups want to tap into the vast savings and income potential of future communications services for the digital economy, which will be centred around real-time data, delivery tracking, wearables, preventative healthcare, smart meters and more.

The eInfrastructure behind this super-smart, super-connected digital future will use 5G. But many political institutions view 5G as just an incremental improvement to 4G and Wi-Fi. That is, it’s just more cost-efficient connectivity and not much use if it isn’t transporting something valuable, which is where true economic potential lies.

Here’s a different view — there is value in 5G infrastructure over and above its transport function. Positioning RAN as part of the cloud business eco-system transforms 5G eInfrastructure into something that can add value in and of itself.

 ‘Cloudification’, then, brings about new business models — but not just through new services. Cloud-RAN is a platform for creating value. With cloud in the network and at the edge, new business innovations become obtainable, like mobile network multi-tenancy to support on-demand allocation of networking, storage and compute resources. Or multi-service- and context-aware adaptation of network functions to support services and corresponding QoE/QoS requirements.

Therefore, dedicated networks contained in slices can meet the need of different services and tenants, be they service quality and performance, service-specific functionality, or adaptation to available infrastructure.

Potential new revenue drivers like these require innovative thinking and cooperation to open interfaces, enable control and enable user plane splits. Nevertheless, with a change of mindset, intrinsic value will exist in 5G infrastructure where there was — at least according to some people — none before.

Written by Simon Fletcher, CTO, Real Wireless

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