By Paul Miller
This is a 4-part blog series on the main challenges facing 5G deployments and how you can solve them with the right tools. Part 1 focuses on building complex networks, part 2 is about keeping costs low, this post covers infrastructure requirements, and part 4 explains the need to address new security issues.
How to Meet 5G Infrastructure Requirements
One area that 5G will directly affect is the design and architecture of the Radio Access Network (RAN). Simply put, the RAN is a collection of edge located functions that connect a mobile device to the CSP’s core network. But there is nothing simple about it. The latency requirements and network load of 5G will put a great deal of strain on the RAN, and the traditional ways of deploying RAN equipment are not well suited for the new needs. A new, cloud- based Virtual RAN (vRAN) approach will be required, as enabled by the Wind River Cloud Platform. This solution provides the necessary functionality for 5G; performance, flexibility, and cost-efficiency that isn’t available in existing fixed-function RAN equipment.
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Wind River Cloud Platform
As with the other 5G challenges, Wind River Cloud Platform has the tools necessary to specifically help manage 5G infrastructure requirements. By using virtual RAN (vRAN) technology, CSPs can manage distributed compute power at the network edge effectively. Cloud Platform provides a unified edge for cloud management and acts as a network-wide orchestration platform to provide the flexibility needed to scale.
5G networks need low latency to function and some emerging edge devices in the 5G network will require ultra-low deterministic latency.
This new market of devices are defined by their need for ultra-reliable and low-latency communications (URLLC). These requirements only allow a single millisecond for one-way communications across the entire network infrastructure. That’s much faster than legacy systems can accommodate. Examples of applications with these criteria include those used for autonomous vehicles, industrial robotic control, and safety.
The CSPs that can successfully support the needs of URLLC devices stand to dominate the markets of the future.
New Use Case Example
The need for ultra-low deterministic latency really comes into play for use cases outside telecommunications. For example, in an industrial application like the use of a robot on a factory floor you need immediate feedback. Many of these futuristic robots will make decisions and take action based on visual input. To remain safe, there cannot be any delay when receiving or distributing the data that allows the robot to make a decision. The need for this low latency truly has an impact on the safety of many applications. The same type of feedback is also required in autonomous vehicles. If the data inputs move too slowly serious accidents could occur.
Commercially Supported Linux
Wind River Linux was built expressly to meet such low-latency targets. It is open-source (based on the Yocto Project) and has a tunable kernel that provides highly reliable, ultra-low deterministic latency. Wind River’s Linux already has a proven history in delivering extreme reliability and low-latency in embedded applications. It is the OS of choice for edge applications like those in the RAN and powers the majority of 5G RAN equipment today worldwide.
Meeting 5G Infrastructure Requirements
CSPs need tools to both help manage traditional telecommunication networks as they make the transition from 4G to 5G and to support the new technologies that 5G can power. Wind River has the solution you need:
• Wind River Cloud Platform provides the key functionality required for 5G networks while cutting OpEx and CapEx costs.
• Wind River Linux has the highly reliable, ultra-low deterministic latency required to support edge applications.
Wind River has the software components and development tools you need to advance your infrastructure to meet the needs of 5G. Success requires a robust and scalable infrastructure that can provide the performance, reliability, and security you need.
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Explore how you can easily manage 5G infrastructure requirements in our eBook:
Solving 5G’s Biggest Challenges for Communication Service Providers