Understanding how to enable virtualization at scale is an essential part of deploying a solution capable of realizing the promise of 5G.
Organizations in every industry are looking to improve systems by tapping into big data gathered by distributed IoT devices. Enterprises looking to deploy artificial intelligence to rapidly analyze vast amounts of data and inform business decision-making and systems optimization will require the speed, performance and security of 5G.
Constant video communications and content—including video generated by industrial management systems, security surveillance systems and traffic control systems—means significant and continuous streams of traffic traversing wireless networks. The ongoing adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality could spike data volume across next-generation networks at an unprecedented rate.
All this traffic requires a vast, robust, secure and ultra-fast network that connects the computing capabilities of devices, processors and sensors, many of which are deployed at the edge. It also requires a virtualized infrastructure—one that is dynamic and automated and provides agility, efficiency and scalability but is not expensive or unwieldy.
Virtualization that enables software-controlled network functions across diverse technologies lets you allocate network resources to specific users, customers, applications and service categories—all without dedicated hardware and costly, time-consuming physical adjustments. It also lets you take advantage of 5G capabilities such as network slicing, as you can overlay several virtual networks on a shared physical infrastructure. Network slicing is expected to play a key role in enabling new uses, such as smart city applications, Industry 4.0 and autonomous vehicles. But the requirements for these new uses vary widely in terms of speed, latency, stability and security.