MNOs must fast-track investments in 5G core infrastructure

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Mobile network operators (MNOs) will need to fast-track “critical” investments in 5G Core infrastructure according David Hassman, head of corporate development, strategy and transformation at Syniverse.

Hassman says that without these investments, end-user subscribers will not be able to leverage the benefits of high-speed, low-latency experiences while on the go.

Increasing latency requirements remain a big challenge for MNOs to solve when it comes to virtual reality and augmented reality.

Hassman thinks that MNOs are continuing to prioritise 5G investments and they’re working closely with the companies that are developing use cases that require faster speeds and edge computing.

“In order to support 5G user experiences, mobile network operators are currently working to solve some of the geographic and engineering challenges associated with 5G deployment."

He adds that geography is very important when it comes to performance on a mobile network and the closer a 5G tower or application is located to an end user, the better the performance will be on that 5G device.

Thus, in an attempt to increase 5G network access, operators are currently deploying both 5G radio access networks (RAN) and 5G core networks, which are essential for ensuring strong end-user experiences.

“RANs are part of a mobile network that connects end-user devices to the cloud through radio waves,” Hassman explains.

“Data is sent from end-user devices to RANs transceivers and then to the 5G core network, which finally aggregates that information to the global internet.”

The role of 5G in new devices

5G addresses a few specific needs to process the volume of data that VR and AR use and reduce latency to ensure a great user experience, Hassman says.

The advent of 5G Network Slicing is one way that 5G can benefit user experiences with new devices.

“Network slicing is where we take a network configuration that allows multiple networks to co-exist on top of a common physical infrastructure,” he says.

“We take a slice out of that infrastructure and dedicate that to a use case - for example, let's say Apple wants to provide network access to their 5G user community.

“Apple would then ask mobile operators if they could use their 5G mobile networks and include a network slice specific to their particular use case, and in exchange, Apple would pay operators a certain amount depending on the total amount of time they use that service.

“They would then sell that sliced 5G network service to their user community.”

Sharing physical components is necessary, and that will deliver the strong network performance that Apple’s 5G users will need in order to interact with certain applications.