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5G and Fiber: The Next Digital Network Solution

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5G networks promise to link people and things via intelligent networks and apps, all of which generate massive amounts of data. It aims to give the highest possible performance while also connecting additional devices. These optical networking solutions will allow and inspire a new generation of computing and technological innovation, transforming the way we live and work. However, before 5G becomes possible, the network infrastructure must be in place to accommodate the billions of devices and trillions of megabits of traffic that will be sent over the network. So let’s see how 5G will affect optical-fiber requirements.

Cellular capabilities kicked off gradually, but as each generation added capabilities, apps, and services, the network architecture supporting them became more complicated. As a result, a denser fiber network system will be required to meet the leading performance indicators: reduced latency, higher battery life, faster data rates, ultra-high reliability, and more connected devices.

What Makes 5G Different?

Figure1: What makes 5G different? 

Image Source: qualcomm.com

5G allows for the goal of a linked society, with an influence seen in almost every industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) will revolutionize the economy and our lives. 5G will revolutionize and generate new economic prospects in the same way.

  • 5G Smart infrastructure will provide residents with more efficient services, enhance collaboration among diverse economic sectors, and foster creative business models in both the commercial and governmental sectors.
  • In healthcare, 5G networking solutions will allow virtual medicine and robotic surgery to significantly boost the efficiency of preventative treatment.
  • Autonomous cars will make transit safer, parking more convenient, and traffic flow and congestion better.

Because the potential outlined above relies significantly on real-time data, the need for reduced latency and more bandwidth becomes even more crucial. This, in turn, creates the demand for fiber networks to facilitate the rapid transmission of crucial data.

Is Fiber Optics Necessary for 5G?

Figure 2- Comparing 4G and 5G

Image Source: sopto.com

5G connectivity uses either wireless or fiber backhaul links.

4G macro cell towers make use of radio frequency spectrums that cover great distances. As a result, fewer towers are required to service a region. The issue is that 4G cannot satisfy today’s speed, latency, and capacity needs. Adding more towers is hardly a straightforward solution, let alone an inexpensive one. Here comes 5G.

5G wavelengths differ from those used by 4G. 5G wireless networks employ millimeter waves with greater frequencies, known as mmWaves. This spectrum has substantially better bandwidth and no latency. However, mmWaves transmit across limited distances, generally approximately 250 feet, but this is improving.

To make 5G a reality, digital network solution providers must transition from giant cell towers to cheaper tiny-cell sites to broadcast and receive signals inside their narrow coverage area. Small cells are less expensive than macro cell towers and use less power, allowing for more cells atop streetlamps and buildings – more than 50 per square mile is achievable. This architecture relies on an optical networking solution, which uses higher-frequency waves while enhancing the end-user experience on wireless devices. Eight miles of fiber cabling solution would be required to link these cells.

The Importance of 5G Monitoring in the Modern World

Mobile carriers are working on a quick 5G implementation and intend to provide 5G services to a larger geographical region by 2025. 5G will usher in a new age of strategic network solutions, bringing a slew of 5G problems and possibilities. Plans to accelerate the 5G rollout and improve users’ lives through the usage of cutting-edge 5G apps are in full swing.

Continuous 5G network monitoring solutions help extract the potential of 5G. In addition, new-age test solutions are being created to suit complicated use cases and architectural developments. This has increased the demand for advanced verification technology in the 5G monitoring lab, which is readily scalable to meet the field’s 5G deployment requirements.

Learn more about STL’s Network Services, click here.


1- Is fiber optics necessary for 5G?

Fiber optics is of utmost necessity for delivering high-potential 5G performance. 5G connectivity has the feasibility of operating either with fiber backhaul or wireless connections. To make 5G a reality, telecom providers must switch from larger cell towers to smaller nano-masts for transmitting and receiving signals. 

When using this model, there is a need for a fiber backhaul connection to enable higher-frequency waves. Thus, it will enhance the experience of end-users while using wireless devices. 

2- How is 5G different?

5G is specifically designed to optimize connectivity efficiency based on various devices or smartphones that consumers use. In 4G, the connectivity solutions were constant for devices of all types. But, with 5G, every device will get optimized service solutions, depending on its hardware or software specifications. 

Suppose you own a smartwatch that runs on a very small battery. In that case, full-fledged one-size-for-all connectivity will drain its energy quickly. Therefore, 5G optimized its connection automatically to consume minimal energy on that smartwatch to ensure performance and reliability simultaneously. 

3- Why is 5G monitoring important?

Mobile operators are keen to deploy 5G on a wider scale within the next few years. There are various projected use cases for various industries and consumers alike. With this, 5G will soon be implemented in modern applications, bringing challenges and opportunities. Therefore, when the demand rises, it becomes important for service providers to implement 5G monitoring. 

5G monitoring is now becoming critical to ensure that QoE (Quality of Experience) is optimal for the users. Just with the increase of 5G adaptation, the market for monitoring solutions and equipment for it is also experiencing rapid growth. 5G monitoring is the only way to derive the full potential of 5G technology. 

4- What are network monitoring solutions?

Network monitoring solutions are procedures implemented through hardware and software tools for tracking the network and its operation potential. It tracks down the bandwidth, uptime, traffic and utilization of the network. It determines the problems within the network, such as component failure or slow traffic.

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