Going yIPpee Over Next-Generation Networks / 4G Networks!

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We discuss the following topics in this blog:

  1. The Impact of Transition to All-IP Networks.
  2. Wave of 4G Network.
  3. Way Forward for the Mobile Network Operators.

In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:

  1. What is a 5G NR?
  2. What is WiFi?

How Transition to All-IP Networks has Impacted Both Subscribers and Operators?

Over 7.1 billion wireless connected devices & nearly 800 million mobile-enabled netizens by 2015. Who cannot smell business from that? Certainly, everyone in the telecommunication industry does. The transition to all-IP networks is no less than an epic of communication technology transformation. It’s a transformation that’s sweeping across the board, all over the universe and is everywhere.

The most dynamic change that has taken place during the past two radical decades of the mobile revolution is the makeover of the mobile subscriber. The speed, the versatility and the abundance of possibilities brought by IP networks have only empowered the imagination of this once humble subscriber. Swayed and nurtured by high-speed broadband networks & smart devices, the idea of mobile communication has scaled a truly enormous magnitude.

While subscribers have gained a lot through this transition, it’s been beyond doubt a highly bumpy ride for telcos, mobile network operators (MNOs) and communication service providers (CSPs) to upgrade the mountain of legacy systems & siloed networks.

How the Wave of 4G Network will Create Another Stir?

The next-generation network is indeed a reality and the internet-driven digital value chain is its lifeblood. While it continues growing bigger and faster, the wave of 4G networks and telecommunication technologies is all set to create another stir. From service providers to device & network equipment makers and also subscribers from all walks of life, they all find it yummy alike. Every CSP / MNO is raring to go yippee over 4G; wanting to do more, offer more, create more, be more and eventually gain more. We could collect this quite easily from our recent visits to two important industry events, namely MWC Barcelona 2011 and 11th Billing & RA Asia Pacific.

The discussion and exchange of thoughts were certainly inclined to the domain of all-IP 4G networks and what needs to be done around it. While this buoyancy is welcome, it needs to be noted that the pace of telecom network transformation has been rapid as well as strange. For example, the telephone got patented in 1876, which was much ahead of both radio and TV, however, today paradoxically HD TV and HD Radio have prevailed as engaging realities, whereas HD voice is yet to gain traction. While millions of internet users enjoy wideband voice with VoIP apps, they are yet to experience the same over their mobile devices. Thus, it isn’t about a sequence of technology, but subscribers’ propensity to consume & embrace new ways and better things that rule the roost. Telecom innovations are strongly driven by lifestyle aspirations.

What is the Way Forward for the Mobile Network Operators?

Way to go yIPpee as the All-IP transition grows stronger, operators are facing a multitude of challenges from services, network, value chain and new business models. They need a better approach towards targeted revenue opportunities, whereby they can create more value with partnership offerings and can monetize the same using smart charging, PCRF and subscriber management solutions.

This will become possible by deploying end-to-end, scalable & real-time OSS/BSS capabilities to enable competitive customer management, interlinked charging and policy management, network offloading and smart convergent billing for all services. At this point in time what most carriers and service providers need is a technology partner, not only to transform their networks but to strengthen business agility & spirit of innovation as well.

FAQs

What is a 5G NR?

5G typically refers to the fifth generation of wireless technology. NR, commonly known as New Radio, is a standard developed by the 3GPP Group (Release 15 being the first version introduced back in 2018) outlining the technology required to harness the newly-available millimeter-wave frequencies. The two frequency bands in which 5GNR operates are Frequency Range 1, i.e., Sub 6GHz band (410 MHz to 7125 MHz), and Frequency Range 2, i.e., millimeter-wave (24.25 to 52.6 GHz). Over 4G LTE, 5G NR provides better spectrum utilization, faster data rates, hardware efficiency, and improved signal processing.

From a deployment standpoint, we have Non-Standalone Mode(NSA), Dynamic Spectrum Sharing(DSS), and Standalone Mode (SA). The initial deployments of 5G NR are based on NSA standards, meaning the existing 4G LTE network will operate on the control plane, and 5G NR will be introduced to the user plane. This particular standard was introduced by 3GPP, keeping in mind the industry’s push to faster 5G services rollout while utilizing the existing 4G LTE infrastructure currently in place. On the other hand, operators are also implementing Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) to accelerate the deployment cycle, reducing costs and improving spectrum utilization. In this standard, the same spectrum is shared between the 5G NR and 4G LTE, multiplexing over time per user demands. Lastly, we have the Standalone Mode (SA), which moves towards a complete 5G based network where both signaling and the information transfer are driven by a 5G cell.

In the future, 5G will enable new services, connect new industries and devices, empower new experiences, and much more, providing mission-critical services, enhanced mobile broadband, and various other things.

a) Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) Applications: High device connectivity, High mobile data rates, and Mobile AR & VR applications
b) Ultra-reliable, low-latency communications (uRLLC)Applications: Autonomous vehicles, Drones, Data monitoring, Smart mfg.
c) Massive machine-type communications (mMTC)Applications: Healthcare, Industry 4.0, Logistics, Environmental monitoring, Smart farming, Smart grids.

What is WiFi?

Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.

To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).

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