5G networks will be based on an architecture that will spawn an entirely new ecosystem of technological and enterprise innovations. The 5G architecture of those networks will support thousands of new applications in the consumer and business segments, including vertical markets such as manufacturing, energy, healthcare, and automobiles.
That 5G architecture will have a significant impact on today’s mobile networks, physical networking, computing facilities, hosting and deployment systems, and service and infrastructure orchestration. Standards reports are coming from the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5GPPP). The 5GPPP report draws on research from the other two standards as well as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The networks will require a sophisticated integration of massive computing and storage infrastructures. In the new 5G architecture, mobile operators will need to plan for the necessities of higher network capacities, denser cell-site grids, small-cell deployments at the street level, virtualized network functions (VNF), and evolving roles of mission-critical applications.
Source: Research Gate
The 5G Architecture’s Impact on Backhaul
The flexible and programmable nature of 5G networks represent a radical mobile network evolution in terms of capacity, performance, and spectrum access in both radio and non-radio network segments, including backhaul capabilities.
The forecasted increase in capacity density of 5G networks will result in more capacity per site in Radio Access Networks (RANs) and a far denser grid of 5G base stations. This denser grid allows for the wireless backhaul of data from micro cells to macro cells. This means the demands on 5G infrastructure is more distributed over many base stations. Data traversing the network then has a shorter trip to make between the user and its destination.
Backhauling and fronthauling are important features as they enable the cloud-centric 5G network. According to 5GPPP, a central cloud will be connected via a backhaul network to many edge computing clouds that are 20 kilometers from the user at most. If services can be executed in the network edge, that will take traffic away from the Cloud RAN
All-Cloud 5G Architecture
Operators are already in the midst of virtualizing their networks and services, in the form of cloud services and software-defined networking (SDN)/network functions virtualization (NFV) — paving the way to further evolution of the backhaul. Essentially, the 5G architecture will incorporate an all-cloud digital transformation of networks, operation systems, and services.
According to 5GPPP, a central cloud will be connected via a backhaul network to many edge computing clouds that are 20 kilometers from the user at most. If services can be executed in the network edge, that will take traffic away from the Cloud RAN.
An SDN/NFV-supported foundation means that the 5G architecture will boast cloud-native access, transport, and core networks—enabling diversified 5G services and key technologies such as edge-to-edge network slicing and new security architectures including trust models covering everyone in the 5G ecosystem. Also, whereas LTE networks tend to integrate both the user and control planes, 5G architecture will separate these planes, thereby improving flexibility, that will facilitate centralized or decentralized control, and ensure easy network slicing.
The Coming 5G Architecture
Cutting-edge technologies and a redesigned wireless network architecture are the foundation of 5G architecture. These innovations are still in their early stages with service providers continuing testing.
Updated March 2019