Thanks to all who joined us for the Nokia 5G Report Webinar, Converging Transport Networks for 5G Success – The ‘Anyhaul’ Imperative, where we got a solid understanding of 5G innovations, linkages, and dependencies that are critical to a successful 5G platform. After the webinar, we took questions from the audience but unfortunately ran out of time before we could answer everybody’s questions. You can read the full Q&A below.
What about IP network analytics?
Nokia: IP network analytics ‘completes’ SDN by providing realtime intelligence, thereby making better decisions in how the underlying network fabric should be configured and reconfigured. This includes network services provisioning, optimization and assurance. The combination form a closed-loop of intelligence, network visibility & control, and programmable network fabric.
In addition to providing unique insights of big-data correlated across multiple data-sets, Nokia’s Deepfield solution also provides an innovative approach to security that solves DDoS without requiring DPI appliances.
More information on IP network analystics can be found here: https://deepfield.com/service-provide
Can you add more color on the various next-gen fronthaul activities?
What are your perspectives on the most compelling applications that will be enabled by 5G?
Nokia: 5G is coming and its impact will be enormous. It has the ability to provide connectivity and capacity at massive scale. It also provides greater flexibility to drive new business models and use cases that will transform our world.
5G has the power to revolutionize our lives, economy and society in many exciting ways. There’s a lot of hype and fantastic claims talking about futuristic sounding ideas, like autonomous driving and remote healthcare. But the need to prepare for 5G starts now. Three new possibilities that 5G will bring are these:
5G connected homes: 5G will revolutionize connectivity and entertainment in the home. Discover how it will help to transform viewing and gaming experiences, supercharge broadband and enable massive machine type communication.
5G connected events: The future of connected events starts here. See how 5G will enhance and extend the fan experience, increasing customer engagement to drive new revenue streams for venue owners and service providers.
5G connected industries: The factory of the future will be powered by 5G. Find out how it improves factory workflow automation via connected sensors and human/machine collaboration, increasing safety, security and productivity.
Learn more about 5G use cases here: https://networks.nokia.com/innovation/5g-use-cases
Most service providers are struggling with the DevOps approach. What are your perspectives on the importance of DevOps in 5G network rollout?
Nokia: DevOps is closely coupled with how fast an organization wants to push applications out, especially applications that have external access and require resources, network and security configuration. Monolithic apps do not really work well in this model, but distributed/virtualized/micro-service type applications are the ones that fit this CI/CD trend to speed the deployment of such applications and make quick changes/updates.
If the intent is perform this way in a 5G network, then DevOps has to be a part of it. You can not, however, do CI/CD with the developer “in a holding pattern” while the network and infrastructure teams to go back and forth with legacy methods to set things up. The Development and Ops (as well as Security) should be (to the extent possible) the same person.
The struggle here is two parts. First is cultural: this is a revolution in how you do things and you need to embrace that change. Second is resources: the skill set required is scarce.
Recognizing these challenges, Nokia supports a range of deployment options to support the varying business, service/application and resource/skills requirements of an organization along the ‘Cloud maturity curve’. We have learned that not all business, services/applications may require a full Cloud dev ops environment – this may of course evolve over time etc. So flexibility of deployment options is key. In fact what we are likely to see if hybrid deployment scenarios with functions deployed as dictated by the economics of the service/applications.
What is your view on 60Ghz Vs E-band with respect to access and fronthaul-backhaul?
Nokia: Generally speaking, we believe that microwaves (and we include millimeter waves as well in this statement) will continue to play a prominent role in transport in the future as this technology is easy to deploy and is a good alternative when fiber is not available. The availability of new spectrums with large channels such as the V-band (60GHz) and E-band (80GHz) and the recent developments (higher modulation, compression, carrier aggregation…) allow for higher capacities and lower latencies, addressing most of 4.x and 5G requirements, including those introduced by Ethernet fronthaul architectures. The only exception is CPRI fronthaul, which we believe, can only be satisfied by optical links.
Regarding millimeter-waves, the V- and E-bands are obviously addressing different use cases. The V-band being unlicensed or lightly licensed, it can be advantageously used in cases where the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a challenge but the link reliability can be relaxed a bit. On the other hand, the licensed E-band provides capacity and higher reliability on short distances. We believe the most compelling use case is that of “carrier aggregation”, where an E-band channel is combined with a traditional frequency, to provide both capacity, reliability over longer distances.
More information on Microwave transport in 4.5, 4.9 and 5G networks and be found here: https://tools.ext.nokia.com/asset/200985
Any demand that 5G must use a cell site router or not?
Nokia: The decision to extend layer 3 to cell sites is a business case that evaluates the incremental cost of IP technology (versus layer 2 or layer 1 only) and the incremental benefits having IP at the cell site enables. Common arguments from those who decide to extend IP to the cell site include:
- consistent, end-to-end IP OAM across any combination of layer 2 networks, including network segments owned by third parties
- uniform, IP operational model across all business lines including residential and enterprise business services
- maximum flexibility to adapt and aggregate the widest range of legacy and next gen interfaces, services, and technologies from multi-radio access sites that may also have non-mobile service requirements as well
- the unlimited flexibility of IP routing to locate specialized, highly distributed packet core for hyper-local applications anywhere in the MNO’s infrastructure.
- seamless extension of SDN model all the way to the first aggregation device in the network, thereby enabling source dictated e2e path (ie, Segment Routing) to begin at the first level of aggregation (ie, the Radio Head). Doing so provides the most flexibility for traffic steering and network slicing to accommodating diverse and different applications with different characteristics while assuring delay, jitter and loss metrics are achieved
- ability to capture IP network analytic intelligences fully end-to-end across the entire WAN, enabling better decisions in the SDN-automation of network services provisioning, optimization and assurance
How do you view the idea of the packet core moving closer to the edge, more like a fog compute model rather than cloud?
Nokia: In a digital world, where everyone and everything is connected, the network is under significant new pressure. Broadband evolution, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Type Communications (MTC) lead to a huge increase in devices and people that must be interconnected to enable new human possibilities.
This massive interconnection introduces a diverse range of service requirements and characteristics that will need to be supported. Innovation in today’s network is central to this transformation, and Nokia continues to invest in its Cloud Packet Core (CPC) to support this new reality.
The packet core, and moving forward the 5G next generation core, network functions need to disaggregated into smaller software elements. Then each one of these smaller software elements needs to be independently configurable and manageable, and placed (centrally or distributed) where needed. This disaggregation will be one of the aspects to achieve the massive scalability, performance, flexibility and reliability required to meet the economics of broadband evolution and IoT/MTC services and applications.
To meet these market requirements, the Nokia CPC is designed with a disaggregated software architecture to provide the required flexibility, performance, web scalability, reliability and improved operations to deliver the platform to embrace/profit from mobile broadband, IoT/MTC, 5G opportunities, while also cost effectively evolving with confidence.
For more information visit our website on the Nokia Cloud Packet Core. We also have a white paper available Embracing an Industry Inflection Point with the Cloud Packet Core. Or, watch this video: Nokia Cloud Packet Core: Profit from opportunity, evolve with confidence.
With the higher frequencies, you get smaller cells. In urban areas this might no be a big problem, but at the country site you may need many more masts. This will take a long time to get permissions and erecting the towers. How do you see that happening?
Nokia: Correct- the higher frequencies are for dense urban and suburban residential areas. For rural areas we have a specific solution called FastMile, which we launched at MWC16. Nokia FastMile delivers high-speed broadband to residential customers in rural areas. The end-to-end approach ensures high data rates and enables a minimum throughput to be guaranteed. It also enables high capacity by utilizing advanced antenna topology and interference mitigation technologies. For mobile operators, this is an opportunity to address a new customer base with help of their existing LTE network and spectrum assets. FastMile allows mobile operators to build profitably on the existing installed base of macro radio network and offer home broadband service as an alternative solution for end users.
The great approach to our product portfolio is that using Nokia’s 5G FIRST solution for fixed wireless access in dense urban and suburban areas completely compliments FastMile for delivering rural broadband to the home using LTE.
Learn more about the FastMile solution here: www.networks.nokia.com/solutions/fastmile
Learn more about the 5G FIRST solution here: www.networks.nokia.com/innovation/5g