What makes a Mobile Operator's setup future-proof?

Mobile Networks in times of Big Data, SDN, NFV, IoT, M2M and 5G

The world is on the move and a good portion of this global mobility is fueled by ubiquitous communication networks that link not only people but increasingly machine clients as well, while the linking happens through extremely high performance, load-balancing and increasingly modular, self-organizing grids.

Operators are constantly dealing with the challenges presented by the almost monthly introduction of new technologies, new usage scenarios and the derived requirements for their core networks. Planning today’s and tomorrow’s networks is as much an art as it is a craft. It is the culmination of present and future requirements, a careful balance of innovation, cost-sensitivity, trend-awareness and a sense for putting it all together at just the right time.

Infographic: Mobile Networks in times of Big Data, NFV, SDN, IoT, M2M and 5G

What makes a Mobile Operator's setup future-proof?

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The infographic

Core network neuralgic points and upgrade aspects

This infographic’s idea is to present a cross section of the dimensions that are involved in shaping the demands on present mobile networks.

First, to get a perspective on the time frames involved, there is an overview of the evolution of mobile technology by generation, showing when each generation started and when it peaked or will peak. The illustration shows that 3G is expected to peak around 2020 while 4G is more than 10 years away from its most intensive usage.

An indicator for M2M / IoT is shown next with a look at the projected installed base of connected things in Smart Cities, a figure which is expected to almost triple between 2015 and 2018.

Directly below there is a visualization of a global market size forecast for the up and coming technologies Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN) – both putting additional demands on the networks they run in.

The left column of the infographic closes with a quick summary of the seven generation-defining technology requirements for fifth generation mobile networks (5G). While these considerably difficult to achieve prerequisites are possibly not at the forefront of an operator’s worries at this point in time, they give an outlook on agreed-upon criteria for the future.

On the top right, the visualizations continue with what executives thought are the greatest benefits of Big Data, followed by a depiction of 5G use cases defined by bandwidth and latency requirements.

Finally, a novel repository concept introduces a highly centralized node that handles all information types ranging from subscriber data to speech and others. This approach enables operators to stay abreast with steeply rising subscriber/client numbers and demands put on their networks by 5G as well as M2M requirements, at the same time making the deployment of SDN and NFV solutions more straightforward.

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