The Tech (R)evolution: Moving 5G Technology into the Cloud

2021-07-08  |  6 min read 

[On behalf of Cristian Cordos, Senior Manager - Wirless Team, Keysight Romania]

New business opportunities and increased revenue sources can be found in fixed wireless access (FWA) and massive and critical IoT services in sectors like automotive, manufacturing, energy, and utilities. This allows the consumer to enjoy instant connections, electronic devices and appliances that are much better connected, smarter cars, and easier implementation in industries such as agriculture and the entertainment industry.

The 5G technology in 2021 means accessibility and product development directly from Cloud

One of the key opportunities that 5G offers is moving network components into the cloud. The accessibility and development of products directly from the cloud, without the dependency on hardware equipment will allow telecom operators, device and smart equipment manufacturers, healthcare, and agritech companies to significantly improve the performance of the products and services they offer.

For example, during big sporting events, concerts, or even online conferences, event organizers or network operators can allocate many more resources with just a few clicks instead of moving around hardware equipment or infrastructure. The equipment in the area where the event is taking place is not overused and the network operators can accommodate hundreds of thousands of users grouped in a limited space, at the same time.

Improved Reliability of IoT equipment

The optimization and increased performance of 5G technology can, by connecting to the cloud, allow companies to incorporate millions of connections like IoT devices. In agritech, for example, temperature sensors installed in a field or silo which control an irrigation system or humidity levels connect to the network at specific intervals. If the connection is not successful on its first try, in many situations, it may be too late by the time the sensor tries to connect again (crops can go bad, important data can be lost, etc.). With 5G, this problem can be solved easily with cloud connections.

Even though remote surgeries are still a concept of the future, 5G with the speeds of up to 100 times faster than those currently offered in a 4G network brings this possibility closer to reality. Lightning-fast transfer speed for data would allow doctors to evaluate patients’ symptoms in real-time and act accordingly, as if they were right next to them. This would allow access to highly qualified medical personnel in underprivileged areas and it would significantly improve access to medical care. 

More automation processes for companies

In an enterprise, the 5G technology brings great opportunities via automation including:  

  • Precision control and monitoring which use wireless connections to extend the range of action for machines and extend their flexibility - sensors can be mounted on the entire line of production
  • Remote robotic control
  • Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) and autonomous mobile robots (AMR) which can function in an unspecified environment (without clear indications).

Security and flexibility of 5G technology

To ensure the carrier-grade quality required to carry wireless traffic, network operators need to characterize and continuously validate their 5G Core (5GC) network in the lab and pre-production deployments. This requires extensive testing of 5G standalone (SA) elements in the Core network. one that stands out is testing the scalability and security of 5G networks. This enables network operators release new products and services faster, and modify their infrastructure (advance, optimize, or easily reduce tech infrastructure, even in multiple areas simultaneously), and manage higher internet speeds and more IoT devices at the same time.  

The biggest challenge is long-term security and flexibility. In networks with tens of thousands of connected devices (phones, tablets, cars, different kinds of IoT sensors), testing the performance of each individual component, as well as the network as a whole, is essential in providing high quality of service.

We are beginning to see different 5G networks into production in a non-stand alone (NSA) scenario where the 5G antennas connected to the 4G core. We anticipate that we’ll see 5G SA networks (or end-to-end) in production soon.