BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Allow us to highlight one of the seven points made by Patrick Brogan in this commentary: Deep fiber. In this piece, he highlights seven elements – (1) Technical standards, (2) cell densification, (3) coexistence of 4G and 5G, (4) reevaluation of the mobile network architecture, (5) evolving network connections, (6) unanticipated applications, and (7) deep fiber – necessary to realize the networks of the future
Achieving the Promise of Fiber-Enabled 5G Networks, from USTelecom
Earlier this week, I attended the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and the Wireless Technology Association conference, “Massive Broadband Network Densification: Unleashing the Opportunities of 5G.” Panels focused on the technology, business economics, and policy aspects of fifth generation (5G) wireless deployment in the United States. I participated on the business economics panel, entitled, “Who Pays? Funding America’s 5G Infrastructure.”
As with past generations of wireless service, but even more so, wireline providers will be essential to the successful deployment of 5G networks. In particular, 5G will require increasingly dense fiber deployed closer and closer to end user locations in order to offload the extremely high volume of anticipated data demand from wireless cell sites. 5G will also require hyper-fast, secure fiber connections among the core network data centers that will host switching and other intelligent network management capabilities, as well as the edge network servers that will run 5G-enabled applications.
Deployment of 5G networks will be an extraordinarily complex and costly endeavor. It involves many moving parts requiring significant coordination among network, equipment, and application providers. 5G will be more heterogeneous than previous generations. The constraints of spectrum availability and different geographies, 5G will offer network providers a diverse set of tools, from both fixed and mobile networks, to meet growing demand efficiently where it arises. This means that policymakers have a complex task– they must monitor many moving parts while ensuring network, equipment, and application providers can roll out 5G as effectively and expeditiously as possible. The U.S. was a global leader in 4G deployment and it must remain a leader to reap the social and economic benefits of 5G.