The fascinating paradigm we’re currently facing is that, as the world disconnects from cables and moves wireless and the wireless access point moves closer to the user, the need for the fibre connectivity grows substantially both in terms of capillaries and bandwidth.
5G promises much in terms of revenues and new use cases, but for this to be realised it will require an evolution in network architecture and this has significant implications for the access, metro and core network. To deliver on the promised increase in data rates, and to meet the low latency requirements of new applications, evolved mobile networks encompassing advanced 4G and 5G technology will need to be much closer to their users – this means more small cell locations in dense urban environments and these will require high-speed, reliable connectivity.
The new connectivity landscape will see not only new entrants to the space but also new business models forming, which means new ‘neutral host’ entrants are emerging to combat the literal land grab faced by mobile network operators (MNOs) who need to secure small cells in key urban locations. This shift also sees the need for shared infrastructure agreements between parties to ensure the fibre infrastructure is fully utilised.
In many ways the fibre networks of tomorrow will look the same – businesses still need reliable, high-speed connectivity and secure links to public and private clouds. The difference is that enterprises and mobile operators will require a network that offers deep fibre density in metropolitan locations, combined with connections into the key central and edge data centres where much more of the processing will take place.
These concepts will be explored in more detail at the up and coming Small Cells World Summit in London on Tuesday 21st May. Colt’s Head of Mobile Connectivity Solutions, Mark Gilmour, will be speaking at the event on the topic of “SDN agile transport for neutral hosting”.