5G is Coming: What It Means for Data Centers

Say you’re sitting at home on your phone using a popular social media app or search website like Google and the power to connect to the internet goes out. You look at your smartphone’s data bars and there’s no bars, just the words “Unable to connect”.

This means that there is a problem connecting to your wireless service, which is currently 4G. The “G” stands for generation.

A Quick History of the 4G’s:

1G was the first mobile wireless network. It was analog, so radio transmissions were unencrypted. Unencrypted radio wave transmissions could be tapped into by anyone with off the shelf analog parts and a little know-how.

2G wireless was digital. Digital wireless transmissions could be encrypted, which helped mature features of the personal computer revolution from mouse and GUI to networked computers with internet connectivity.

3G wireless ushered in the smartphone revolution, a continuation and advancement of the personal computer revolution.

4G increased the broadband and made mobile wireless applications run more efficiently and with less latency. Internet-of-Things devices such as wearable watches, smart home devices like Alexa, Ring and Google Home are connected. Untethered virtual reality headsets have tapped in to our 4G networks.

What 5G Wireless Means for Data Centers

5G wireless uses “millimeter wave” technology. This term refers to the higher end of the radio spectrum (3KHz – 300 KHz) where 5G transmissions take place. 5G will eventually be capable of transmitting huge amounts of mobile data.

The global implementation of 5G wireless networks has already begun. South Korea is among the first nations to implement the new technology. China and the USA are expected to implement 5G in 2020 and over the next few years. According to Projections in the Mobile Visual Networking, a report led by industry analysts from Cisco Mobile, the average smartphone will generate 11 GB of mobile traffic per month in 2022. In 2017 the average smartphone user consumed 2 GB of data on a monthly basis.

The 5G technology will bring forth the need for X times more content in the market. With an increase in this demand, the need for higher storage will also come in the limelight. Data centers will turn towards Cloud and other technologies to store and manage ample data.

5G technology, coupled with the Edge computing concept, will encourage gathering and processing of data at local nodes rather than transferring the whole to the center of the cloud and then, provide useful content to the users. This concept will add pace to the entire process and reduce the tension on the transmitting wires and methods. However, at the same time, it will bring the requirement for a higher number of local data centers.

5G Will Enable IoT Devices from Small to Large

The types of applications that 5G will enable on new generations of smartphones will use more data, driving up demand to data centers. But IoT sensors used in various digitization projects (homes, cities) will also run on 5G, as will autonomous cars, which require more data bandwidth than 4G is currently able to provide them.

Data centers are a key part of the new 5G economy’s infrastructure. For 5G wireless networks to be successfully implemented, more radio towers will be reaching into the sky and more fiber cables will be buried beneath the ground. And data moving along this network of cables and towers needs to be transferred, stored and processed at incredibly fast speeds in a very reliable way.

Wholesale data centers that focus on interconnection or access to software-defined networking (SDN) specialists will not reap the benefit of the rise of 5G over the next few years.


Monday, January 20, 2020

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