This time last year, there were a slew of predictions around the launch of 5G and its potential impact on the world. I personally forecast that Dell Technologies would help define the underlying infrastructure technology, serving as the rocket fuel to power the “connected everything” revolution.
One year later, have the predictions come to pass? Has reality met our expectations? All signs indicate a resounding yes. More importantly, the story of transformation continues to unfold.
Torrents of data
We’ve already seen the pace of innovation accelerate dramatically with the combination of 5G, Edge and IoT applications driving literally torrents of data from the Edge to the Core to the Cloud. According to estimates for this year, every person on earth is generating 1.7MB of data every second. Incredibly, this will result in 40 times more bytes of data than there are stars in the observable universe. That’s a pretty mind-blowing statistic.
In a way, it’s not surprising since we’re increasingly surrounded by always-on, always-connected smart devices. However, as you can imagine, the speed and efficiency of processing this growing workload is only as good as the network and infrastructure it runs on. Therein lies the challenge.
Implications for network builders & service providers
For network builders and service providers, the immediate priority is to meet the current demand for more data. However, you have to think long-term and position your network for the future. To capitalise on the 5G opportunity, you need to deliver massive speed, scale and innovation. You have to automate and cut costs in order to compete and speed your time to market. In short, you have to design the telecom network of tomorrow, today.
A modern network for the future
So, what does this modern network look like? In my view, you need built-in intelligence coupled with a reliable and yet simple infrastructure that can scale to meet future demand. Must-haves include carrier-grade platforms, based on open standards and commercial off-the-shelf compute, industry-certified solutions, best-of-breed switching and storage solutions, all fully optimised and designed to deliver a richer, more intuitive user experience. Think software-defined, flexible, multi-cloud and virtualised solutions.
5G and edge computing – a symbiotic relationship
In this new world, 5G and Edge computing—working together in tandem—allow network operators to deliver new business insights, reduce the costs associated with backhauling data to the cloud, and avoid network congestion. Most importantly, this combination is allowing network operators to intersect with other vertical industries—like video surveillance and industrial automation—to support applications that rely on low-latency connections, such as autonomous vehicles, smart factories and automated warehousing.
For example, one of our OEM customers that builds global networks is currently using Dell Edge gateways, Virtual Edge Platform 4600 and VMware Pulse to deliver a turnkey solution that solves connectivity for the smart factory or warehouse, relying on LTE technology. My colleague Ron Pugh recently touched on some other exciting Edge opportunities for the telecom industry. I believe that this is just the beginning; we’re merely scratching the surface of what’s to come.
A track record of delivery
In this fast-changing environment, Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions has delivered these solutions successfully in the IT market for years, making us uniquely qualified to help network builders and service providers in this fast-changing environment. With expert knowledge of the telecom market, we can deliver industry certifications, ruggedised products, branding, customisation, BIOS modifications plus a tremendous amount of engineering capability to help you to build the right solution that can deliver a software-defined, flexible set of capabilities.
Customer examples always tell the story best. With its telecom customers wanting to deploy a virtual session border controller in their networks, Ribbon decided to source a turnkey NFV platform from Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions to serve as a high-performance, hosting infrastructure, capable of high packet throughput, low latency and scalable audio transcoding. You can read the full Ribbon story here.
Meanwhile, Mavenir offers a 5G core solution based on our infrastructure and VMware container platforms. And in the world of telecom network testing, VIAVI Solutions integrates our XL servers with its custom FPGA cards and Linux-based application suite. Watch the full VIAVI story below:
Innovation will take its own path
I believe that the future for the telecom industry is brighter than ever. No doubt, there are some developers sitting in a garage somewhere right now saying, “I wish I could make this thing work…if I could only get ubiquitous, cost-effective, latency-free bandwidth!”
As 5G starts to become more mainstream, I believe that we’ll experience tons of new innovation, new capabilities, new ways for people to connect with one other, new ways for businesses to connect. As a result, we’ll see new revenue streams, new business models and new markets emerging. Change is going to open brand new opportunities that none of us have even dreamed of yet. That’s the bit I’m most excited about, as innovation takes its own path.
Let us help you build the network of tomorrow, today. Take the first step and contact us. And of course I’d love to hear your take on 5G, Edge computing and the modern telecom network. Join the conversation!
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