Feature Story

5G is taking over the world

by Stephanie Chan

5G is taking over the world

How Cisco is helping push the technology forward.

Plenty of tech and mobile companies are breaking big 5G news this week, showing that the wireless communications technology is finally coming to life.

5G is the latest iteration of mobile tech, succeeding 4G and 3G, providing higher system capacity, speed, and data rate. A big benefit of 5G is low latency, which means a shorter response time between clicking on a link and the desired website popping up.  It also means that more devices will be able to connect at once, including connecting things like sensors and smart devices. According to Cisco's latest VNI Forecast, 5G connections are primed to grow from 2.3 million in 2020 to more than 25 million in 2021.

Companies are on the race to be 5G ready heading into 2019. CNET writes that 5G is finally beginning to feel real, with mobile chip maker Qualcomm recently showcasing a prototype phone that uses 5G tech. Telecom company Vodafone will also conduct 5G tests in four rural Ireland towns, Roscommon, Gorey, Clonmel, and Dungarvan. This test will determine if 5G will offer a better option than fiber optic connectivity.

Like Ireland, Poland is also part of 5G testing. T-Mobile announced this week that it has launched a live commercial 5G network in a limited geographical area of Poland, the country's first.

Cisco and 5G

Cisco is helping service providers become 5G-ready, now. SVP of Cisco's service provider business Michael Glickman spoke with Light Reading about how the company does this, "They use our enterprise portfolios. They're a really large channel for us, by taking our technology and putting them together with their managed services and then taking them to the enterprise market."

A recent example of this is T-Mobile's virtualized packet core that uses Cisco's distributed software defined network (SDN) architecture. This allows T-Mobile to deploy 5G across the nation, using the cloud to offer its customer new services. VodafoneZiggo is also using the Cisco SONFlex Suite that helps manage radio access network (RAN) technologies like 2G, 3G, 4G, and ultimately 5G. Cisco SON (self-organizing network) helps maximize network assets and decrease costs.

To learn more about how Cisco accelerates growth for service providers, check here.


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