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Nokia to Oz: 5G will need fibre, and lots of it
Thursday, 16 June 2016 08:56

Any time the politics of the National Broadband Network arises, someone with a bagful of buzzwords and a spoonful of clue will claim that wireless is going to make fibre obsolete.

It shouldn't be necessary to refute that old chestnut, but it is, so Vulture South is pleased that Nokia's Oceania head of mobile networks has cold-watered the claim in a presentation to the Communications Alliance.

He told the gathering that 5G needs fibre, simply to deliver the kind of capacity both the industry and the public expect, but also to carry the predicted growth in machine-to-machine communications.

According to telco newsletter Communications Day, Barnett said the procession of press releases about air interface speed tests aren't of much interest to network architects. They're more interested in what the next round of standards – and the services they will need to provide – mean for how they build networks.

At the heart of it all is the virtualisation of infrastructure which, if done right, should make networks more resilient. The user-facing networks need to be supported by more distributed data centre networks in the back end, so that even a major failure in Sydney (for example) doesn't lead to a nationwide outage.

Another challenge on everyones' mind is network latency, since a gigabit connection isn't going to meet end user expectations if hundred-millisecond latency gets in the way.

That will also feed into a hunger for fibre and lots of it, since carriers will want to get rid of the microwave links that still provide backhaul connection for huge numbers of base stations.

Especially, Vulture South would add, since the 2020-and-beyond 5G rollout will need a lot more base stations than are now in the network. ®

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Source: http://bit.ly/1UfoXq1