5G is paving the way for the next generation of Internet of Things (IoT) innovation. Highly-anticipated technologies including autonomous vehicles, delivery drones, smart factories and VR/AR are on the path to becoming a reality as standalone 5G networks begin to launch across the U.S and usher in a new age of ultra-reliable, ultra-low latency connectivity.
Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of IoT, 5G’s role in expanding the potential for IoT innovation and the distributed architectures required at the edge to make it all work successfully.
The Future of IoT
Today’s mainstream IoT technologies primarily reside in our homes and places of work, with short- to medium-range requirements that rely on a WiFi connection powered by a fiber cable network. The IoT applications powered by 5G will be use cases outside the confines of walls that have longer range and ultra-low latency requirements. “5G has a theoretical latency of less than one millisecond in later releases, as opposed to 20 to 40 milliseconds typical in current generation Wi-Fi deployments,” explains Bill Menezes, senior principal analyst at Gartner.
While consumers are looking forward to 5G’s support of high-definition streaming, virtual reality and augmented reality, it’s the business world that will benefit the most from the new wave of IoT use cases, which offer the potential to transform entire industries. Businesses ranging from automotive and manufacturing to construction and natural resources will most notably be able to leverage 5G to improve supply chain management with sensors, which will result in streamlined process and asset tracking that translate into cost savings, improved customer experience and much more.
Meanwhile, manufacturers will be empowered to make the next step towards smart factories, leveraging AI and robotics to create autonomous assembly lines, resulting in reduced waste and improved productivity among a long list of benefits. And in another use case, governments across the country will be able to improve public safety with the support of 5G to enable real-time video and communications across municipalities.
5G: A Game Changer for Optical Networking Architectures
5G offers the ultra-low latency, higher capacity, increased coverage and increased density needed to make new IoT innovations a reality. Yet 5G networks will not be able to fill the need alone; the extremely low latency connections between devices, small cells, data centers and the cloud make edge computing a vital piece of the equation for 5G network deployments.
And by relying on edge architectures, not only does 5G demand greater fiber densification at the edge, but it also places significantly higher data rates on the fronthaul to support the reliable operation of small cells and the backhaul of existing fiber networks. As a result, industry demand for 25G, 50G, 100G, 200G and 400G transceivers is rising as network operators look to boost performance not just to meet the requirements of today, but to set themselves up well for the demands of the future.
We’ve discussed the attractiveness of 400G networks at length in a past blog article, noting that one of 400G’s biggest value propositions is that it offers better potential to accommodate subsequent jumps to 800G and beyond, making it an investment in the competitiveness of optical networks. By leveraging 400G transceivers, carriers, MSOs, data center operators and other service providers can future-proof their infrastructure for all 5G demands – and more.
This investment, however, has the potential to be a costly endeavor, which is why carriers and network operators are looking to dual-rate optical transceivers and tunable topics to minimize costs, while upgrading their networks for the increasing requirements of 5G. With 400G in the backhaul and 100G in the fronthaul, DWDM has become a key component for network operators to do more with existing fiber, with the latest innovations in 100G DWDM offering up to 4 TBPS capacity.
How Precision OT Supports 400G
The Precision OT team sought out to develop a DWDM transceiver that delivers 100G DWDM to the edge of modern access networks simply, affordably and in the popular QSFP28 form factor. The result is the introduction of the PAM4 Access Reach (P4AR™) transceiver, the only commercial 100G DWDM, QSFP28 switch pluggable product that does not require DCM for transmission up to 40km. And due to its DWDM capabilities, P4AR™ enables a business-as-usual operational model for a maximum capacity of 4 TBPS.
Key benefits of the P4AR™ transceiver include:
- Procurement: Enables operators to use existing switches and routers for transport of 100G traffic
- Native monitoring: Existing NMS tools can be used
- Plug-n-play: No transport expertise required for 40 km of deployment
- Smart Hands: Leverage same internal personnel to deploy services
- On Time Delivery: Minimal downtime to install
- High Fidelity: Reduced points of failure and faster mean time to repair in the absence of traditional transport equipment
Prepare your optical network for the future demands of 5G. Reach out to our team to learn how with Precision OT’s P4AR transceiver. Demos are available in Q1 of 2021.