“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Some say Leonardo Da Vinci, the famous Italian polymath, said this, but it’s actually from American writer, politician and ambassador, Clare Booth Luce. Either way, in the world of 5G and optical networks, where everything can get complicated quickly, the idea of simplicity as the ideal can be a powerful thought. In today’s blog, we want to make your life a bit easier by taking the complexity of 5G deployments, Open RAN standards and multi-vendor interoperability back to basics.
The Push for Openness – More Competition Means More Choice & Complexity
If you’ve been keeping up to date with our blog, you’ll have seen us talk in multiple posts about the great work global and regional alliances are doing to improve flexibility for network operators as they build and deploy 5G networks. For quick reference, we’re talking about groups like the O-RAN Alliance, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), the Open RAN Policy Coalition, and the Small Cell Forum.
As advocates for open standards, interoperability, and an end to vendor-lock, we couldn’t be happier with the ever-increasing number of network operators, vendors and researchers joining these groups. However, with more choice for network operators comes greater complexity, especially around interoperability. In a previous article, we talked about how challenging it is for network engineers to design, build, and operate a network consisting of hardware and software from multiple vendors even with the existence of industry-wide open standards.
Network deployment will become even more complicated as operators concentrate further on the edge, where much investment has already taken place. Across Europe right now, a growing number of carriers and service providers are focused on bringing 5G edge and multi-edge cloud computing solutions to end-users. Earlier in July 2022, Lumen announced that it is expanding its Edge Computing Solutions beyond Western Europe. Similarly, Vodafone has been teaming up with AWS since last year to launch a 5G multi-edge computing service in Europe that will help enable a plethora of low latency-dependent applications like telemedicine and mixed reality. With 5G expected to support up to 1 million connected devices per .98 square kilometers (compared to 5,180 with 4G), building agile, intelligent and dense edge networks will be challenging. The solution lies in finding highly experienced partners that can offer simplicity – taking complex scenarios and providing customized solutions that offer the ease of “plug-and-play”.
5G Networks – Simplifying Deployments across Different Geographies
Today’s 5G networks have a vast footprint, in some cases spanning entire continents. This, however, brings up a very specific deployment challenge – ensuring that deployed optical equipment is resilient to significant temperature fluctuations. Take deploying a 5G network in Finland, for example. In July, the average temperature is only about 22C, but in February, it drops down to -2C, a few degrees below freezing. On the other hand, in Kuwait, where Zain has become the first telecom operator to launch voice over 5G in that country, average peak temperatures in July and August measure in at 42C. In January, Kuwait experiences, on average, temperatures around 21C, only slightly different from Finland’s summertime highs.
As a result, operators are in need of industrial temperature (I-Temp) optics to deploy in their 5G networks. To understand I-Temp optics, it’s best to measure their capabilities against conventional Commercial Temp (C-Temp) ones. Whereas C-Temp optics will function well within a target operating range of just 0 to 70C, I-Temp optics will work within a broader range of 40 to 85C. That’s good news for network operators building dense networks at the edge (especially in the coldest and hottest parts of the world) where variable temperatures, weather systems and even climate change can all lead to service disruptions and the premature failure of expensive optical equipment. Once again, finding a partner that can help make your decisions simpler in this regard is paramount in speeding time to market and lowering operating expenditures.
Standing Up for Simplicity – Why Partner with Precision OT
At Precision OT, we believe in making the lives (and 5G network deployments!) of our customers easier. From a temperature and global network footprint perspective, we offer a whole suite of optics (10G, 25G and even 100G) with I-Temp and C-Temp capabilities, which means you’re covered no matter where you’re deploying your network. More importantly, however, we facilitate simplicity by serving as not only optical equipment manufacturers, but integrators as well. Since our founding, we’ve worked with some of the biggest names in optical networking to provide them with customized and rigorously tested solutions that have not only worked well but also meshed with the other equipment and software they have had in their networks.
If you’re looking to simplify and advance your 5G network deployments, simply reach out with your questions! We’re happy to listen and work with you to create your path forward.