5G Transport Architecture of the Future
25th June 2020
A Cost-Effective, Scalable Network Architecture Approach
According to a recent Cisco Annual Internet Report (AIR), more than 70 percent of the global population – approximately 5.7 billion people – will have mobile connectivity by the year 2023. This connectivity includes 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. More than 66 percent of the global population will be internet users. More users equate to more devices, all with an insatiable appetite for bandwidth to service their new business and consumer applications.
5G promises faster data speeds, higher capacity, and low latency enabling new services, presenting the mobile industry with unprecedented revenue growth opportunities. Operators will only be able to capitalise on these opportunities if the transport network is capable of handling the explosion of data traffic and delivering those low latency services, meeting the stringent 5G Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
Traditionally, networks have been built in a layered approach where each layer is designed individually and operated within its own technology life cycle. This has introduced complexities and redundant functions leading to inefficiencies in terms of network cost and scalability.
With Cisco’s leading technology innovations, they enable operators such as PLDT in the Philippines with new ways of delivering services allowing them to re-think the network architecture towards a more simplified one with a reduced total cost of network ownership.
Technology is advancing, enabling innovation to address the challenges of today and meet future network requirements. These advancements include:
• Router capacity increasing multi-fold – recent Industry announcements outline performance capacity greater than four times the largest platforms with a fraction of the footprint and power consumption. These units based on new Network Processing Units (NPUs) that enable multi terabits per second capacity are opening new doors of opportunity for new services and architectures.
• Commodification of coherent optics – with OTT, web scale, and service providers moving to coherent optics at 400G for distances above 10Km, along with the standard efforts, increases the adoption rate and enables higher volumes not seen before.
• Pluggables with Digital Coherent Optics (DCO) – investments in 7nm processes enable the same form factor for both short reach and longer reach coherent optics in QSFP-DD form factor at 400G which now can be integrated into high capacity routing platforms with zero density trade-offs.
• Segment Routing (SR), Enhanced Gaussian Noise Model (GNPy) and Common Industry Models
• High-Density Circuit Emulation
• Innovation in SDN and telemetry with automation and life cycle management – A model-driven approach for automation and self-optimising networking
These technological advancements are key to the Cisco 5G Transport Architecture which enables a move from a mesh-based ROADM architecture to a Hop-to-Hop (H2H) Digital ROADM architecture. This architecture provides optimal capacity by shortening endpoint distances while simplifying the transport network, removing redundant layers, legacy technologies, and overlapping functionality. It lowers the total cost of ownership with a reduction in power, footprint, and components, therefore enhancing mean time between failures (MTBF).
The Cisco 5G Transport Architecture provides unprecedented capacity and scalability, allowing customers such as PLDT to enhance the customer experience. Segment Routing (SR) simplifies the underlay, making it easier to automate through a centralised SDN function and providing more efficient operation. 5G networking of the future provides end-to-end network slicing and low latency while drastically enhancing customer experience and reducing the cost to serve.