Where earlier mobile networks were primarily about air interfaces and support for data, 5G breaks the mold.
As Intel sees it, “5G will not be about simply increasing speed and capacity, but will also be about intelligence throughout the network to enable devices and the network to communicate more efficiently, transport data and content more quickly, and share computing resources.”
In practical terms, 5G requires that devices, the network and the computing resources in the cloud will work together to establish intelligent service awareness.
Actions will be prioritized based on level of importance and be flexible enough to accommodate many devices that have widely varying connectivity, processing, power and latency requirements.
Devices will evolve in size, form, function and computing capability on the road to 5G. More significantly, networks and devices will need to intelligently manage connections as users move in to, out of and between cell coverage areas, as well as suppress interference from neighboring cells.
The networks and devices also will take a greater role in sharing contextual information, creating opportunities for developing new breeds of video, web browsing, gaming and interactive cloud-based applications.
None of that can happen without simultaneous changes in the core network. “Increasingly, networks must be designed to be flexible, efficient and scalable,” Intel notes. That means the core networks will be much more virtual, using network functions virtualization and software defined networks.
Intel says it already is working with Nokia, NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom as part of its 5G development efforts.