Evolving Networks

Insights > Smart Network

What will future networks look like? One thing is clear that future networks will be more than just the next step after 4G. It will connect people and things around us—from machines in manufacturing to everyday objects—unlike the current network that has evolved around people.
Evolving Network
It is expected that by 2020, 5 billion people and 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet and there will be fully enabled 5G networks. As the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) matures, network technologies need to evolve and be implemented faster.

Larger and Faster

For the quality of voice services provided by mobile network operators, a round-trip delay (latency) of 100 milliseconds or less usually falls in the acceptable range. If a delay lasts longer than 100 milliseconds, it can be perceived by users.

On the other hand, video services require a faster response time than voice services. Users will find that the service quality is deteriorated if a video response time exceeds 10 milliseconds. The delivery of quality video service often requires high bandwidth.

Evolving Network

In the IoT era where virtually everything can be connected to the network, the focus of future network is on reducing the latency. For augmented reality and IoT-based services, a latency of 1 millisecond or less will be expected to provide quality services. If network latency exceeds 1 millisecond, this will compromise dynamic growth of the Internet of Things, compared to the existing technologies.

To meet the extreme traffic demands in future networks, for example, the growing popularity of 4K video, much more spectrum will be needed. According to the recent research by Nokia, traffic volume is expected to increase up to 10,000 times by 2020. To handle higher traffic in a larger bandwidth, future network technologies will need to enable peak data rates “exceeding 10 Gbps, with user data rates greater than 100 Mbps even under high load conditions or at the cell edge” (Nokia Solutions and Networks, Looking Ahead to 5G: Building a Virtual Zero-Latency Gigabit Experience).

Smart Service

Today, as a mobile network user, you need to choose one of the pricing plans that your mobile network operator offer. With a limited number of offerings, you do not have the flexibility to choose the most suitable service for you.

However, this will change in the future networks. In the IoT era, you will need not only voice and data services but different types of connectivity for numerous devices that you own. That is, the Internet of Things will have a profound impact on the way networks evolve, creating new service requirements that have not been considered before. These requirements will be a key driver of network evolution and lead mobile network operators to accommodate user-oriented services.

Evolving Network
Future networks require the flexibility to accommodate various services that users need. Different types of services have different requirements. For example, power efficiency will be a key requirement for services using battery-powered multiple sensors, fast response time for services like intelligent transportation system, and large network bandwidth for services sharing HD videos. While becoming denser and more heterogeneous, future networks are expected to fulfill various conditions which network services demand.