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Extensive 5G data center buildouts require modern transport network solutions

Telco data centers have experienced an increasingly prominent role in an operator’s 5G network buildouts. Operators undergoing their transition to Standalone (SA) 5G will need to have a firm understanding of the technical demands of telco data centers in SA 5G and the associated technological enablers that can help them execute said demands.

A new report published by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research highlights the major prerequisites of 5G and the emerging transport solutions that would help operators position themselves to successfully capitalize on the new revenue opportunities from delivering differentiated 5G connectivity services.

“The rise of the telco data center has a high degree of confluence with the requirements of SA 5G architectures. SA 5G and its increasing reliance on telco data centers can be attributed to the increasing convergence of cloud computing and traditional network architectures. Telco data centers leverage a combination of cloud service delivery principles such as Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), Service-Based Architectures (SBAs), and microservices to provide 5G network services to consumers and enterprises,” explains Miguel Castaneda, Industry Analyst at ABI Research.

Telco data centers can be categorized based on their geographic proximity to end-users and capabilities in which they can support specific network functions. Some data centers are well-equipped to support critical latency-centric network functions while other data centers are more suited to support non-critical workloads such as billing applications and other OSS/BSS functions.

There are also other considerations such as size and power constraints also distinguish telco data center deployments – from large hyperscale, regional data centers to smaller edge cloud deployments.

The expanding pervasiveness of data centers would thusly require modern transport solutions to deliver the features necessary in delivering differentiated connectivity of 5G.

These features include support for network slicing; Control and User Plane Separation (CUPS) architecture in Multi-Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments; and advanced analytics, orchestration, synchronization, and automation capabilities to ensure service delivery across multiple domains of denser, more distributed 5G networks.

5G transport solutions must be streamlined to the context of 5G network workloads and the different telco data center considerations while also helping operators in being cost-efficient with their data center and network transport buildouts.

“Modern transport solutions would need to possess physical/logical capabilities such as Segment Routing-Multi-Protocol Label Switching (SR-MPLS), support for multiple traffic types through channelized ethernet solutions, and edge-optimized hardware, such as coherent Digital Signal Processing (DSP) modules that have lower data center footprints,” Castaneda concludes. CT Bureau

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