4 connectivity challenges in 2022

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5G

The last few years have been transformational for the telecommunications industry. The 5G is being deployed little by little, the antennas are renewed and progress is being made in a redesign of the networks. All this will continue in the new exercise, with the focus on some specific aspects. But to this is added the growth of emerging technologies, such as the metaverse. 5G connectivity in 2022 faces intrinsic challenges, related to the network deployment and operational challenges, related to the management and provision of resources.

The goals are always the same: higher speed, lower latency, more capacity. But the formulas to reach these goals vary depending on the needs and the technological maturation of telecommunications. We review some of the key points of 5G connectivity for this year.

The impact of the metaverses

The World Economic Forum mentions in an article a key trend for the future of the Internet. It is about the fusion between the physical and the digital. These two areas are increasingly intertwined with greater naturalness and this will be accentuated. In the industrial field, the use of virtual replicas of a factory or a warehouse is beginning to be frequent. In this way, operations can be simulated, performance analyzed for improvements, and problems prevented.

This is just one of the uses of metaverse technology. The combination of virtual and augmented reality, the so-called mixed reality, will cement platforms about which we know very little. And it is that massive adoption will only occur in the consumer market, where Meta has already positioned itself with its Horizons or Microsoft. This will not happen overnight, but trials are already ramping up and 5G connectivity in 2022 will be impacted.

The demand for virtual reality, especially in terms of low latency, will require 5G or WiFi 6. In addition, sending 360-degree video in real-time —for example, to watch a concert through glasses— requires of significant bandwidth. Hence, 5G connectivity in 2022 has to be prepared for the adoption of this type of technology by users.

Today it is not possible to predict what the adoption of these technologies will be, but the context indicates an upward trend. A GlobalData report indicates that in 2022 the growth of the metaverse will be led by the video game sector and the business category. Within the second, training or collaboration environments are framed.

Artificial intelligence for 5G connectivity

Among the most fashionable technological trends of recent years is artificial intelligence. Although these automation techniques have been used for decades, they are now experiencing a new phase of expansion. Greater access to enormous computing capabilities, thanks to the cloud, is coupled with significant progress in the field of software and larger and larger databases.

All this means that the adoption of artificial intelligence, whether in the form of machine learning or deep learning, has spread to new fields. Companies are increasingly using algorithms of this type to manage their operations, at least those that are traceable. And the technology has also entered the consumer market. Personal assistants, such as Alexa, Google Home are perhaps the most illustrative example. But there are other very widespread uses of AI, such as chatbots that we can use for an online claim or a drone that corrects or recommends algorithms in streaming services.

The digital services industry tends to base its operations more and more on artificial intelligence. And to deliver these services you need the network to have scalable bandwidth. 5G meets this requirement and lends another one that is also needed to manage AI. It is about having a delocalized computing capacity to collect and process the growing volume of data that feeds the algorithms. Although this, which is possible thanks to edge computing, leads us to the next challenge.

The deployment of edge computing

Ironically, the trend in recent years has been to move computational processes to the cloud. Because one of the key elements of 5G is in the approach of certain processes to the place where the information is collected. It’s not exactly the same as it was before. If before a company had its own server in a corner of the office, now the services are still hosted in the cloud. But some operations will not have to go through the respective provider’s data center. 5G connectivity in 2022 will deepen the deployment of edge computing.

This formula allows computing systems to be placed in certain telecommunications nodes. In this way, some more pressing processes, which require minimal latency, can be solved practically locally. In artificial intelligence workloads, this technology will help with more efficient data collection and faster processing.

But challenges remain to be resolved in this regard. Edge computing is just getting started. And since it requires a considerable purchase and distribution of infrastructure, it is not easy to accelerate its deployment. In addition, network operations must be redesigned. There will be companies that opt ​​for private 5G networks and perhaps this is where the operators can best test these technical innovations. 5g connectivity in 2022 will provide these opportunities that are still challenges for the telco sector.

Open RAN

In 5G deployments, the leading role turns to Open RAN. This technology allows the use of hardware and software components from different manufacturers in the same access point. Until recently carriers had to rely on one telecommunications equipment supplier entirely to provide the infrastructure for an antenna. This open standard has established ways for products from different manufacturers to understand each other. In this way, it is possible to make deployments cheaper.

5G connectivity in 2022 faces the challenge of advancing in the use of this standard. More work is needed on the technology and promotion of agreements at the industry level, to implement a standard called to facilitate the expansion of 5G.