24 Mar 2021

Demand diversity: the 5G network of networks

We are at a critical juncture in the United Kingdom and globally in changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased reliance on technology on how we live and work impacting enterprises from hospitality to retail to medicine to technology, and beyond. To this end, telecommunications service providers and their vendors are responding to meet changing industry needs for secure, stable networks that are also flexible enough to stay ahead of changing requirements.     

The advent of 5G technology is critical. 3GPP is leading the way in developing standards for a network of networks approach to 5G whereby release 17 will contain both terrestrial and non-terrestrial standards. This will enable 5G and beyond networks to allow telecommunications providers to structure for their enterprise customers networks that make the most sensing using a range of technologies; wired and wireless, and terrestrial and non-terrestrial-based. 

The 5G network of networks will increase network diversity, security and resiliency which is critical for businesses who are facing unprecedented volatility in their operations. As innovations in technologies continue to increase, including even faster data speeds and greater resiliency, the use of multiple technologies to support enterprise networks make clear sense.    

Enterprise networks should be built to withstand future growth and technological advances by diversifying their connectivity and security strategies. Hybrid connectivity options now provide unprecedented cost savings, security, and reliability. Additionally, new technologies such as SASE (secure access server edge) are gaining traction, enabling businesses to be even more confident in their hybrid connectivity strategies. 

As we move into 2021 and beyond, it will become increasingly important for enterprises to focus on keeping their networks secure, scalable, and speedy. As part of this, enterprises will need to be able to support distributed communications networks as workers continue to work remotely.  This means that the need for advanced, high-speed communications will not just be confined to large commercial centres and dormitory towns but can result in connectivity needs anywhere throughout the UK and beyond.    

It would be unrealistic to expect a single technology to support these distributed needs whether because of cost or speed of deployment. Instead, we can expect that enterprises will rely on a 5G network of networks using different technologies to support users that are most appropriate from a cost and requirements perspective. Accordingly, in denser geographies we can expect to see wireline and wireless networks to be relied on, while in less dense areas, satellite and other non-terrestrial networks will play an important role.  

By being flexible and relying on the wealth of technologies supporting 5G, enterprises can be sure their 5G telecommunications networks meet the evolving needs of their workforce and customers. 

Guest blog by Jennifer A. Manner, Head, Regulatory Affairs, Hughes Europe. Follow Hughes Europe on Twitter and LinkedIn. Jennifer sits on the Communications Infrastructure and Services Council, as well as leads on techUK's work on rural connectivity on the 5G Ecosystem Working Group

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