Ciena Unveils New Capabilities to Help Network Operators Embrace 5G

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Current 4G and future 5G networks require massively agile and scalable wireline networks. To address these performance demands, Ciena has developed innovative 5G Network Solutions to help operators scale their current 4G networks, while simultaneously preparing for the impending evolution toward 5G.

Compared to 4G LTE, 5G is expected to offer 100x faster speeds, 100x more devices, 10x lower latency, and 1000x higher data volumes. This will enable the use of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), mobile broadband, augmented/virtual reality, IoT and many more applications. In turn, it will generate an enormous amount of traffic that needs to be stored, accessed, and moved across the network.

Ciena’s 5G Network Solutions are designed to provide the scale and automation operators need to deliver a superior end-to-end user experience in this environment and usher in a new age of mobile connectivity.

4G and 5G networks will coexist for the foreseeable future and share the same wireline network infrastructure – between cell sites as well as to and from data centers, where accessed content is hosted. As mobile broadband and IoT traffic continues to grow exponentially on these networks, latency, throughput, reliability and security requirements will be extremely demanding, and require more than a simple network upgrade or expansion.

As a foundation of many global 3G and 4G mobile backhaul networks today, Ciena’s innovations are already addressing current demand dynamics on the wireline network. Building on this pedigree, Ciena’s 5G Network Solutions offer an open, scalable design that allows network operators to select best-of-breed products that meet stringent 4G and 5G network performance expectations and adapt to evolving demand characteristics over time.

The solutions are composed of Ciena’s industry-leading Converged Packet Optical (6500 and Waveserver®) and Packet Networking (3900 family, 5100 family, 8700 Packetwave®) platforms – as well as new products and capabilities, including:

New deterministic packet capability that will support 4G/5G converged fronthaul/midhaul networks offering digital radio transport over standards-based Ethernet

New IP functionality that will provide the necessary connectivity features required for IP-based network infrastructures
Programmable Network Slicing capabilities that will allow network operators to logically partition and virtualize network resources from Layer 0 to Layer 3

With Ciena’s 5G Network Solutions, operators also benefit from Ciena’s Blue Planet® Manage, Control and Plan and Multi-Domain Service Orchestration software that provides enhanced network orchestration, analytics, and end-to-end SDN-based network control
Additionally, Ciena’s Design, Deploy, and Manage Professional Services helps maximize network infrastructure investment throughout the entire evolution from 4G to 5G

“With expected 5G performance gains ranging from 1,000 times the volume of data to ten times the reduction in latency, operators need to prepare their end-to-end wireline network now. As the industry leader in coherent optical, edge packet platforms, automation, and multi-domain service orchestration, Ciena is uniquely positioned to support operators through every step of their multi-year journey to a common wireline infrastructure that supports 4G and beyond,” explained, Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Ciena.

Ciena at MWC 2018

Attendees at Mobile World Congress 2018, taking place Feb. 26-March 1, will have an opportunity to see Ciena’s demonstration that shows how operators can leverage intelligent automation and edge computing capabilities for 4G/5G network slicing, one of the most compelling, yet challenging, aspects of 5G networks.

In the demo, multiple logical network slices will be dynamically created to show how operators can support the delivery of separate cloud-based wireless IoT services for low-latency and non-latency sensitive traffic.