Where should cloud service providers go in the 5G era

On October 31, 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the three major operators officially announced the launch of 5G services, and China officially entered the 5G commercial era.

5G technology has improved data transmission bandwidth and speed, and increased the scale of equipment access. This means greater system capacity, which means an alarming increase in data traffic, and a larger core network is needed to adapt to it. Dr. Zhang Xia, chief cloud strategy consultant for AWS, told China Economic Herald that in the 4G era, core networks usually use dedicated hardware. Entering the 5G era, just as the corporate network has undergone a transformation from dedicated servers to X86 server virtualization and cloud computing , the core network of data communications has also entered the era of virtualization, replacing general-purpose hardware with X86 servers and other general-purpose equipment.

If you use cloud computing to build the core network directly, it will be more convenient, faster, and lower cost. Because there is already a considerable amount of cloud infrastructure in the world, it can be used on demand and the scale can be expanded and reduced. Zhang Xia introduced, In the United States, a company called Affirmed Networks provided a solution to build a core network on AWS and won a product innovation award. Transatel is a French mobile virtual network provider / integrator that provides commercial IoT connectivity technology in the United States, Western Europe and Japan. It was just acquired by NTT Communications Group this year. Using Affirmed Networks industry-leading, AWS-based Internet-scale mobile core network solution will rewrite industry rules, said Baterand Salomon, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Transatel.

The reason why the industry rules are rewritten is because there is such a solution. Without the large-scale infrastructure investment of traditional operators, an operator-level core network can be established, and it can be scaled according to user scale according to needs . Zhang Xia also introduced a company called Athonet, which is based on the edge network formed by 5G and cloud computing, which can be said to be another disruptive innovation. Athonet provides users with locally deployed Athonet edge nodes. Users can use Athonet edge nodes to build their own edge networks based on 5G networks.

ThoAthonet edge nodes are connected to AWS and managed by AWS. The Athonet edge node powers the local LTE base station group, and allows all traffic in the edge network to be routed locally and inside the firewall. This can reduce latency, reduce network jitter ( the network will not flicker), and increase security. It is also more economical and supports demanding edge computing scenarios. Edge networks can connect to AWS for more complex functions such as authentication, mobility, and roaming.

The disruption of the above two technologies is that if the issue of access is not considered, or where the operator does not have coverage, companies can set up their own networks. Zhang Xia believes that if there is a problem of access, it can also be licensed Of operators provide such services for enterprises.

Any kind of network is not a panacea, and 5G is no exception. According to Zhang Xia, in some occasions with very large data or network coverage, 5G may be powerless. At this time, special edge computing needs to be considered. Edge computing is similar to the Internet of Things in that network connection may not be real-time, and some computing processing needs to be performed on the end side, and then the processed results are synchronized to the cloud. They differ in that the computing power of edge computing is often more powerful than IoT devices.

According to Zhang Xia, AWS currently has three cloud services that support edge computing. The first is Amazon Snowball Edge, a data migration device for AWS. It is a portable device that is equipped with powerful storage capabilities and strong computing capabilities, and supports cloud services such as storage and computing. In ships, windmills, and remote factories, where there is no network connection, it can use a large number of Efficient data migration to the cloud. The second is AWS Outpost, which can be deployed where there is no network connection, supports most of AWS cloud services, and can be deployed in the enterprise s own data center or hosting computer room. The third is Amazon Ground Station, a unique satellite ground station service of AWS. It can be located at the AWS cloud data center, that is, the edge of the AWS global backbone network. It receives data from specific customers through a satellite network and transmits it to the nearby AWS cloud data center for processing.

According to the McKinsey report, by 2020, communication service providers will generate up to 44ZB of data for 5G and IoT applications. These data can be processed in a timely and effective manner only through big data storage and analysis based on cloud computing, and data analysis methods using artificial intelligence deep learning. AWS has developed a large number of cloud services in big data analysis and machine learning, which greatly reduces the technical threshold of big data analysis and machine learning and improves work efficiency. It can be said that AWS has penetrated into all aspects of IT infrastructure services in the 5G era. Zhang Xia said.

At present, China s cloud computing market can be described as a leader. Zhang Xia believes that cloud computing service providers must be at the forefront of cloud computing acceleration capabilities, AIoT (Artificial Intelligence Internet of Things) capabilities, and edge computing capabilities to be able to compete in this feast of 5G.

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