[Cigref report] 5G: Preparations and opportunities – 5G’s influence on architectures

24 août 2020 | ACTUALITÉS, Cigref in english, Publications du Cigref

The English version of the Cigref report « 5G : Anticipation et opportunités – Influence de la 5G sur les architectures » is now available. This report is the result of the reflections of its working group « Influence of 5G on architectures », led by Thierry Borgel, Director S.I. & digital at Icade.

5G, the fifth generation of mobile telephone standards, is replacing 4G, which is still being rolled out in France as of 2019 in addition to the existing 2G and 3G mobile networks. 2G allowed telephones to slip into people’s pockets, 3G added the Internet, and 4G offered greater speed. 5G has been designed to satisfy the growing needs for ever-faster communications between individuals, but also to serve society’s major economic sectors from the start. 5G allows us to connect cars, cities, and factories to the network.

Cigref offers its sincerest thanks to the participants of the various workshops : Didier Berthoumieux – Nokia; Sara Bertoglio – Arcep; Jean-Pierre Bienaimé – 5G Infrastructure Association; Véronique Demilly – France Télévisions; Maxime Forest – Arcep; Alain Maloberti – NGMN; Laurent Moquet – Samsung; Toby Redshaw – Verizon; Christian Régnier – AIR FRANCE KLM. Cigref also offers its warmest thanks to the students of Télécom Paris Tech, Pierre Bernat, Robinson Bonnard, Lucas Ohnheiser and Jean Parvillers, for their study into the networks currently in place within the interviewed companies and the way in which 5G could improve or replace them in the near future or offer new use cases, as well as Laure Muselli, lecturer at the SES department at Télécom Paris Tech for supporting these students.

Connecting multiple technologies

5G offers several new characteristics, such as guaranteed very-high speeds and low latency that will revolutionise use cases and markets. Therefore, 5G is a technological breakthrough over previous generations. For some, this breakthrough is seen as an industrial revolution: 5G connects several technologies (cloud computing, artificial intelligence, IoT -Internet of things- and virtual/augmented reality) that will feed into each other to better meet customers’ new expectations and future market challenges.

For the first time, there is an international standard on which everyone on every continent agrees. It will allow us to offer seamless products and services on a global scale by harmonising frequency bands at the international level.

Strengthening the competitiveness of enterprises

5G’s main objective is to make companies more competitive by allowing for incremental and breakthrough innovations through the development of new business models. Therefore, companies must think strategically to identify the value that 5G can bring to their business. The purpose of this report is to help employees better understand what 5G is and what its potential is so they can contribute to this strategy’s development.

To get a better understanding of 5G’s opportunities, companies and their ecosystems are working with carriers, co-building use cases and testing them with proofs of concept (PoCs) and proofs of value (PoVs). Businesses are building up their technical know-how so they can maximise the gains 5G offers their business. Better understanding 5G’s possibilities for their businesses and identifying use cases allow businesses to guide operators and OEMs in their strategic choices (by implementing certain features in their equipment, for example) and weigh in on the standards chosen to harmonise the features they need.

The role of ISD

IT departments have several roles to play in 5G. First, researching and testing use cases with a view to their industrialisation but also anticipating a modular architecture that will make it easier to implement them. Depending on the importance of connectivity to their businesses, companies must rethink their network strategy and decide whether to make or buy.Companies can choose to co-build new use cases with telecoms operators or to operate them themselves, either becoming a mobile virtual network operator or a mobile network operator themselves, subject to frequency ability or attribution directly to industry. Finally, to make the most of 5G, talent in-house or in the ecosystem will make all the difference in implementing 5G and supporting its rollout.

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