5G is coming on-stream, fast

Article By : BICS

Here's how Mikaël Schachne, CMO and VP of Mobility and IoT at BICS, is overseeing the evolution of next-gen connectivity for enterprises and operators.

The GSMA predicts that by 2025, 5G will account for 20% of global mobile connections1.

This new generation connectivity standard, with its incredible low latency, high reliability, speed and flexibility, is set to be revolutionary. Realizing ubiquitous 5G will provide an infinite number of benefits for consumers, business, and all manner of organizations relying on person-to-person, application-to-person, or machine-to-machine communication.

Through our role at the heart of the communications ecosystem, BICS is bridging the services of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the needs of enterprises so that the full 5G potential can be harnessed by all.

When considering 5G rollout, it’s important to differentiate between Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA). At the moment NSA rollouts largely mean that the power of 5G is being realized at the radio level only, while relying on existing 4G core infrastructure. Operators across the globe however are in the midst of launching virtualized 5G cores.


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For 5G to truly flourish and support the greater number use-cases, the right intercontinental and international roaming capabilities will need to be developed and deployed. We’re helping to make that happen: BICS was the first to launch intercontinental 5G roaming between Europe and Asia, and recently launched a 5G SA Lab to provide a test environment for enterprises and MNOs.

The great industrial enabler

Whilst consumers will undoubtedly enjoy a better data experience for all their services, even greater benefits are set to be realized by a 5G-enabled IoT and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). As solution providers and hardware manufactures look increasingly to employ 5G within their offerings, they’ll deliver radical transformation and automation, and drive the evolution of Industry 4.0.

The greater speeds and ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) will enable real-time control of devices and manufacturing process, regardless of their location within the network. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications for instance, which sees data exchanged between robotic infrastructure and devices, will remove the need for human intervention. This will help fast-track processes, reduce waste, and optimize operations.

The emergence of mobile private networks

There is currently a great deal of interest in mobile private networks that utilize 4G and 5G technologies. These set-ups – well suited to restricted locations and areas such as airports, seaports, large manufacturing or warehouse sites – are capable of managing all the devices and business processes happening within those areas in a high-quality, reliable and very secured manner. IPX will also be there as an enabler to support the bridging and interoperability between the private and public mobile networks.

Given the number of moving parts, applications and devices, 5G will be of huge benefit here. One alternative – and often the current source of connectivity in those locations – is Wi-Fi, which does not deliver URLCC, high bandwidth, or reliability.

Our IPX solutions ensure connectivity within any private environment. Equally as important is ensuring connectivity from the private environment to the outside world. As such, we have the routing, signaling, roaming infrastructure and relationships to ensure, people, planes, ships, cargo, or any type of connected device can pass through different network environments whilst maintaining connectivity.

Connecting to the cloud and back

We have a global footprint and a fully owned, managed network, meaning we are in the driving seat of the reliability that 5G requires. We also bridge the largest community of mobile operators and MVNOs with the digital environment of internet players, cloud communication providers and enterprise IoT players, including equipment manufacturers.

It’s thanks to this approach that we’re able to ensure all connectivity needs are seamlessly addressed and each of the elements in the overall ecosystem can effectively conduct their business. One group of stakeholders within this ecosystem – as mentioned above – are particularly important: cloud communication providers.

5G applications will likely rely on cloud infrastructure. The hyperscalers such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google continue to invest heavily in their cloud infrastructure and as such, enterprises are increasingly turning to them to host their services and applications, to take advantage of a wide range of benefits, including economies of scale.

Enterprises will have to connect their sites to these cloud environments, with a solution that bypasses the risk of using public internet to do so. For applications such as a connected factory, the connection to the cloud must deliver the highest security between cloud and premise, providing consistent quality and lowest latency.

BICS is addressing this need with our Cloud Connect service, connecting businesses to the cloud on a private connection separate from the public internet. This ensures secure, reliable network performance even for low-latency applications.

Whether it’s delivering an optimum roaming experience for mobile users or providing the connectivity for Industry 4.0 applications, the benefits of 5G are undeniable. To deliver its full value, BICS is helping both enterprises and operators realize its potential by bridging the ecosystem and connecting all of the communities involved.

[1] https://www.gsma.com/newsroom/press-release/gsma-intelligence-shares-global-mobile-trends-2021/

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