5G officially made it to Gartner’s hype cycle in 2017 and it promises more than just faster wireless Internet – from connecting billions of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, to enabling self-driving cars, to delivering more reliable and secure wireless broadband, 5G is key to a smart connected world of the future. On the other hand, 5G involves a new Radio Access Network (RAN) architecture that involves 10 times as many cell sites, known as 5G densification. In turn, each of these 10s of thousands of cell sites require multi-gigabit, highly-reliable front-haul or back-haul connectivity.

In a recent UBB2020 webinar, Ryan McCowan of ADTRAN and Gabriel Brown of Light Reading outlined the new RAN architectures of 5G and front-haul and backhaul access requirements. In particular, Ryan pointed to emerging 10 Gigabit Passive Optical Network (10G PON) standards that provide cost-effective alternatives to traditional Point-to-Point (P2P) cellular backhaul technologies. In the webinar, Ryan had a few key points worth noting:

  • Investing in fiber access networks is critical to 5G success, and NG-PON2 is emerging as the front-runner among 10G PON technologies
  • NG-PON2 offers the advantages of scale, capacity, availability and latency to meet 5G densification requirements
  • NG-PON2 is one of the foundational elements as service providers’ transition to Software-Defined Access (SD-Access) networks that will define the future network

I’d encourage you to check to out the webinar in its entirety on UBB2020’s website.