Networks Europe Jul-Aug 2019 - Page 25

THE DATA CENTRE OF TOMORROW By Caroline Puygrenier, Director Strategy & Business Development, Connectivity, Interxion How the arrival of 5G networks and related services will affect data centres in the near future 5G has well and truly arrived. Last month we saw EE launch the UK’s first 5G service, with other UK operators hot on its heels and planning to switch on next-generation 5G services in the next couple of months. Across the pond, major US operators have also announced plans for 5G networks, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. Samsung even announced its first 5G-compatible handset at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The potential benefits that 5G will bring have been well documented in recent years. The technology promises to dramatically improve data speeds, increase network bandwidth, reduce latency and facilitate next-generation technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). However, despite all the hype, it’s still in its infancy. For many operators and enterprises alike, it remains uncharted territory. Network and infrastructure readiness have been concerns for a number of years throughout the testing phase of 5G, and they remain pain points. As a result, many businesses within the telco value chain are turning to data centre providers as they prepare for the onset of 5G services. In fact, according to research by Moors Insights & Strategy, by 2025, 56% of 5G infrastructure expenditure will be related to data centres. So, what role will data centres play in the rollout of 5G networks? How are traditional data centre providers already adapting to support this new wireless technology? And what will the data centre of the future look like once 5G has been rolled out en masse? The need for speed and capacity 5G will almost certainly throw the IoT, AI, autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality into mainstream use. It has the potential to transform vertical sectors, from manufacturing to healthcare, and make smart cities a reality. However, these new 5G-enabled applications and connected devices will create a tsunami of data. Much of this data will be processed and stored in the cloud and, as a result, will require high-speed and secure connections. In fact, 5G networks will require up to 100 times more bandwidth than their 4G counterparts. For applications like remote surgery and autonomous vehicles to become a reality, a denser networking infrastructure is required. This infrastructure needs to be able to handle enormous amounts of data transport, storage and processing at high gigabit speeds to minimise latency. Many current 4G LTE networks aren’t yet up to the task and will need to be 'rearchitected' to handle the exponential 25