By Michael Harkrider, Vice President of Network Solutions
As the advent of ubiquitous 5G connectivity is quickly approaching, many wireless providers are already rolling out trials across the nation to ensure they are positioned to meet the impending excitement and demand for faster, more robust mobile services. Look no further than major carriers Verizon and T-Mobile, each of whom recently made significant announcements about plans to extend their 5G network footprints over the course of 2018. These plans include further implementation of advanced millimeter wave technology and expanded market coverage, both of which demonstrate their commitment to providing widespread 5G enablement.
Nationwide access to 5G connectivity is also a harbinger of an entirely new wave of technological advancement, namely the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) as it evolves into the Internet of Everything (IoE). Wireless enablement is no longer limited to smartphones and tablets; now, devices in even the most unexpected places are enabled for network connectivity, including refrigerators and thermostats in the home and traffic lights and garbage cans in the public sphere. In fact, Gartner predicts that 21 billion connected devices will be in use by 2020, rising from 6.4 billion in 2016.
A Transformative Technology
The speeds 5G promises will put mobile connectivity on par with wireline connections, providing nearly real-time communications and connectivity. In lab settings, 5G has shown the potential to be exponentially faster than current 4G networks. While we don’t yet know exactly how fast 5G will prove to be, it’s clear we don’t even fully understand exactly how increased wireless speeds will revolutionize how we interact with and consume mobile connectivity.
As a result, enterprises and consumers across the nation are demanding even more access to bandwidth in order to run any number of applications. Whether that means ensuring the reliability of critical cloud applications while working outside of the office or keeping the streets safe with real-time traffic reports for autonomous vehicles, 5G speeds will be a game-changer. Both our professional and personal lives will be transformed!
In order to truly drive 5G evolution, wireless technologies must become even more robust. Flexible wireless backhaul infrastructure between cell towers, small cells, and Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) are fundamental elements of the widespread adoption and availability of 5G connectivity. As these technologies are deployed within a growing number of markets across the U.S. and around the world, they will require advanced fiber networks capable of delivering low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnectivity.
The 5G footprint will also expand its network reach into a host of new and underserved locations, proving to be drastically more ubiquitous than existing 4G network architecture. With more than 1.9 million miles of dense fiber optic infrastructure already installed throughout rapidly growing metro markets, FiberLight is well equipped to engineer unique connectivity options designed to support impending 5G technology deployments. With rich fiber infrastructure in one of the largest U.S. states, FiberLight supplies wireless providers with reliable connectivity at the most fundamental level. 5G is coming even sooner than many expected, and we stand at the ready to enable the transition.