The telecommunications market is undergoing radical change. A key driver is the new 5G mobile communications standard. 5G is not just a new standard, but a revolution because it will take the performance of mobile communications to a whole new level. 5G also opens up completely new services and business models that cover all industries and thus influence society as a whole.
The development is rapid. For the year 2025, 1.2 billion 5G connections are already forecast worldwide.
A mobile communication network that can cope with these future scenarios has to be extremely powerful. Estimates are for data rates from 10 Gbit/s for uploading and 20 Gbit/s for downloading. This is many times faster than the current 4G expansion stage LTE Advanced (up to 1 Gbit/s for uploading, and up to 4 Gbit/s for downloading). Latency in a 5G network, that is, the time it takes for information to reach the recipient from the sender, should be a maximum of one millisecond.
The lowest latency and extremely fast data rates are based on new technology: Compared to four transmitting and receiving units in a current Deutsche Telekom LTE antenna, in a 5G network there will be 64 transmitting and receiving units. This will provide much better mobile coverage for users and the network will be more tightly knit, which also means connectivity will be more stable.
All of this is only possible with a 5G data network that is served by the computational power of edge data centers close to the antennas that can analyze, process, and administer the data. Edge serves as a decentralized IT system that operates close to the IoT or mobile communication hub.
Edge data centers contribute to the increased intelligence of the networks as the newest generation are software-defined networks (SDN) and can use machine-learning algorithms to adjust as necessary. For example, networks can react to peak demand at certain times with additional capacity.