By – Mr. Parag Naik, Co-Founder & CEO, Saankhya Labs
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing to create mayhem in the lives of individuals as well as businesses. In order to contain the spread of the virus, companies have extended work from home with an aim to keep their employees safe, while the government on its part has also been reinforcing lockdowns in various states. In such times, technology has been the greatest pillar of support to mitigate disruptions in operations, which has led to a tremendous acceleration in the adoption of different technologies over the last year.
As technological innovations continue to gain momentum, here are some technologies that will remain crucial and are redefining the new normal:
Open RAN Based 5G Deployments
The economics of 5G are compelling network operators to deploy virtualised, multi-vendor solutions which can help augment infrastructure investments. Open RAN is set to define the future of 5G expansion by making the architecture more dynamic in terms of vendor choice and software upgradability. Many companies across the world are working towards developing an Open RAN based cognitive scalable 5G RAN solution which includes Multi-Band Remote Radio Units with advanced analytics capabilities and a RAN Intelligent Controller platform. In the long run, Open RAN will enable companies to source hardware and software from different vendors for developing their networks, and help in promoting an open interoperable network market.
“IT-Fication” of Telecom Networks Through Virtualisation and Disaggregation
There is an increased drive to shift towards more open and disaggregated “cloud-based” networks and a general virtualisation or IT-fication of the network. The telecom network design is at an inflection point from the technology as well as geopolitical point of view which has led to this swift transition. This will drastically change the telecom service provider network and allow operators to build a new ecosystem of vendors that is agile and responsive. With the implementation of virtualisation, operators can enhance the 5G network architectural and functional viability, as well as allow reduced capital expenditure and better agility.
Shared and Unlicensed Spectrum Usage for Private Networks
With the dawn of 5G era, the cellular communications industry is going through a ground-breaking transformation, which is driven by technological innovations, regulatory policy liberalisation and revolutionary business models. One vital aspect of this radical revolution is the increasing adoption of shared and unlicensed spectrum in which frequencies are not exclusively licensed to a single mobile operator. Such initiatives are catalysing the rollout of shared spectrum LTE and 5G NR networks for a diverse array of use cases ranging from private cellular networks for enterprises and vertical industries to mobile network densification and neutral host infrastructure. Mobile operators and other cellular ecosystem stakeholders are also seeking to tap into vast swaths of globally and regionally harmonised unlicensed spectrum bands for the operation of 3GPP technologies.
Convergence of Broadband and Broadcast Networks
There has been a sweeping rise of video consumption platforms which has led to the overburdening of networks. In order to avert network congestion and enhance users’ experiences, communication platforms must opt for 5G broadcast, an innovative solution based on a converged Broadband and Broadcast networks. This innovative data transmission solution will provide an enriching experience to users across devices while streaming, ease out on the network congestion, provide a smart data pipe for content, help to monetise the broadcast spectrum and offer live streaming on-the-go without the need of data caps.
Satellite Broadband and IoT Networks
Satellite based IoT solutions is the next game changing technological evolution and the low-cost, low-power, global connectivity offered by satellites is fuelling the growth this sector. SDR based satellite IoT and communication solutions enable secure and reliable satellite based connectivity in remote locations. Satellite networks ensure global broadband coverage thereby allowing for IoT to be provided in remote locations terrestrials cannot access either due to cost restrains or terrain, including the sea, air, or any other unconnected locations. In the absence of network connectivity, satellite communication solutions can be deployed to send and receive data from a central control location.