[eBrief]  The New Haul: How 5G Traffic will be Transported

The allure of 5G is obvious: Dramatically faster speeds and significant boosts to network capacity and performance. And not surprisingly, much of the industry’s focus has been on the wireless RAN portion of the 5G system. But to make 5G successful, network providers will need to make an equally important investment into their network transport systems.

Operators may need to address everything from optical to microwave to fronthaul to backhaul to core in order to effectively transport all the bits and bytes users may demand from their forthcoming 5G connections. Also, operators will likely need to make corresponding investments into their orchestration and management technologies, including SDN and NFV, in order add the necessary flexibility that this change will require.

This situation raises a range of questions: What kinds of traffic hauling and transporting systems should network operators target as they move to 5G? What kinds of costs might they incur in the process? And what kinds of network techniques, designs and technologies should 5G carriers expect to implement, both now and in the future, as they move toward 5G?

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