5G unleashes advantages in network management

The new 5G mobile communications standard is expressly designed for the requirements of industry. Numerous features have either been incorporated or are scheduled for future releases, addressing the requirements of various industries. These include energy-saving capabilities, positioning technology, security enhancement measures, network virtualization, and equivalents to Quality of Service (QoS).

This offers significant advantages for users, and these benefits become even more pronounced as more of these functions are needed. Users can save a considerable amount of integration work by accessing existing network functions instead of using additional tools and services. This eliminates issues with interface configurations, various management interfaces or dashboards, and the need for compatibility tests or optimisation runs.

Of course, the first question in every project is whether 5G is actually the right technology for the planned use cases. Latency, bandwidth and node density are important factors, but so are issues such as physical coverage in difficult environments, such as harbours and shipyards, or when exceptional demands are placed on the reliability of network connections, such as in the medical sector. If the mobile radio standard is generally considered in this context, it is essential to take into account which functions are already integrated or would otherwise have to be retrofitted when comparing costs with other alternatives.

Example positioning

If a customer is interested in 5G and raises the topic of positioning, they may receive the following response from a consultant: "Positioning tasks can also be solved differently, just as well and even cheaper." Similar statements can also be found for other topics. According to Peter Hofbauer, Sales Development Manager at Xantaro Germany, these are reasons to engage in a market for which you currently lack the appropriate solution in your portfolio.

On the other hand, he also sees advantages in the integration of diverse functions in 5G. This is because the IT teams are often already filled with extensive standard tasks. New network installations that involve a whole series of subsystems create unnecessary burdens. In his experience, the new mobile communications technology offers a platform that causes little effort during operation and therefore provides relief - always assuming that 5G is the right technology for the tasks at hand. It should also not be overestimated, Hofbauer strongly recommends. 5G should always be seen as a supplement to the company network, not as a replacement, for example to completely replace a WLAN installation.

Another example is network slicing, which makes it possible to operate virtual networks with different characteristics under 5G. According to Hofbauer, service level agreements (SLAs) can be set much more granularly here than, for example, a quality of service configuration in the WLAN. In addition, the settings can be made independently for each network, which makes management even easier.

However, other aspects also come into play in the when it comes to positioning. For example, the minimum requirements for positioning accuracy may not yet be sufficient for some use cases in the 5G-R15 release currently in use and in 5G-R16, which is just arriving on the market. With the subsequent releases R17 and R18, the requirements for positioning accuracy will increase.

According to Hofbauer, however, the Nokia technology used by Xantaro is already much more advanced in this respect and far exceeds the requirements of the current release. It is therefore clear to him: "If you need positioning in the range of centimetres instead of metres, there is no way around 5G." Corresponding applications are not only working in the Nokia lab, but already in practice. For example, an airline checks that maintenance is carried out correctly by flying drones around the aircraft automatically and recording the exact position of the rivets. This means that fewer personnel are required and the process is completed in less time.

Leading in management

Continuing his explanation, Peter Hofbauer highlights that, following a comprehensive assessment of available solutions, a choice was made in favor of Nokia technology. This decision allows the company to provide a solution based on a standardised platform, making it easy to manage. According to Hofbauer, the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC) provides a console that allows a complete overview of a 5G campus network, for example, and provides information on statuses, problems and bottlenecks.

Ultimately, the customer wants high efficiency in network operation, as there is enormous potential for savings here. This is an important advantage of the system: the complexity of the 5G network is easier to manage and the demands on the expertise of the IT administrators are not as high. At the same time, NDAC provides the necessary interfaces to access the system remotely from outside. In this way, customers who want to operate their network completely themselves can be satisfied, as can those who want to partially access managed services or place the operation completely in the hands of Xantaro. The network service provider, with expertise at the carrier level, extends support to Nokia by offering both first and second-level support in this manner.

This allows each company to select the optimal operator model based on the available resources. There are customers who do not want to let anyone from outside into their own network and are building up the necessary expertise to operate their 5G campus network completely on their own. Then there are customers who don't want to burden themselves with this but want to concentrate entirely on their own core business - and all the nuances in between.


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Xantaro Deutschland GmbH
Xantaro's team of experts consists of highly qualified professionals from various disciplines who research the latest trends in the network technology industry with passion and expertise.

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