Expanding networks and the gigabit society

By Arun Shankar   12 March, 2018
Expanding networks and the gigabit society

Andreas Rüsseler, Chief Marketing Officer, R&M.

The boundaries between networks are disappearing. Local data networks in companies, datacentre networks, cellular phone networks, wide-area networks, and access networks will barely be considered as separate units in future. In the current market outlook, data traffic between all areas is assuming such huge proportions that we need to develop an entirely new and holistic understanding of networking.

We need to ensure there are no longer any bottlenecks between workstations, smartphones, cellular phone antennae, datacentres, the cloud, the Internet of Things, WLAN, intelligent houses, networked cars and machines. This is the only way for smart cities to function successfully.

A significant rise in demand for broadband solutions is therefore expected to continue. The trend is towards a gigabit society. Leading agglomerations and countries will take this path in the medium term and carry out corresponding network installations.

Vendors are seeing this confirmed in market studies and forecasts. Experts at cloud service providers already fear that it may soon no longer be possible to transport the data volumes required. This is where edge datacentres will need to be used to avoid latency and ensure on-site local data availability. Financial companies also need decentralised solutions so that protocols for secure transactions are available more quickly.

According to Cisco, mobile data traffic will reach a magnitude of around 50 Exabytes per month by 2021. Billions of mobile end devices are already permanently connected to the Internet. It is mainly videos that are being transferred and users expect uninterrupted streaming of HD images wherever possible. This trend places high demands on the transfer capacity of even the remotest of cellular phone antennas.

Higher-performance fibre optic cables to base stations are required in backhaul. With the introduction of the 5G standard, demand for highly reliable connectivity is set to rise over the next few years. Datacentres and service providers will have to scale their resources at the same time, in order for dynamic data traffic to continue to flow smoothly.

Bandwidth and connectivity demands must be considered in depth right now, from terminals via POPs to the datacentre, and from the fibre optic infrastructure out in the field to the connectors in the racks of a hyperscale datacentre.

Full-service vendors in the LAN, datacentre, and public networks sectors, develop and assembles the necessary cabling solutions. They design solutions to be modular, scalable, and easy to assemble and maintain. This means providers can react to market requirements quickly and flexibly as needed.

Further examples of trends with similar connectivity needs to mobile data and video streaming include:

# Internet of Things

Billions of sensors, cameras, computers, and control systems will be constantly exchanging data. This requires the mass availability of ambient, cost-effective, and robust network connections.

# Digitalisation and cloud

According to IDC, half of global value creation will be digitised by 2021. If more business and production processes run on a digital, decentralised basis, this will also result in vast data volumes. Any machine that is to be incorporated requires an Internet or LAN connection.

# Mobility

Traffic in megacities with autonomous vehicles, car sharing, and networked public transport systems can be controlled using fast data networks with blanket availability. This means that high-performance network connections need to be in place on a huge scale along the traffic routes.

The trend towards higher-performance connectivity was further reflected in the results of vendor financial year performance. New local data networks are currently being planned primarily for the use of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Slower solutions are gradually dying out. Copper cabling with Cat6A-Class EA or Passive Optical LAN is bringing the transmission capacity required for the future into today’s offices.

More and more functions for smart buildings are also being incorporated into data networks. These include Power over Ethernet to supply end devices with power and LED lighting, for intelligent building demands, surveillance and much more.

The datacentre market is breaking record after record. The hyperscale datacentre sector is experiencing particularly colossal growth. Hyperscale providers are already working with transmission capacities of over 100 Gbps and are aiming for 200 or 400 Gbps.

Finally, carriers are increasingly investing in the FTTx rollout. They are looking for compact, flexible, scalable, and cost-effective cabling solutions for public networks, in order to achieve their aim of blanket fiber optic networks in manageable steps. Governments, service providers and organisations need a keen understanding of the rapid changes in networking and connectivity demands as demands continue to rise.


Key takeaways

  • Data traffic between all areas is assuming such huge proportions that we need to develop an entirely new and holistic understanding of networking.
  • Experts at cloud service providers already fear that it may soon no longer be possible to transport the data volumes required.
  • According to IDC, half of global value creation will be digitised by 2021.
  • As more business and production processes run on a digital, decentralised basis, this will also result in vast data volumes.
  • Any machine that is to be incorporated requires an Internet or LAN connection.
  • Financial companies also need decentralised solutions so that protocols for secure transactions are available more quickly.

Networks of today are fast approaching their points of saturation due to exponential growth in data volumes and need to move to the next level of technologies, explains Andreas Rüsseler at R&M.


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