Why 5G is a game changer for businesses

GUEST COLUMN

Qualcomm research suggests that every year an investment of $200 billion will be made in 5G technology space, which would yield economic output worth $12.3 trillion globally by 2035.  It also predicts that there would be 22 million jobs in the 5G field by then. Because of such opportunities, the demand is increasing for telecom engineers who are 5G-ready.

When the world is 5G-ready, it will have an impact not only on telecommunications but consumers, cellular tower companies, connected device makers, network equipment suppliers, besides media companies, as it will bring about the convergence of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data, etc.

Significant changes that 5G will bring about include facilitating video content of high-quality on mobile devices, such as virtual reality and 3D.  It will also improve the scope of applications that the Internet of Things (IoT) can offer. In addition to consumer products, 5G will enable connecting IoT to supply-chain coordination, industrial agriculture, and city traffic flow. This technology is also expected to reduce the network latency, or break, to just one millisecond as against 20 to 50 milliseconds in 4G, enabling almost real-time communication.

The most critical change 5G wireless technology will bring about in telecom will be blurring the divide between wireline and wireless networking, which will help embrace the exponential growth of mobility of people who use networks. It must be reiterated here that it won’t, however, unite them both.

The advent of 5G wireless technology will ring in benefits, as broadband speeds would be very high and the shared wired and wireless infrastructure would strengthen. Above all, it will bring under the same roof wireline, wireless, and satellite services.
Included in 5G wireless technology would be 4G combined with new radio access technologies, mostly in higher frequencies. It will transform the mobile network space.

With network slicing, a feature of 5G, it would be possible to disconnect sensor-control networks from other wireless users, which would pave the way for securing IoT.

The future in 5G networks landscape

After the advent of 5G wireless networks, businesses will have the capability to provide improved services to clients owing to faster data transfer speeds. As applications of businesses will be able to accommodate more data to move in and move out, they will have the capacity to accomplish more than one can imagine. It will, in turn, enable technologies of businesses to be more dynamic for people who are working remotely, as they would depend on mobile technology, enabling them to be more efficient.

Businesses will be in a position to support large projects more conveniently, as well, as a result of more productive digital conferences. This technology will also support IoT technologies much better without burdening an organization’s bandwidth.
Importantly, 5G networks will let businesses across the board to profit more. It will facilitate banks and other financial institutions to process transactions faster and let companies transfer information in quick time.

It safely can be averred that all businesses embracing 5G technologies will see their productivity improving. A win-win situation will emerge for all organizations embracing 5G, as their overheads would reduce and, in the bargain, lead to a handsome increase in their bottom lines.

The other advantages that will accrue from 5G would be the better administration of smart cities, as their administrators will clearly understand how their resources will be used. Meanwhile, it will allow people to transfer their computing assignments from their devices on to their networks. It would help users to free up space on their devices.  Furthermore, new technologies like virtual reality will get a shot-in-the-arm because of lower network latency and high speeds.

According to GSMA, a London-based trade body representing the interests of mobile operators globally, the United States will pioneer 5G technology, as it started commercializing it before any other country. It also states in its report, ‘The 5G Era in the US’, that by 2023 America will be home to 100 million 5G connections and 190 million by 2025.

The gig economy’s workforce will rise with the adoption of 5G technology. To hire freelancers from telecom industry in that backdrop, you would require a facilitator who would provide just that. 5G wireless technology fits that description to a T, as it has 35,000 engineers with 700 skillsets from 168 countries.

 

Krishna Reddy is a Staff Author at FieldEngineer.com, a Marketplace for On-Demand telecom workforce, ranging from field engineers to high-level network engineers, project managers and Network Architects in 162 countries. He is a Computer Science Graduate. Krishna understands the ongoing technology trends and keeps himself updated in the technology industry.

Population changes a digital driver in regional Australia

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By Ben Cowling, Chief Operating Officer (ANZ), Civica

Population growth is an increasingly hot topic in Australia. Questions swirl around the infrastructure investment needed to ensure our cities are best equipped to handle the demand they face. While a rise in people living in Australia’s metropolitan areas is driving a debate on government investment, other population dynamics are doing the same in regional areas.

The drift towards urban centres and a corresponding drop in resident numbers and subsequent rate payers has left some councils struggling for resources – both financial and human – and in need of greater cost efficiencies.

Despite areas of growth thanks to relocation of international migrants, almost 30 per cent of Australia’s 550 local government regions were suffering from a fall in population in 2018, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This is a big reason why some Regional councils are, contrary to popular assumptions, driving strong demand for digital investment within the public sector.

Another motivation is simplifying processes. With fewer residents in their municipalities, and a smaller pool of skilled people to deliver government services, councils are also under pressure to ensure internal systems are intuitive. By focusing on employee’s ease of use, councils can not only improve employee experience and boost productivity – all the more critical when you have fewer resources – they can also reduce their training burden for new staff.

Importantly, smarter, digital systems, help workers spend less time on internal administrative duties and more time on higher value work that makes a real difference to citizen outcomes. Technology like our CarelinkGo mobile app, for example, has increased the effectiveness of community care workers in the field through improved access to essential information including rosters and patient care notes on the go.

Ninety three percent of the 200 local councils we surveyed for our ‘Changing Landscape’ report series, in conjunction with the Institute for Public Policy and Governance and the University of Technology Sydney, felt mobile compatibility should be a key feature of their digital resources, for both employees and rate payers.

Proximity and accountability

The urgency behind this digital push is increased by the fact that local governments are in many ways under more immediate pressure to demonstrate accountability and value than federal agencies. They’re in charge of services that we see and touch every day – our rubbish bins, sporting grounds and parking permits.

A mixed bag

Many government agencies are still only beginning their digital transformation journey. As highlighted in our ‘Changing Landscape’ report series, there’s a fair bit of variability among councils in terms of their understanding of the challenges they face, the opportunities that exist to deal with them, and their readiness to tackle the next steps.

Around five to ten per cent of councils we interact with can be said to be leading the charge. A significant number are just starting to understand the opportunities and challenges. And some are yet to get started; focusing limited time, skill, or budget on roads and infrastructure.

Starting the journey

Councils who are getting the best results in their transformation journeys often begin by talking and listening to those they are trying to better serve – local residents. They’re engaging with constituents to find out more about their current perception of their work, as well as their priority issues, and their expectations around improvements.

With an increasing awareness of the importance of constituent satisfaction, councils like Rockingham in Western Australia are implementing customer satisfaction surveys to garner citizens’ feedback on their delivery of these facilities and services. As described in our ‘Changing Landscape’ report, ‘Co-design: different ideas from a different voice’, which surveyed local government professionals representing more than 30 councils across Australia and New Zealand, most jurisdictions now require local governments to consult with their communities when developing long term plans.

Where possible, the most successful councils are using this input to co-design solutions, with end users and service designers coming together throughout the process to produce outcomes that will benefit user’s lives.

Learning from Others

An advantage for government bodies, including Councils, is that they can collaborate with other councils and agencies who are in the same boat. Those councils who have yet to progress far along their digital transformation journey can gain more clarity from understanding the successes and mistakes of their peers elsewhere.

If skills are a challenge, there’s help at hand. Fortunately, we’ve seen a growing trend of skilled technology professionals moving out of the private, corporate sector, into Council roles. They’re bringing their knowledge and experience of digital transformation in the corporate sector into the public.

For those organisations who have yet to benefit from an influx of such skills, or who lack the resources to bring them in-house, external partners, such as Civica, can help you determine where you can get the greatest bang for your buck in your digital transformation investments and what your roadmap for getting there might look like.

Just as Australia’s population won’t stand still, the digital imperative marches on. The earlier you can start adapting, the better for all involved.

 

GOING BEYOND THE SD-WAN HYPE IN ASIA: THE EARLY EVANGELISTS

By Dipesh Ranjan, APAC Head, NetFoundry

Businesses in Asia Pacific (APAC) are actively considering increasing their investments in networking technologies based on the cloud.

In a study by technology analyst firm IDC they claimed that worldwide SD-WAN infrastructure and services revenues will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6%, to reach $8.05bn in 2021. That is an impressive figure.

IDC says that in Southeast Asia, almost 56% of organisations have already deployed, or are planning to deploy, SD-WAN. Almost 30% of those surveyed singled out the policy-based control and WAN optimisation capabilities of SD-WAN as top drivers for implementing the technology.

IDC Asia-Pacific says that most WAN traffic today – to and from branch and remote sites – is destined for the cloud on either hosted applications or public cloud.

It’s not surprising, since the old-fashioned WAN was designed to start at branch level and end at the datacenter and was never designed to support the sheer complexity of clouddriven traffic. IDC pointed out in their survey that organisations which are still using traditional networks are facing major challenges on performance and operational difficulties.

The network node has to support vast numbers of new applications and massively growing business units as organisations expand, diversify and respond to the new problems and workloads such as the Internet of things (IoT).

However, most of APAC CIOs and CTOs feel that SD-WAN has been overhyped and that it’s not yet solving top networking issues such as deploying applications to the cloud, hybrid cloud set-ups and Industrial IoT devices in way that is on demand and gremlin-free.

While the IaaS market has been growing due to its ability to provision resources quickly, the network as we know it is losing out. Netfoundry addresses this problem by helping enterprises to deploy zero-trust application specific networks across multi-cloud and multi-edge environments.

NetFoundry has been able to move beyond the traditional SD-WAN formula and has innovated a cloud-native platform which gives clients not only the ability to instantly connect a fully software-only application-based networks in cloud and IoT ecosystems but also to achieve 3 to 5 times higher performance on their underlay network. For example, NetFoundry can provision Internet with 5 layers of security built in to keep enterprises safe from DDoS attacks while connecting them to any provider, such as AWS or AZURE, from anywhere, anytime using any underlay internet provider.

Many organisations still have a naïve belief in their traditional technology and either the fear of failure, or lack of imagination, drives them away from adoption of software-defned network technology. Early evangelists are few and far between but they are reaping the benefits of the new networking paradigm and will shape the future of APAC networking in the same way that it transformed the cloud-scape over last decade.

Dave UlmerHead of Digital, MD Pictures, the leading Indonesian movie production company said: “As one of the largest film production companies in ASIA, MD pictures was looking for an agile yet powerful solution to migrate our applications and large data files to AWS.  NetFoundry has enabled us to do this quickly and securely without the need for

Top to bottom success in the enterprise WAN – Juniper Networks’ Mike Bushong

Miike Bushong, Juniper Networks, VP of enterprise and cloud marketing

Multicloud has changed the world, and as much as the transition is impacting the inside
of the modern data center, it is reshaping the networks between them. In championing
the migration to multicloud through 2018, Juniper Networks saw growing momentum
for our Contrail Enterprise Multicloud and Contrail SD-WAN solutions.

Given the heavy focus in the industry on automation and overlay (commonly known as SD-WAN), the
underlying network (commonly known as Enterprise WAN) is often overlooked. Juniper
has been delivering solutions for Enterprise WAN across private and leased networks
that enables a secure, reliable and scalable network underneath SD-WAN.

Today, we published the enhanced Enterprise WAN 5-step journey, along with leading
thinking about the evolution of routing and securing enterprise networks under the
sweeping forces of multicloud. So let’s peel back the SD-WAN overlay and see
how enterprise customers are securing and automating their Enterprise WAN with
Juniper Networks solutions in four key areas: WAN backbone, data center interconnect
(DCI), public cloud and internet peering.

Routing the Enterprise
Here is what our customers are saying:
– “The entire retail industry continues to evolve, and at Tractor Supply, this starts
with our network. With Juniper Networks, we significantly enhanced the backbone of our
network, allowing us to streamline operations processes and bring faster alignment across
all of our locations. Juniper’s routing technology is like the Swiss Army knife of platforms—
the MX Series offered us every feature set we were looking for within one box.”
– Raymond Beaudoin, Network Architect, Tractor Supply Company

– “The MX480 that is responsible for the WAN between the data centers of Tokyo,
Osaka, and Yokohama and our Internet connection boast incredible stability. The Internet
side sometimes has to handle a full BGP routing table of more than 500,000 routes, but it goes off without a hitch.”
– Tomotake Wakuri, corporate senior architect for security and network of Ricoh’s Digital
Promotion Division

– “The City of Portsmouth is on the brink of digital transformation for smart city
foundational infrastructure. We are investing in Juniper’s offerings to securely connect our
network, community, and region for the virtual generation. In partnership with Juniper
Networks, we are securing and automating our multicloud WAN, which will allow our
digital growth without constraint and accomplish our goals of increased mobility and open
data infrastructure.”
– Daniel Jones, CIO, City of Portsmouth

– “At University of South Carolina, we take pride in the quality of our research. By
partnering with Juniper Networks to enhance multicloud routing and connectivity, we will
be able to vastly increase the capacity of our network, consequentially opening up a greater breadth of research possibilities for our scientists and academic researchers.”
– Paul Sagona, Interim Director of Research Computing, University of South Carolina

Juniper Enterprise Multicloud Routing Top to Bottom
Hastily jumping into public cloud or proprietary data center solutions can encumber
enterprises as they move to multicloud. With multicloud squarely in Juniper’s enterprise
strategy, our goal is a future where enterprises are free to move workloads between
clouds with optimal networking and strong security in the overlay and underlay
networks—top to bottom. Overlays and underlays are well understood in the data
center, but in the WAN, examining and optimizing the underlay for the new multicloud
era is not well covered, nor well understood.

Starting at the bottom in the WAN underlay or transport, Juniper’s strength in WAN
routing technology and vision is built on a foundation that helps enterprises connect
their campuses, data centers and the super-highway of direct connections into public cloud with SDN-based traffic engineering using NorthStar, switches, and routers like the
MX10003, MX204, QFX10000 and PTX.

On top in the WAN overlay, solving the difficult challenges upfront, Juniper purposely
built Contrail SD-WAN to conquer NFV, uCPE and SD-Branch. We are now the provider
of the most scalable and versatile secure SD-WAN solution, while other vendors in the
space are fettered with architectural revamps to try to add in branch security and LAN
orchestration. Best of all, our open standards-based solution bridges seamlessly with
WAN backbone routing used in the underlay or traditional multi-vendor routing.

Juniper’s portfolio easily serves the largest enterprises that need to direct the WAN
backbone and other underlay routing use cases. It also serves enterprises, big or small,
looking for SD-WAN control. And unlike some SD-WAN vendors, Juniper acknowledges
and addresses WAN solutions top to bottom. Furthermore, the WAN overlay solution is
only complete with solid SDN overlay control for the data center interconnect (DCI).

New in Multicloud DCI
SDN inside the data center was easily the first major use case for more dynamic
software control over scale-out switching architectures and plugging into workload
orchestration systems. Other use cases found in a DCI involving secure underlay. This
could be over internet with IPSEC, over dark fiber with MACSEC and simple DCI.On top
of the secure underlay, EVPN gives you the ability to achieve large scale multi-tenancy
and workload mobility. Contrail Enterprise Multicloud handles the data center top to
bottom, managing the physical underlay fabric, virtual overlays, and security and can
plug into a range of workload orchestration systems.

To bridge the SDN journey between data centers in the WAN, we have now expanded
Contrail Enterprise Multicloud for overlay control with standards-based EVPN-VXLAN
type 5. The solution to orchestrate L3 DCI is available today and supported with our MX
and QFX Series devices.

The new DCI features naturally complement the Contrail Enterprise Multicloud solution
inside the data center, and round out our SDN orchestration for enterprises end-to-end , and round out our SDN orchestration for enterprises end-to-end
and top to bottom.

The Enterprise’s Reach Should Exceed Its Grasp
Enterprises of all sizes need to plan their journey to a multi-vendor multicloud reality
because change is inevitable but network rip-and-replace disruption is not. To this end,
Juniper has put together the latest 5-step enterprise WAN journey to secure and
automated multicloud.

As enterprises are advancing their multicloud routing and WAN to develop SD-WAN,
DCI, multicloud transport routing and SDN optimization, Juniper Networks’ building
blocks and commitment to open standards can maintain smooth growth with an

Picking the 100 Gbps future path in PON deployment – Adtran’s Ronan Kelly

By ADTRAN CTO Ronan Kelly

Broadband demand in Australia is increasing at a rapid clip. Over 50 percent of the NBN customer base has 100 Mbps or a faster service, with the take-up rate for higher speeds on the rise all the time.

On the consumer side, younger generations are leveraging faster connections for new apps, entertainment and socializing online – nobody wants to inhibit their team advancing in Fortnite because of their slower broadband.

Enterprises need high-speed symmetrical gigabit speeds for “cloudification” of IT, where dedicated hardware and software taking up power and real estate in the enterprise premises, or in dedicated leased data center equipment racks, is rapidly being replaced by Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivered by networks connecting everything from vanilla voice and call center to Microsoft Office 365 and Salesforce.

SaaS enables enterprises to drastically reduce capital expenditures and shift IT to more of a pay-as-you-use operational expense model, hosted by firms whose core competence is running high availability IT infrastructure, permitting the enterprises to focus on what they do best. However, for SaaS to work, low latency and bandwidth capacity must be available from the user right through to the cloud.

Speed is essential for building the PON networks of today, with the requirement to provision more bandwidth to support tomorrow’s consumer and enterprise needs. Traditional GPON has served the industry well for 15 years, but it is ill-suited to support anticipated Gigabit Society speeds to the end customer. It is important to recognize that Gigabit data rates are the starting position, and not the end game for Gigabit societies.

Operators building networks today must consider 10 Gig PON as the baseline for new network builds, since the trend is always towards more broadband growth, with new applications and lower latency always creating new opportunities in consumer and enterprise.

We’ve yet to see anyone anywhere in the world say, “I need slower broadband.” Just like our kettle does not take longer to boil if we have the TV switched on, today’s digital natives – the future customers of the broadband operators – expect their broadband connectivity to be ubiquitous and of sufficiently high capacity so that, like electricity, it transparently meets their needs without impeding their activities.

The entry point for next-generation gigabit services is XGS-PON, providing 10 Gbps symmetrical speeds on each optical distribution network. XGS-PON is robust enough to provision gigabit services for consumers and satisfy enterprise requirements for moving data in and out of the cloud and to customers. XGS-PON, with eight times more upstream performance than GPON, delivers room to accommodate the multimedia applications of today and tomorrow. With 4K video prevalent and a migration to 8K looming in the years to come, the more bandwidth available, the better.

XGS-PON also provides an entry point for more bandwidth on the same optical distribution network. XGSPON leveraging the GPON wavelength and NG-PON2 can be deployed side-by-side with the original XGS-PON wavelength, permitting up to 10 wavelengths at 10 Gbps per wavelength, and delivering a scalable path of up to 100 Gbps per optical distribution network.

Service providers can use XGS-PON and NG-PON2 to mix and match capabilities, offering flexibility in provisioning services capable of supporting consumer, business and backhaul needs on the same fiber.

 

Ronan Kelly has been CTO of the EMEA and APAC regions at ADTRAN since 2014. He focuses on international growth and technology thought leadership as ADTRAN continues to expand the breadth and depth of its strategic partnerships with Tier-1 service providers on a global basis. To learn more about ADTRAN’s perspective on industry trends, visit Adtran’s CTO Insights.

Blockchain in Healthcare: A New Era of Digital Data and Value distribution

Blockchain in Healthcare: A New Era of Digital Data and Value Distribution

The idea of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology was originally released to the world in 2009, almost an entire decade ago. In under ten years, Bitcoin was able to become an incredibly powerful and popular digital currency. Today, it’s not only about the “cryptocurrency” anymore – the underlying technology, known as blockchain, offers a much more flexible solution than just a currency that allows for transactions to be executed online.

Blockchain technology has allowed companies to start developing applications that take advantage of peer-to-peer data distribution and offer better versatility and security over existing database systems. Even companies in the healthcare sector have identified the potential role that blockchain application can play in their facilities, boosting efficiency, improving security, easing transactions, engaging patients and improving other aspects essential to their success.

Blockchain in the Healthcare Sector

The use of blockchain holds a significant number of benefits for the healthcare sector. Not only can this technology help dispensing centers and pharmacies keep better track of their inventory, as well as keep track of the dispensing of medication to patients, but the technology also makes the sharing of patient files between physicians, specialists, subspecialists and even surgeons faster and more convenient. A survey by IBM revealed that as much as 16% of healthcare executives are planning to integrate blockchain technology into their facility and operations within the next year.

Both patients and healthcare facilities stand to benefit from blockchain applications. The decentralized distribution of data allows multiple physicians to study patient files simultaneously, while also allowing the patient to keep a close eye on their current health status. Through blockchain technology, confusion can easily be avoided, and security features can be significantly enhanced when compared to how data is currently stored and shared.

Today, many healthcare facilities also still rely on outdated systems that keep local records of patient files – this can make an accurate diagnosis more difficult, as well as call for additional tests to be performed by physicians. Eventually, this causes a considerable increase in the cost of maintaining a patient-oriented business.

Blockchain technology is helping physicians instantly share patient data with specialists, providing for a more effective way of communicating and ensuring a more accurate diagnosis is made.

This technology is used in different categories within the healthcare system. An excellent example is how DentaCoin has created a revolutionary system through the utilization of blockchain technology. The company has officially announced their own type of cryptocurrency (already accepted as a means of payment by dental clinics, laboratories, suppliers in 16 countries), as well as created several blockchain-based applications that will make dental care more effective for patients and more streamlined than before for dentists and suppliers.

By Dentacoin Foundation co-founder and core developer Jeremias Grenzebach

Crypto enthusiast with a varied background as a developer, copywriter and IT trainer, Grenzebach, was an early entrant into the Blockchain scene. A strong believer in decentralization and transparency, Oswald er-to-peer technology for 8 years. Strong believer in decentralization and transparency.

What other sectors can learn from the new energy code: TALKINGTECH

By TALKINGTECH Australia and Asia MD Michael Chatfield

No one seeks to be in debt, but sometimes circumstances out of people’s control lead to issues with paying on time. There are very few sectors that don’t have to manage their customers’ debt at some point. It’s a tricky situation for all involved – for the service provider, whether it’s a mobile phone company, energy supplier or broadband business, it means less confirmed revenue than originally predicted; for the individual, it’s an additional stress to the other situations in their life that have led them to fall behind on payments.

Currently, how companies manage their customers’ debt, from how quickly they switch off the service to how they handle the customer interactions, varies wildly. For energy suppliers, that will soon change – in Victoria, the Energy Retail Code by The Essential Services Commission, being introduced in January 2019, will require companies to help customers avoid getting into debt by providing timely, flexible and meaningful assistance to any who are facing payment difficulties, as well as new standards for how they must treat those in, or facing debt.

It’s all good common sense, highlighting the benefits of focusing on prevention, whether through guidance and assistance, or the flexibility to offer varying payment plans or holidays.

Even though other sectors, such as telecoms or other utilities, have yet to have a similar code imposed on them, they would be well advised to consider the standards and see how they might incorporate them into their own practices. It makes business sense, as much as anything else – rather than being quick to ditch customers that are in debt (and therefore a burden on profitability), by focusing on ways to help them they not only secure future revenue but are also more likely to build loyalty and potential recommendations from that customer.

Affordability assessments can be a key part of that assistance. They help customers understand their own income and expenditure, educating them to make better choices, as well as helping companies to better understand customers and their true financial situation. It also creates accurate, meaningful data which can be used to implement realistic and achievable payment strategies where required. Taking it one step further, incorporating self-service technology across multiple channels, whether it’s voice, mobile or web means that not only can customers choose the way to pay that suits them best, but that more time is spent by agents on solving problems, and less time on populating forms and inputting data. This means a quicker resolution of calls and improved productivity (with the associated cost benefits), in turn leading to increased likelihood of a positive customer experience and enhanced satisfaction and loyalty.

The Energy Retail Code is an opportunity for energy companies to use new ways to manage how they handle customers at risk of falling into disk while still generating customer loyalty. It is also an opportunity for businesses in any sector that handles regular payments from customers to look at their own practices and identify opportunities to deliver an improved experience without increasing their own costs.