December 10, 2015 — With all the supposition and prognostications around 5G, every now and then an idea, technology, platform and the like make a lot of sense under what the idea of 5G should be. One of those is being called information-centric networks.
Interesting concept, and one that makes a lot of sense. They are being touted as networks where the information itself is identified, rather than simply sending packets of information to where they need to go. It is kind of like using the information in a letter to send it to the destination as opposed to just blindly delivering it to the address on the envelope. It is about streaming information, intelligently, based on content.
Today’s model simply fills the bandwidth with the demands of the user. Steaming movies, for example, use on-demand data deliver responding to the user’s desires. They can be started whenever they want, paused, restarted, fast-forwarded – it is a personal viewing model and totally inefficient when compared to, say, programmed events that start, run and stop on a schedule, and that can be optimized. Individualized viewing cannot.
Today, the solution is over-provisioning – just making sure there is enough bandwidth to accommodate the disorderly data. With 5G, that won’t work because of the demands on the networks that 5G will place.
A key element to that will be latency. Things that 5G will bring, such as virtual reality cannot be at the mercy of the latency specs of LTE networks. Bringing the data closer to the user will be the key metric in these intelligent networks, which means more server and smarter interconnect for them.
Making the network smarter isn’t a new idea. But using the intelligence, coupled with hardware solutions that bring the data closer to the user, the goal of one-hop, is.