Originally posted on Data Center POST

Penley of ZenFi Networks on the Requirement of Collaboration in a 5G World

In part three of this series, Andy Penley of ZenFi Networks told us more about his thoughts on applications for 5G and how he sees it making our day-to-day lives more efficient, functional and enjoyable. Today, we circle back to the collaborative efforts that Penley says will be required to achieve the goal of a 5G world.

To achieve the lofty goal of making quality of life better for all, Penley explains how the underlying infrastructure and the networks that have supported data and applications for years are now undergoing a fundamental shift. Networks of the past were built to solve a sparse networking problem. Now they must solve the challenge of supplying mobile capabilities with equal parts robust capacity and high accessibility. This means completing massive build outs of wireless nodes and antennas. 

In the past, he shared that a limited number of macro base stations was suitable. However, as data now needs to reach more destinations and coverage is becoming more comprehensive through the use of C-RAN architecture – defined by a centralized or cloud computing-based radio access network – C-RAN architecture is paramount. Penley says this will require dividing large macro sites into a highly dense fabric of small cells, antennas and edge colocation points. This densification ensures access to additional spectrum through the deployment of small, low-powered cell sites connected to local network hubs with fiber optic cables. 

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