Looking ahead to MWC – What’s on tap for 5G?

By Lisa Crewe | Posted on February 21, 2019

Wireless Access

MWC19 with its Intelligent Connectivity theme is set to kick off Monday, February 25, 2019 in Barcelona. As the largest mobile event in the world, the city will play host to more than 2,400 leading companies and more than 107,000 key decision-makers. With the top themes for the week including connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI), industry 4.0, and disruptive innovation, we’re excited to see the news, innovations and technological advancements that come out of the conference.

We are particularly interested in the connectivity theme highlighting the requirements to make 5G a reality. With its speed and flexibility, 5G will create greater speed and performance with higher reliability. As 5G bandwidth demands grow and scale to new markets, operators need to invest in the connectivity fabric that will underpin 5G. This next-gen transport and access aggregation infrastructure connects RAN sites to data centers and cloud services providers, and is fundamental to the success of 5G.

Coherent optical offers several benefits in access aggregation applications compared to traditional direct detect solutions. At higher data rates, it becomes very challenging to deploy direct detect solutions over 10’s of km’s without using dispersion compensation. Alternatively, solutions may consider many parallel optical interfaces, but that drives up the cost of the solution.

Last fall, Acacia’s Associate Vice President of Product Line Management Fenghai Liu presented on 5G optical networking at the China International Optoelectronic Conference. Liu addressed the important role coherent optical modules can play in 5G transport networks as well as the new requirements and challenges in access, aggregation and core layers. The application of coherent technology may be the competitive differentiator for service providers looking to get ahead in the 5G era.

Are you headed to Barcelona? What technologies do you think will take center stage at MWC? We’d love to hear your thoughts.