How Will 5G Affect Structured Cabling In The Data Center?

How Will 5G Affect Structured Cabling In The Data Center?

By: Dave Fredricks | Data Center Infrastructure Architect

For the past several years, it’s been predicted that 5G will improve bandwidth when connecting devices to the internet. The benefits of this faster connection will facilitate new markets like autonomous vehicles and the ability to stream virtual reality.

To promote a better 5G connection and reduce latency from devices to the internet, the current practice is to add more connection points near populated spaces to increase bandwidth and minimize the delay in the signal entering the internet. This process is now commonly known as edge computing.

Edge computing performs in contrast to centralized data processing, where data is concentrated into a larger compute system or data center facility. Instead, edge computing occurs in micro data centers which are smaller in size in order to be closer to end user devices.

Although the rollout of 5G has been highly anticipated, there is still hesitation to use edge computing. The 5G release will be driven by the telecom companies who operate according to industry standards, which at this time are still being developed for 5G. Developing these standards can be a time-consuming process that involves development, discussion, and publication, especially when taking into consideration assets that the telecom businesses already have in place.

Will Edge Computing Answer the Question of How to Best Deploy 5G Networks?

Probably in some sort of fashion, although more locations to gather more data from users will be needed. What that will look like is yet to be determined.

What we do know is when 5G is released, it will increase bandwidth twentyfold. While transceivers or optics in the data center space can keep up with the bandwidth requirements for 5G, copper connectivity and multimode fiber will struggle to manage the increased bandwidth.

So to Answer the Question; How Will 5G Affect Structured Cabling in the Data Center?

More edge computing or micro data centers will go online to support the need to reduce latency and service population centers. Copper connections will be replaced by fiber optic connections and singlemode fiber will be used more and more over multimode fiber as higher bandwidth is needed. Singlemode optics, especially with links under 500 meters (PSM-4), are becoming cost-effective over less expensive and shorter distance (100 meters) multimode optics. Data centers will also be required to support multiple types of optics.

CABLExpress has a solution for this part of the move to 5G, with our Multi-Path System. It can support different fiber optic polarity types associated with optics of 100G and above. For more information download our free whitepaper, Simplify Fiber Optic Cabling Migrations With a Multi-Path System.


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