Click here to close now.


SDN Journal Authors: Stefan Dietrich, Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Pat Romanski, Don MacVittie

Related Topics: Mobile IoT, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, SDN Journal

Mobile IoT: Article

5G Networks: The 20/20 View on 2020

Tomorrow isn’t the time to start building for tomorrow. Future viability depends on building a solid infrastructure today

This article is an excerpt from James Carlini's upcoming book, Location Location Connectivity:

5G Networks are being discussed and better defined by key industry manufacturers and network carriers so they can be deployed in the 2020 time period.  They will represent a giant leap in capacity, baseline speeds and overall capabilities.  They have to.  Consumers are turning to Smartphones and tablets as the new ubiquitous edge technology for all their applications.

Many people have gotten a good taste of smartphones and all the applications they can utilize with them.  Now, the growing demand is there and both the framework of networks as well as their capabilities must be upgraded dramatically to keep up with user demand and exponentially growing traffic.

When approaching a new dynamic area in infrastructure, real estate, or technology, a whole new framework for analysis may be necessary.  Too many people try to fit something new into a traditional framework or traditional analysis model which does not fit as a metric.

Looking into what is needed for a solid platform for global commerce, the main issues are to offer the best and the fastest capabilities.  Speed is always a factor in any transportation medium, including communications. Anyone, or any corporate or political sales pitch, who tells you otherwise is trying to protect obsolete infrastructure and/or poor competitive strategies.

There needs to be a good education of all interested parties instead of having some people hypothesize concepts that will never be prevalent or even applicable. Remember, the network infrastructure is part of the Platform for Commerce. The Platform for Commerce's five millennia focus has been on increasing trade routes and commerce.

Any network being planned today for tomorrow should be conceptualized like this. (See Chart 1)

Chart 1: Design Criteria for Network Speeds




Common End-User/ Subscriber

1 Gbps (One Gigabit per second)

This includes wireless due to what Smartphones are demanding in bandwidth

Industrial Park, Business Campus

Commercial Space


This would include next-generation Intelligent Business Campuses. (Some parks already have multiple carriers providing 40Gbps today.

Downtown/ Commercial Space


For downtown urban areas.

Backbone/ Carrier Backhaul


1 Tbps (One Terabit per second)

This sounds high, but the way demand is growing, this should be the goal.

Let's examine this table and clarify the numbers.

  1. These suggested speeds are for networks that have yet to be installed.  If you are going to build something, at least build something that should last for awhile.
  2. For next-generation Intelligent Business Campuses/ Intelligent Industrial Parks what you offer at any one location is going to dictate what gets puts in (i.e.  if you don't offer high enough access speeds, certain  corporate site selection committees will pass you by depending on what they are looking for)  So if you do set your sights low when it comes to speed, you won't be able to land that corporate facility that you think will move into the business park.
  3. As smartphones and tablets become more ubiquitous, demand for speed (for new apps) will increase and not go down.  Some new installation endeavors (like stadiums and ball parks) have already shown they have been under-engineered, so engineering "rules-of-thumb" haven't caught up with actual demand.  They have fallen behind.

If anything, they (those in long-term network engineering - including those at the carriers) have to leapfrog what is already a current market condition.

We need to focus on getting back in front of the pack when it comes to network infrastructure and moving to Terabit speeds can only open up a whole new class of applications which can only be feasible when networks run at terabit speeds. For the future, we need to strengthen the resiliency of networks as well as increasing their speeds.

5G Networks will be providing some very high speeds to the average user. This means building out the network to specifications which have to include terabit backbones.

Having more bandwidth available will accelerate the amount of applications that are feasible for customer service, video, high-definition video, social networking, and so many other applications.

Data Rate for 5G Networks



100Gbps +

Specialized enterprise users (stationary)


Low-mobility users


High-mobility users


Anywhere (baseline speed)

This gives you a clearer picture as to where network infrastructure is evolving (see Chart 2).

Chart 2: 5G Network Elements


This was an initial concern of network designers for 3G and 4G.


This became a bigger concern as 4G networks got tested by users' applications and increased traffic.


How long will services last before being replaced or discarded?


This is constantly evolving and will impact the above elements.  Influencers in this level include manufacturers, software/ app designers, and customer demands.



Think of this as the political, regulatory, and regional economic development link for the network.  User demand will shape the network, but so will strong regulatory guidelines that could hamper or promote network resiliency and capabilities.  Smart communities will realize that having a solid network infrastructure will directly translate into having a solid economic base.



This is the carrier's focus as to what it wants to provide to the region:  The most advanced, the status quo, or trailing-edge capabilities because they don't see a market or a big return on their investment.


This is the foundation that must be strong and resilient enough to handle everything put on top of it.

Source: James Carlini, All Rights Reserved

In addition to being aware about the growing demand for speed, become more aware of new building blocks for technology as well as the infrastructure and real estate. The faster we can apply cutting-edge solutions to problems, the more competitive we become in the global markets.

More Stories By James Carlini

James Carlini, MBA, a certified Infrastructure Consultant, keynote speaker and former award-winning Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, has advised on mission-critical networks. Clients include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, GLOBEX, and City of Chicago’s 911 Center. An expert witness in civil and federal courts on network infrastructure, he has worked with AT&T, Sprint and others.

Follow daily Carlini-isms at

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them ...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...