Edge Computing and 5G — How Are They Connected?

As the name suggests, 5G is the fifth generation mobile network. Its breakthrough technology will allow 50 times less latency and transmission speed up to 20 times faster than the 4G technology currently in use.

5G is currently being implemented everywhere in the world. In Japan, this technology has been under evaluation since 2010 and a full launch is planned for 2020. 

In Germany, it is expected that 90% of the country's population will be covered by 5G by 2025. In Italy, the network has recently been operational in Naples. Bologna, Milan, Turin, and Rome; and it is expected that it will be deployed in 100 Italian cities by 2021.

What about North America? Implementation will start in 2020. According to forecasts, 32% of North American mobile connections will be on the 5G by 2023.

5G and Edge Computing

Although these two technologies are essentially independent of each other, combined, they will open the door to almost infinite technological possibilities.

We know that the definition of edge computing is to process the data locally at the edge of the network, thus reducing the latency. But coupled with the capabilities of 5G, the power of edge computing will be increased tenfold, and vice versa.

Especially useful – and some would say essential – for the Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing processes much more information, much faster. Since 5G latency is 50 times lower and permits over 500 times more connected devices, it will accommodate about one million devices per square kilometer, compared to 2,000 currently.

It is expected that by the end of 2019, 20 billion devices will be connected globally. It is thanks to the edge computing and 5G that the wireless infrastructure will be able to support all these phones, watches, connected vehicles, drones, etc.

The 5G network and edge computing both have the same goal: minimizing latency. Edge computing already does this by processing and storing data outside the core network. And this is exactly where it will become important. By processing the information closest to 5G antennas, the time and distance for data transmission are reduced and the connection speed is greatly increased.

Towards real-time data processing

Low latency is a determining factor for the quality of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These technologies require a latency of less than 20 milliseconds for optimal operation and edge computing plays a key role. With 5G and its promise of 1 or 2 milliseconds latency will bring a significant improvement to VR / AR technologies. This is particularly vital in the case of remotely operated surgeries, where the reduction of latency is crucial to the success of the operation.

Source: CNBC International

IoT's emerging applications, including real-time communications, use a hybrid model that uses edge computing, the cloud, and traditional data centers. The power of the 5G network will be essential for connecting IoT devices and data centers of all kinds.

This is the case, for example, for autonomous vehicles. The car's computer will provide added security, including managing traffic at intersections and avoiding traffic accidents. However, route planning and the resulting decisions will rely on cloud computing. And it's 5G that will improve communication between the two, ensuring real-time control.

Conclusion

The successful deployment of the 5G network will not be possible without a global edge computing infrastructure. Indeed, the latter will play a leading role, particularly in terms of data processing, storage, and security.

Edge computing and 5G have become the new reality. It's important to dig deeper and to evaluate every component in the network because it will be only as strong as its weakest link. For example, servers installed in edge computing nodes must meet the demanding requirements for high-performance and low latency. This means speedy SSDs, accelerated processors, fast I/O, high-bandwidth network cards, optimized containers, and efficient architectures. A thorough analysis is mandatory; otherwise, low latency – one of the essential benefits of 5G – will be compromised.

To learn how to take advantage of edge computing benefits with our hyperscale server solutions, contact one of our experts.

IoT Cloud Virtual Reality Augmented Reality edge computing low latency internet of things 5G

Odyze Wright

Odyze Wright

I write about what's interesting and what's not. I write about current and what's not. Lastly, your suggestions are more than welcomed!

View all articles