There are many challenges that must be overcome to evolve current 4G backhaul networks into transport networks for 5G X-haul traffic:
However, ensuring that the transport networks can handle evolution from legacy 4G to new 5G transport network requirements is an important first step when deploying new infrastructure. Next, the 5G transport can virtualize the RAN functions to a higher-layer split to be applied where the legacy gNB is divided into a central unit (CU) and distributed units (DUs). This is known as the Higher-Layer Split for Virtualized RAN (HLS-VRAN). The DUs and the CU are separated by a defined interface, which could be carried on a transport network.
Network slicing is a concept of building and managing a network that meets the requirements for a wide range of users. This could be achieved by having a set of logical networks on top of a shared infrastructure. Each logical network might serve a defined business purpose or use case and provides all the required network resources end-to-end. Networking slicing can be accomplished by using a wide range of protocols.
Understanding that this evolution is a very complex topic, we have created an infographic to visualize the transport comparison between 4G and 5G. In later blogs, we will define the technical aspects in greater detail.
You can grab the full PDF version of this infographic via the link below. So, please take a moment to download the PDF, print it out in full color, and display it in your office.