Heavy Reading's Sterling Perrin on network slicing, edge needs for 5G applications

Heavy Reading's Sterling Perrin and Light Reading's Phil Harvey recapped the recent 5G Transport & Networking Strategies symposium and they discussed network slicing in transport networks, how Verizon is handling its 5G traffic and how the increasing importance of edge computing is shaping optical networking technologies and spending.

Perrin said that it's important to think about what network slicing means in the transport network, where "you have to define both quality of service and network separation." There's a lot of work left to be done here, he said, as the radio and wireline sides of the network still haven't worked together enough to make network slicing happen yet in a commercial way. The timing is getting tight, too, because a lot of the services that 5G monetization depends on require network slicing.

In edge computing, Perrin said the symposium discussions revealed more "solidity" around where the edge is needed inside of cities and where it's not. A few years ago, there was a discussion about needing edge computing capabilities at every cell tower. Now what matters more than sprawling buildouts is the latency required by the network, Perrin said. In many cases, data centers and colocation facilities – important not just because of where they are but also their proximity to cloud providers – will get the job done.

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Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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