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Infinera's New Solutions Augment 5G Network Potential

February 16, 2017

For something that wasn't supposed to arrive until 2020, the news has been running quite well in favor of 5G developments lately. This powerful new network capability will deliver a lot of new options once it's ready, but getting there will take a lot of effort. Infinera has recently been seen staging some network augmentations of its own, and now offers some changes to its mobile fronthaul and mobile backhaul operations that should give 5G a much easier time of hitting the ground running.

The biggest addition to Infinera's lineup is a new set of flexponders, which add to mobile fronthaul capabilities considerably. The flexponders can be deployed as rack-mounted systems, as well as in hardened access unit and hardened clamshell units, which allows for about as much flexibility in deployment as these already offer in use.  Since the flexponders offer support for the Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), as well as the Open Base Station Architecture Initiative (OBSAI), it helps ensure that the flexponders will work in most any environment in which these are deployed.

The EMXP Access Unit, meanwhile, offers new network options thanks to support for common software and feature sets that are normally seen

Image via BigStock

in the EMXP lineup, but works with specifically hardened environments like cell site cabinets or street cabinets.

Best of all, the new systems work with Infinera's Open Architecture system, which means full support for software defined networking (SDN) controls over any currently-known orchestrator system. It can even work with a direct OpenFlow interface, using Infinera's Xceed Software Suite, to offer not only a control platform but also support for several SDN applications.

It's no secret that the 5G switch is approaching, and will arrive before too much longer. The early projections of a 2020 commercial release might actually turn out pessimistic, particularly given the rate of change we've seen in just the last month. Still though, with Nokia bringing out new options like 4.9G, it's safe to suggest that, even if companies have the ability to engage a 5G network early, the launch will wait while the intermediary options run their collective course. Still, all the refinements seen made to networks all over bodes well, and the wireless customer experience should be improving in fairly short order.

This is good news for mobile customers right now, and should only improve from here as the network is sufficiently augmented to take 5G traffic. With 5G representing a potential solution for most everything from rural connectivity to Internet of Things (IoT) backbone, seeing it arrive can't happen soon enough. With the potential new improvements Infinera's offering, though, it only gets better.

Edited by Alicia Young

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