Anticipating the challenges presented by 5G

Anticipating the challenges presented by 5G

5G telecommunications technology promotes unprecedented speed, reduced latency, and better quality. Online gaming on the go or movie downloads in seconds while using public transportation are only some of the promises that will soon become a reality. This translates into a remarkable increase in traffic levels, estimated to continue growing at an annual rate of 17% over the next few years. 

Additionally, there are market demands: an end user that requests even better experiences, no matter what device or operating system being used; the need for unlimited speeds, especially in markets such as online gaming, a segment that is becoming increasingly competitive. Look at the streaming market, which has gone from having only one player to having hundreds in a few years, with greater voracity for receiving content anytime, anywhere, including digital platforms and e-commerce channels. 

To anticipate these emerging challenges, Lumen offers an end-to-end solution capable of meeting this demand without technical issues, while ensuring a good user experience, ranging from content collection – a public event or live, on-demand content – to visualization on end user’s screen, including transport to data centers, preparation for release and aspects such as copyright, subtitling, and distribution. Consider all of this with the shortest delay possible, no hops, and high quality. 

Security, scalability, flexibility 

To obtain this result, one of the pillars is the CDN (content distribution network), key in solving three major dilemmas surrounding how the user receives their digital experience: 

First: security. The network itself has different levels of protection to safeguard the integrity of applications, prevent intrusions, avoid deployment of rogue bots, and eliminate risks of DDoS attacks, which are thoroughly disseminated.   

Second: capacity. Possesses scalability to absorb peaks as well as geographical distribution with presence in more than ninety urban locations, allowing quality to be maintained without overload when faced with events such as massive game updates or global movie premieres, situations that usually multiply demand tenfold in relation to the general average.  

Third: flexibility. Increasingly, edge solutions are incorporated to optimize performance in each geographic zone, with dynamic and upgradeable storage to fulfill different user profiles in different regions.  

Every User is a Server 

One step further, multi-CDN environments ensure redundancy at all levels. As systems become more critical, it’s important to eliminate the risks of micro-cuts or reduced performance. 

Another major pillar in Lumen’s solution is Lumen Mesh Delivery. It combines the best of both worlds: CDN, already described, and peer to peer. This means that users’ devices grab content from the network and share it when geographical proximity is detected.  This way, you receive both capillarity and distribution capacity. This is obtained through WebRTC, a standard already available in major browsers and operating systems. 

Results improve as the number of network users increase.  It is scalable and expands coverage at the same rate in which devices are distributed; each person is a potential server. Naturally, its resource management is very precise, understanding the limits of each device and providing a seamless user experience. 

5G technology presents numerous challenges while fostering countless opportunities.  Understanding how to avoid the former is key to enjoying its full potential. 

Jon Paul "JP" McLeary

Esteban Tapias
Product Management
Lumen, LATAM