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Second wave of 5G use cases underway, Nokia exec says

Operators need to increase automation efforts and plan new data center locations strategically as the second wave of 5G use cases arrive, Nokia Corp.'s head of digital design Evren Tosyali said Oct. 16.

Enhanced mobile broadband offering is considered a first wave 5G use case. Operators have begun trialing second-wave use cases with Nokia such as cloud gaming and edge computing, Tosyali said during a webinar hosted by telecom analysis firm Light Reading.

Such use cases include drone operation and virtual reality applications in China, smart parking, video analytics and remote health applications in Europe, and faster trading, connected cars and tracking systems in the U.S., according to Nokia. It also includes fixed wireless access, or 5G home broadband. These use cases require different network architecture and design than the initial services, Tosyali said.

High definition streaming and live video uploads — during a sporting event, for example — are expected to be core use cases, "next year especially," Tosyali said.

The traditional approach to WiFi network design, which involves using network traffic data as a basis for hotspot location and automated cell planning, or ACP, will not work, Tosyali said. Operators will need to employ "digital design," which for Nokia involves using an algorithm to identify unserved demand. The network equipment provider examines use case requirements, then creates a digital replica of the network and runs a simulation, Tosyali said. The idea is to forecast traffic for each cell, he said.

"Operators, we are recommending, should think about their process and they should increase automation as much as they can," Tosyali said.

So-called second wave use cases will be sensitive to latency, or data transfer delays. As a result, a latency analysis of the network is needed, Tosyali said. "For sure we are not going to provide low latency everywhere," he said, adding that geographic zones should be identified where data transfer is the fastest.

In general, "rollout decisions have to be taken at the micro level," Tosyali said. "Industrial uses cases include expert guidance video feedback and remote machine control, which require ultra-low latency," he said. Data centers could also be placed near universities if they are known online gaming hotspots, according to the executive.