Top Tech news 2015
IEEE ComSoc Technology News (#IEEECTN) is closely watching the top 10 communications technology trends that will be making headlines in 2015. Here is a topic thumbnail of how these trends are shaping our industry, and what to expect in 2015 and beyond.
As the next step in the continuous innovation and evolution of the mobile industry, 5G will not only be about a new air interface with faster speeds, but it will also address network congestion, energy efficiency, cost, reliability, and connection to billions of people and devices. In 2014 we heard of new antenna/RF technologies (Massive MIMO, wider bandwidths), proposed deployment of small cells in higher mmWave frequencies, shorter transmission time intervals, reduced latency, and possibly new modulation methods beyond OFDM. With a 2020 commercialization horizon, 2015 be the year when we move from these concepts to technology trials and standards development. And we shall see if/how this year’s ITU World Radio Conference (WRC-15) tackles 5G’s spectrum aspects.
2. FIBER EVERYWHERE
2014 was the year of “fiber everywhere” propelled by efforts to improve connectivity and address demand increases from the use of high definition video, 3G/4G, streaming, podcast and other broadband services. This increased demand exposed existing bottlenecks in the communications infrastructure, and the solution that the doctor prescribed was a fresh new round of investments and activity in fiber (FTTx). In developed markets, FTTH/FTTC dominated deployments, and will continue to do so into 2015. In the backbone network, Carrier Ethernet is well underway and it will continue to make inroads towards 100/400G switching hardware deployments, and around Tb/s of bandwidth.
3. VIRTUALIZATION, SDN & NFV
The “software-ization” of Telco continued throughout 2014. The year saw open source going main stream with the news that Midokura and Microsoft, the last two major players with closed source solutions, released their source code and went open. In 2015, the adoption of OpenStack, OpenDaylight, OpNFV for software and services, and Open Compute for hardware will support more virtualized, more open source network computing platforms and architecture.
4. EVERYWHERE CONNECTIVITY FOR IoT & IoE
Over the last year we have seen heightened interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) and of Everything (IoE) including several acquisitions by major players such as Google’s purchase of Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Bob Metcalfe, inventor of the Ethernet, said that the power of a network increases proportionally by the square of the number of users (Metcalfe's Law) which puts IoT –forecasted to be 50 billion connections by 2020- in a powerful and strategic position. The challenge that IoT faces is that everything sits in isolation thus an IoT standard is a must, and many see this happening in 2015.