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One Constant of Global Network Evolution: Content Moving Closer to the Curb

Steve McKinney •

Vertiv was at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, and it’s always fascinating to see the telecommunications world come together at these types of events, to share ideas and compare notes on new trends in the industry. It is clear that different parts of the world are at different stages in the evolution of their networks, but something that is consistent across the globe is the availability of wireless technologies that brings the steady movement of content closer to the subscriber.

Expectations for speed and service levels continue to grow exponentially, and stakes are too high to rely on a single, centralized data center for content storage. As a result, we’re seeing a middle layer emerge between the data center and the subscriber, and that layer requires intelligent technologies to support what increasingly is a software-defined network.

This new aggregation layer is merging with the radio access environment, creating a new type of network facility that must provide the typical access capabilities as well as content storage and delivery. These sites will profile subscribers’ viewing habits and load content at the aggregation site for faster access. It’s a significant change. This effectively combines the access layer and the data center, which means the merging AC and DC environments. It is also creating a new and unique thermal management challenge, and establishing new sites and systems that require visibility, remote management and service.

All of this is happening in networks around the world in different stages of growth. Europe, for example, is still expanding its LTE network, and demand is extreme. This makes various prefabricated solutions increasingly attractive as providers need to push a lot of sites online in a short amount of time. We’re also seeing the introduction of more flexible and intelligent hybrid solutions to power these LTE sites, particularly in Eastern Europe and Africa. These new technologies, along with innovative approaches, are changing the way LTE technology is being deployed in emerging markets.

The execution of all of it depends on the various stages of network evolution around the world – an intriguing topic we’ve discussed during several of our meetings at Mobile World Congress this week.

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