Communication Technology Trends 2023

It’s that time of year again when innovation-driven companies make clear what awaits the industry.

At the start of the year, Nokia predicted that five technology developments would hit the telecom industry in 2022. As a follow-up, the company is now looking at the most important trends likely to gain traction in 2023 and beyond.

Format edges center stage. Edge computing hosts and allows applications to be executed at the edge of the network to facilitate data collection, processing, storage, and analytics near end-user devices. At the same time, edge cloud brings the capabilities and benefits of cloud services closer to user equipment and, in the case of 5G, closer to industrial devices that support radio and industrial Internet of Things (IoT) application functionality.

It is this proximity to edge cloud, combined with edge computing, that provides benefits such as low latency, availability, and reliability to user applications and delivers demanding performance use cases such as the Internet of Things, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and Industry 4.0. With 5G monetization as a prize, cutting edge cloud computing technology will spread rapidly as communications service providers (CSPs) deploy 5G networks with dozens of central sites and thousands of distributed cloud edge sites. To be able to successfully deploy and manage multiple edge computing use cases, services, and applications, it is clear that organizing resources on geographically dispersed and small-scale edge data centers will be the next challenge for CSPs and large enterprises. These deployments will require a sophisticated level of context-aware intelligent automation and real-time convergence of network, services, and application resources at the network edge to meet the many user requests that are delivered at high speed and at a lower operational cost.

Digital twins to direct network operations. In the world of communications, the digital twin is a virtual representation of a network (services and applications) that relies on real-time data from multiple sources such as ML data lakes, edge clouds, IoT devices, subscriber data, sensors and more. The goal is to use simulation and machine learning to visualize and predict the effects of different scenarios without having to implement them in physical networks.

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As solar service providers adopt and accelerate digital transformation to address complex consumer and industrial 5G vertical use cases, digital twins can monitor and enhance such complex systems in real time. This will help cloud service providers better understand the network, processes, and customers – and how they affect each other.

Early use cases in Nokia Core Networks include network monitoring with anomaly prediction and self-healing, network visual planning and configuration for impact analysis before network deployment, and simulation of power consumption and cost of running services based on functionality.

The arrival of 5G satellites to reach new heights. Nokia anticipates a boom in access to Terrestrial Network (NTN) satellites that use space/airborne vehicles for transmission as well as devices that communicate directly with Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites. 5G NTN’s unification of 5G Advanced Technology (R18) is seen as an integrated part of 6G to provide connectivity everywhere. 5G NTN satellite access creates many possibilities, including global 5G connectivity in areas with no ground coverage, fixed wireless access, and low data rate IoT services for long battery life.

Build more capabilities in addition to Core SaaS. Core Network Software-as-a-Service (Core SaaS) offers hardware, software, and services bundled in a pay-as-growth subscription. In 2023 and beyond, services will be distributed, deployed, and run across multiple resources, and CSPs will evolve from Core SaaS to N+ aaS (Networking and More as a Service) with cloud, connectivity, context, and data assets delivered to enterprises. The existing way to deliver Core SaaS from the public cloud will be extended to use on-premises resources to provide low latency and efficient data transfer and to improve the security and privacy requirements of future applications in augmented reality, gaming or automation that require local links.

A network of networks and the federation of clouds to make new things possible. For CSPs to facilitate N+ aaS, network networking or cloud federations will be a major evolution in delivering and sharing complex resources from multiple cloud environments such as public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud, as well as on-premises data centers. By adopting unified cloud ecosystems, users can benefit from increased reliability, flexibility in deploying assets to multiple cloud providers according to their business requirements, and services that leverage multiple assets as distributed service chains. However, cloud federation is an emerging topic, so a lot of effort is still required to seamlessly integrate multiple assets with appropriate security and entitlement for users.

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