The wireless wide area networking (WWAN) infrastructure landscape is changing radically. Once dominated by closed and proprietary architectures, vendors now embrace open source, software-defined networking (SDN), federated network slicing, and network function virtualization (NFV) to speed 5G deployments. End-to-end network complexity grows in parallel with 5G given carriers’ limited experience with both unlicensed and higher frequency spectrum above 6 GHz. This is further exacerbated by an expected proliferation of transmission points and the fundamentally evolved architecture of 5G Radio Access Network (RAN). For operators, a new focus on moving core network functions to the edge to improve subscriber experience is also occurring.
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