Unleashing the true potential of 5G with cloud networks

Regular Contributor

Written by Victor Bahl, Microsoft Technical Fellow and Chief Technology Officer, Azure for Operators


For many, the intersection of 5G wireless and the Internet offers very little by way of new information, just from a quick, surface-level glance. However, things look very different when considered in light of the 5G New Radio (NR) standard.


For example, consider a new technology in the 5G NR called URLLC—which is short for ultra-reliable low-latency communications. Designed for mission-critical and latency-sensitive Internet services, URLLC is a configuration and technology feature that enables a new class of applications and services. These services include things such as remote control of robots; thin, tether-less augmented reality headsets, smart car collision avoidance systems, traffic control on roads, and entertainment services such as fast-action multi-player multi-region gaming.


The delay specification delivered by URLLC can be anywhere from one to four msec on-air latency, well within the required hard limit of the latency required by these applications. However, in many ways, this delay specification is simply not sufficient in light of the fact that many of these latency-sensitive applications only make sense in the context of the Internet. Interacting with users, devices, and cloud services over long distances forces one to think about the end-to-end latency characteristics that include the Internet.


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