There is no let-up in the push for ever greater speeds in network technology, although we have already reached sufficient speeds for many use cases in recent years. But which applications need even faster speeds, and what doors will be open to us as a result of greater bandwidths in our networks?
Faster – better – further
In recent years we have already achieved sufficient bandwidth for many application purposes such as video streaming, digital conferences, etc. So what do we need even faster networks for?
Looking into the future, it is evident that our permanent quest for connectivity is likely to continue on an even greater scale. Visionaries are already thinking about VR operations across international borders or real-time AR and VR applications that achieve near-human response times. This requires sufficient bandwidth: high speed and low latency.
If such applications are to be made available simultaneously to a large number of users, the network must provide appropriate bandwidth. The gradually growing use of artificial intelligence can also benefit from greater network capacities. That is because using computer calculations in real-time requires not only higher speeds but also lower latency.
The 5G network currently being rolled out will also lead to more devices requiring extremely rapid data provision. The devices can change their location thus requiring greater bandwidth to achieve constant quality in user experience due to longer communication distances.
High speeds do not (only) benefit individuals
While the fields of application for networks are becoming both more specific and broader, general usage of most networks is also on the rise. It all starts with the online shop on people’s smartphones, which is being used by more and more people simultaneously thanks to low-priced endpoints. Growing amounts of information are also being retrieved from networks in field such as telemedicine.
The corona pandemic has shown that the use of various cloud services can increase significantly from one moment to the next. Tools such as Jira, Confluence, Slack, etc. are helping a growing number of enterprises to collaborate regardless of their location. If a network is to provide more access for more users and different locations, its main requirement is more capacity to ensure a consistent network experience.
Artificial intelligence can also benefit from greater bandwidths. That is because in scenarios in which it is essential to access information exactly when it is needed, sufficient bandwidth is an absolute must – especially when network usage is high.
If we take another look into the future – focusing for example on completely autonomous, AI-controlled road traffic or AI applications in radiology – it is apparent that we will need sufficient IT infrastructure in many different fields that enables the use and expansion of a wide range of applications by providing sufficient bandwidth.
Lower entry threshold
Not only the possible speeds but also the realisability of high-capacity networks has improved in recent years. Technical innovations are leading to continuously falling prices for hardware with 100-Gbps-capability while, in most cases, compatibility between devices is improving. Thanks to manufacturer’s expertise, security vulnerabilities have also been ironed out, and hardware and software have been perfectly attuned to one another.
A changeover to 100 Gbps need not happen from one day to the next. Instead, the network can be upgraded little by little to the higher transmission rate. This will allow parts of the network that benefit more from greater bandwidths to be switched over before those parts of the overall network where the impact is less significant. In the meantime, monitoring, quality of service, etc. can be matched to users’ own requirement in the background to ensure the overall changeover runs smoothly.
Sooner or later, IT infrastructure will inevitably switch to greater bandwidths, which is why it makes sense to start thinking about the future of your own network. In many cases, the future of in-house and external services is directly linked to wide-ranging connectivity and, consequently, to the immediate availability of information.