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5G-Riding Wireless's Next Wave


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5G-Riding Wireless's Next Wave


5G may be the hottest thing in wireless and mobile technology, but the new standard needs one thing more than any other: wires, and lots of them.

For the cable industry, 5G offers a huge opportunity for new fixed and mobile wireless services, using cable’s core asset: endless miles of wires in the form of hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) architecture and a growing mix of fiber-only pipes. Optical fiber cable are thin strands of glass that carry massive volumes of data with light signals and minimum loss, and coaxial cable is the traditional lines cable operators use to deliver video, voice and data services to most customers.

HFC “is an excellent vehicle for that because it provides power, right of way and backhaul for all of that small-cell radio equipment,” Craig Cowden, vice president of wireless technology at Charter Communications, said during a recent webinar on the topic hosted by CableLabs. “Whether we’re talking inside the home or outside the home, we believe cable is going to be the first truly scalable fixed mobile convergence platform.”

In other words, it may be a wireless network, but it’s going to need a lot of cells, and those cells need to be connected a wired network, including the kind that cable can provide.

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