Future network trends: Creating intelligent digital infrastructure

All around the world, the unprecedented events of 2020 have brought into focus the critical role that digital infrastructure plays in the functioning of virtually every aspect of contemporary society.

More than ever before, communication technologies are providing innovative solutions to help address social, environmental and economic challenges by enhancing efficiency and enabling both intensified network usage and more well-informed decisions.

One of the most important features of digital infrastructure is the ability to bridge distances and make it easier to efficiently meet societal needs, in terms of resource utilization, collaboration, competence transfer, status verification, privacy protection, security and safety. The communications industry supports other industries by enabling them to deliver digital products and services such as health care, education, finance, commerce, governance and agriculture.

As we move closer to the future, emerging technologies will enable a fully digitalized, automated and programmable world of connected humans, machines, things and places. All experiences and sensations will be transparent across the boundaries of physical and virtual realities.

Traffic in future networks will be generated, not only by human communication, but also by connected, intelligent machines and bots that are embedded with artificial intelligence (AI). As time goes on, the percentage of traffic generated by humans will drop as that of traffic generated by machines and computer vision systems – including autonomous vehicles, drones and surveillance systems – rises. The machines and other ‘things’ that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) will require even more sophisticated communication than we humans do.

Looking ahead, Ericsson has recently released a report on the future technology trends and the ongoing evolution of the network platform in terms of the key needs that are driving its evolution and the emerging capabilities that will meet both those and other needs. In summary, here are the trends we are likely to see in the technology space:

Trends 1-3: The key drivers of network platform evolution:
Trend #1: A collaborative, automated physical world
Trend #2: Connected, intelligent machines
Trend #3: The Internet of senses.

Trends 4-7: Critical enablers of the future network platform:
Trend #4: Omnipresent and non-limiting connectivity
Trend #5: Pervasive network compute fabric
Trend #6: Trustworthy infrastructure
Trend #7: Cognitive network.


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