Equinix, Nokia Test the 5G Edge

Image credit: iStockphoto/arkira

Global digital infrastructure provider Equinix is collaborating with Nokia to deploy a first-of-its-kind, fully functional 5G and Edge Technology Development Center. It includes a fully operational, non-standalone 5G network to test and validate 5G services and use cases.

The 5G and Edge Technology Development Center is located at the Equinix DA11 International Business Exchange data center in Dallas, U.S. It brings together select ecosystem participants to develop end-to-end edge solutions by providing a production-ready interconnection sandbox environment from the radio network to the cloud.

The facility is designed to help service providers and network operators bring innovative concepts to market by providing an agile production framework for assessing, incubating, and testing 5G and edge solutions for end-to-end secure applications.

Mobile network operators (MNOs), cloud platforms, technology vendors, and enterprises can come together at Equinix to test, demonstrate and accelerate complex 5G and edge scenarios. These scenarios will make 5G deployments available to enterprises in the future.

Initial use cases to be tested include mobile multicloud connectivity, network slicing, distributed artificial intelligence and machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, and gaming.

“As we look to a future where 5G is ubiquitous, the way that IP traffic moves between networks around the world will change completely, and interconnected data centers will play a crucial role in this new 5G-dominated future,” said Sean Hemphill, vice president for Nokia’s Webscale Business.

Equinix Fabric directly, securely, and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix. Customers can establish data center-to-data center network connections on-demand between any two Equinix Fabric locations within a metro or globally via a software-defined interconnection.

“Equinix’s approach to digital infrastructure enables access to a large ecosystem of end-users and service providers. Nokia IP solutions underpin Equinix Fabric, providing seamless interconnection between its global data centers,” said Hemphill.

Equinix is actively standing up novel 5G use cases. The first use case is Secure Edge from Exium, enabling highly secure, seamless multi-access edge compute functionality with tightly integrated security and network functions from the cloud to edge locations to the devices themselves. 

The Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey — which surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers — uncovered a crucial need for infrastructure technology exploration in this area.

While most respondents agreed that the most significant impact of 5G is the ability it gives businesses to take advantage of new technologies, more than a third are worried about the need to re-architect infrastructure to take advantage of 5G capabilities.

Image credit: iStockphoto/arkira