Though 5G often is considered the next mobile air interface, it also is enabled by core network virtualization and even could play a part in boosting edge computing, as mobile networks are used to support many new internet of things applications.

For example, today’s service providers have cloud computing requirements to support their own network services with 100 milliseconds of latency, a maximum of 10 megabits per second of throughput, and no more than 10 billion devices that cost up to $1,000 each and with a battery life of one day, according to Said Berrahil, Nokia VP.

For tomorrow’s network, the telco cloud requirements might need latency of no more than one millisecond, support network speeds in excess of 10 gigabits per second, and host up to one trillion devices that cost $1 each, said Berrahil.

A cloud data center can meet the 100-millisecond latency up to 10,000 kilometers distant from any end user.

When latency must be four milliseconds, the cloud data center needs to be no more than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) away, while services in need of latency less than one millisecond would require edge data center deployments “almost within eyesight.”