5G is an upgrade that can deliver increased data transfer speeds, enable more connected devices, increase bandwidth and reduce latency and delays. However, it has so much more to offer than just an upgrade; It is an advanced model that’s setting the trend for a new type of intelligent application that can solve previously impossible problems. The modern connected apps that are being built using 5G technology will be able to communicate and interact with the network and leverage APIS to deliver a more optimised and performant user experience. This creates endless opportunities for Azure developers, although first they need to overcome the challenges of using the new technology.
What Are the Use Cases for 5G?
When it comes to application development, 5G will create new use cases in almost every industry and will help the network evolve from a potential barrier to an enabler. With network functions controlled through software instead of hardware, developers have the availability to leverage the cloud everywhere, deploy enterprise solutions globally, and manage assets in real-time regardless of local conditions. Some of the key use cases will include:
- Massive Machine-Type Communications (MMTC) – the ability to connect many lower power devices to a cellular network in complex pipeline monitoring scenarios, enabling applications in the likes of smart cities and connected vehicles.
- Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) – helping to ensure safety and minimise risk in areas such as image-assisted quality assurance and smart highways, enabling AR and VR-enabled devices to improve safety and security.
- Enhanced Mobile Broadband (EMBB) – delivering a faster and improved user experience using high data rates to optimise video streaming of live performances, enabling fans in a packed stadium to enjoy real-time on-pitch action.
Opportunities for App Developers
With these new applications, innovative developers will lead the change, forming the future of the cloud and the way apps are built. Ultimately, the opportunity is there for anyone who is able to bring together universal computing with 5G to create a new class of application.
Azure delivers the ability to bring together 5G and multi-access edge computing (5G) to get closer to the problems that need solving. Meanwhile, network APIs will have a vital role to play too if developers are to make the best use of the infrastructure and network. The result is that developers will have more control over application performance and will be able to improve the user experience. Moreover, it will create the ability to not just create a single-use case but to be able to scale infinitely. It’s no surprise that business applications that require 5G are rising in popularity as enterprises become poised to accelerate their deployments and deliver new applications and services to their customers.
The Complexities of Developing 5G Applications
All that said, to date, developing 5G applications hasn’t been simple. After all, it’s an emerging area and getting access isn’t easy. The initial pitch seemed simple, super fast connections and the capability of connecting hundreds of decies with improved latency and security. However, the devil is definitely in the detail when it comes to 5G. There are a huge array of complexities to consider, such as:
- Wide range of standards.
- Multiple vendors and operators.
- Numerous network configurations.
How Microsoft Empower Developers
Microsoft is committed to helping developers build applications in a distributed, open-source environment with consistency throughout. The company covers the full development life-cycle with multi-cloud support. The result is that even if solution components are run on multiple clouds they are all on Azure. Meanwhile, new networking capabilities can help developers to optimise cross-network performance and share information among layers more efficiently. And developers aren’t tied down to any particular framework or language, regardless what they use they can still take advantage of all the popular Microsoft tools such as Power Platform, GitHub and more.
Microsoft is also at the forefront of an effort to standardise APIs and is working with various technology and communications providers Ultimately, Microsoft is facilitating developers to embrace 5G in many ways:
- Improving app performance – higher network capability and speeds, ultra-reliability and low latency.
- Open-source environment – developers can create applications on their own terms using the tools they know and love.
- End-to-end connectivity – from the cloud to the edge to space, there are no restrictions, regardless where the application runs.
Azure Tools Designed for 5G Applications
Microsoft provides several management tools and functionality that helps support developers to build 5G applications:
- Azure-Based Portal – giving developers all the resources they need to build 5G applications from installation to testing and management.
- Azure Arc – a bridge that extends the Azure platform, enabling developers to build apps and services with flexibility to run across multiple clouds, data centres and edge environments.
- Secure connectivity – with the cloud allowing unprecedented levels of connectivity, security has been built from the ground up wth zero trust.
- Azure Marketplace – network-intelligent apps can be taken to market with confidence and be discovered by a wide network of enterprises, systems integrators and operators.
The Modern Connected Apps of the Future
5G is creating a new development opportunity and Microsoft is committed to helping developers act upon it. By using the technology now, developers are able to be early adopters, unlock new possibilities and solve complex problems. The cloud is expanding and bringing computing closer to the problems. Microsoft, through Azure, delivers a strong platform and ecosystem that can support the huge potential of 5G. 5G can help developers achieve mission-critical workload results in highly complex environments and manage everything through one unified and flexible platform. With Azure developers on your side, the only limitation is your imagination.