Orange and Nokia set a world first for SD-WAN over 5G

5G services are launching in cities all over Europe, with nationwide coverage in France expected during 2020. The promise of mobile connectivity that is 10 times faster, with a latency 10 times less, is generating considerable interest among businesses and consumers. Faster speeds and reduced latency mean that 5G could soon have a valuable role to play in corporate networks.

At the recent Orange Business Summit in Paris, we demonstrated how an SD-WAN network can run on a 5G underlay, using Flexible SD-WAN by Orange. In partnership with Nokia, we showed how a real-time HD video conference can be automatically routed over 5G if there is a traffic bottleneck on the fiber/MPLS connection. The combination of 5G and SD-WAN showed off performance reliability.

We believe this is the first demonstration of its kind, and we are also planning to run a live proof-of-concept on a customer site before the end of 2019.

5G will multiply the opportunities for SD-WAN, giving another boost to SD-WAN adoption. While some enterprises use 4G LTE to rapidly set up a new site or as a backup to a fixed network, mobile connections are not widely used in SD-WAN underlays. 5G, however, could have a significant role to play as a main access technology for branch sites, alongside fiber and xDSL. The Orange Flexible SD-WAN solution will dynamically select the best route based on availability, bandwidth and security requirements. Some use cases, such as 360-degree AR or telemedicine, will benefit greatly from the superior speeds and latency from 5G compared to xDSL.

Through Flexible SD-WAN, Orange already offers its customers intelligent and dynamic routing of their data between on-premises sites and the cloud, backed by best-in-breed security. SD-WAN provides seamless connectivity for multi-cloud environments to connect enterprise networks, including branch offices and data centers – over large geographic areas.

Orange has been collaborating with Nokia for three years on 5G use cases for vertical industries. Orange is also working with several customers on co-innovation programs around 5G, including fixed wireless access and private 5G for campus and industry 4.0 usage.

Franck Morales
Franck Morales

Franck is Vice President, Evolution Platform, a new strategic program focused on building the future orchestrated cloud-native infrastructure for our customers to ensure the delivery of real business outcomes. Outside his professional life, Franck enjoys cultural activities such as opera, especially Italian ones, and loves the theater. Sports also figure in his free time, especially cycling, running and skiing.