Numbers for low latency are a dynamic goal. They are higher for low-throughput applications than they are for higher-throughput applications. In general, a proper network design affects latency. Along with end-to-end IP latency and the round-trip delay, radio latency must be taken into account. Wi-Fi, 5G, and Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul (URWB) technologies all have one main factor that affects latency: the lower the possible latency, the closer applications are placed to where data is being processed in data centers, clouds, or at the network edge.
Applications Have Different Low Latency Requirements
Users are not affected by 150 milliseconds of latency in one direction when using VoIP, so it is acceptable. Sub-50 millisecond bi-directional response times are needed for augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and collaboration applications like WebEx or Microsoft Teams. Sub-20 ms response times in a high-throughput network are required for wirelessly operating an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or an automated guided vehicle (AGV) in a factory, although some closed-loop process control traffic needs 10 ms or less end-to-end latency.
How to Calculate Latency Usually
End-to-end IP latency is typically measured from the wireless device to the IP transport network, wireless network, and application server. Bi-directional latency is calculated using round-trip time (RTT). The closer proximity of applications hosting the wireless devices makes achieving lower RTT latency possible.
The typical round-trip time (RTT) latency between an end user and a cloud provider or content distribution network (CDN) provider should be taken into account when evaluating end-to-end IP latency. The delay time between each network segment or building block from the local device to its application must be estimated in a network design that seeks 150 ms of RTT latency. In the round-trip path, data is transmitted across public and private IP infrastructure, including switches, routers, and firewalls, after a device connects to a local wireless network with its over-the-air latency. Before reaching the application, this frequently results in unpredictable Internet latency. In addition, the processing time necessary before a response is sent back must also be taken into account when evaluating overall latency.
The Handling of Latency by Various Wireless Technologies
Every step of the radio hardware and uplink and downlink transmission processes is optimized in advanced 5G services like 5G Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and 5G Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC). According to whether spectral efficiency in eMBB or low latency in URLLC is the primary goal, new radio capabilities handle low latency communications by providing for a variable transmission time interval (TTI), which can scale from 1ms down to about 140 microseconds. The User Plane Function (UPF) in a 5G network receives IP packets from the radio through a tunnel and serves as the interface between the mobile infrastructure and the data network.
Despite operating in unlicensed bands, Wi-Fi is strictly regulated by countries. To minimize user interference, local rules define the maximum power levels for access points. Range, coverage, penetration, and signal strength are then determined by this. The Wi-Fi protocol’s determinism is expected to be increased in the upcoming generation, enabling better latency control in network architecture.
IP packets in a Wi-Fi network transit similarly from the access point to the wireless radio network, through tunnels to a wireless LAN controller, although Wi-Fi and 5G employ different kinds of encapsulations (WLC). A Wi-Fi WLC for the application server path should be designed as quickly as possible if low latency is needed for an application.
With Cisco Ultra-Reliable Wireless Backhaul (Cisco URWB), a wireless WAN backhaul technology developed from Wi-Fi and created to service mobile network settings, endpoints can move at high speeds with zero-delay handoffs thanks to the low-latency, extremely reliable, long-range connections (like vehicles, trains, or subways). While the end-to-end IP infrastructure starting at the Cisco URWB gateway is similar to Wi-Fi and 5G topologies, operating in unlicensed frequencies, the Cisco URWB segment requires an appropriate design to control latency and fast handover in less than 5 ms.
Recent changes send high-priority packets over redundant channels to maintain connectivity for fast-moving devices. Cisco’s Multipath Operations (MPO) technology, which is patented, can reduce interference and hardware failures by duplicating protected data up to 8 times, avoiding common paths, and working in conjunction with hardware availability for lower latency and improved availability.
Depending on the application, low latency can mean different things and call for different solutions. Depending on the strategy and use cases of your company, the proper network design can lower latency to desired levels.
The round-trip delay and IP end-to-end latency must be taken into consideration while estimating radio latency. The closer applications are to the location where data is being processed, whether in a data center, cloud, or network edge, the lower the likely service latency. While many different factors contribute to reduced latency, using 5G, Wi-Fi, and Cisco URWB.
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