We eagerly await the technology transformation that accompanies 5G, including the increased connectivity of people, data and things in the virtual world. 5G’s advanced speeds will bring numerous technological advancements.

Although the cabling industry has already done some work preparing for 5G, including building or upgrading infrastructure that will allow for the network capacity that 5G requires, many professionals are asking: What will happen to existing infrastructure when 5G takes over?   

This question is important because civil disruptions can be complicated and difficult to accomplish, especially in urban environments. We do not want progress to be halted while we prepare for further progress. What happens to existing infrastructure will dictate how significant of a process the upgrades to 5G could require.

The good news is that in many instances, existing infrastructure can stay in place instead of requiring removal or replacement.

In some instances, existing cables can be removed, which allow new cables to be pulled into existing conduits. Removing existing cables can be a difficult task, depending on the infrastructure’s complexity, but often not impossible. This option will require a little more effort from the installer but helps reduce the amount of civil disruption necessary for an upgrade.

Currently segmented conduits, like Vis™ Divide, make using existing infrastructure easier for installers. The Vis Divide segmented conduit has a built-in fabric divider so that additional cables can be pulled on top of the existing cables without risk of cable-over-cable damage. By using Vis Divide conduits, the installers can skip existing cable removal and just place the new cable while minimizing civil disruption significantly.

If Vis Divide conduits are not already in place, installing them during 5G upgrades can set the stage for simpler future maintenance and expansions.  

Utilizing a fabric innerduct, such as MaxCell, is another option for making use of current infrastructure. Fabric innerducts allow for more cables to be pulled into conduits without removing existing cables. MaxCell is especially helpful in accommodating a significant number of cables that would otherwise not be an option.

Installers have additional options for re-using old conduits without breaking new ground and disrupting above-ground life. 5G infrastructure lays the foundation for the next decade of entrepreneurship, innovation and industrialization. Make sure the infrastructure you’re laying today has the future in mind.

Want to learn more about your options for future proofing? Check out this article.