Communication service providers must transform support systems to realize 5G’s true potential

transition-from-4G-to-5G

Until now, each transition to the next generation of wireless networks, most recently 3G to 4G, has been incremental and relatively seamless. But the jump from 4G networks to 5G is expected to be monumental and fundamentally disruptive.

5G is more than just a faster, lower-latency version of 4G; it represents the first generation wireless network that can be configured for specific enterprise needs and precise use cases through the use of sophisticated network slicing. This creates incredible business opportunities for Communication Service Providers (CSPs) that have the underlying software-based infrastructure to take full advantage of the technology.

5G’s massive improvements in network speed, coverage, capacity and density will be the key enabler for a host of game-changing advancements, including autonomous vehicles, futuristic factories, immersive content, smart cities and smart homes, robotic surgery, new types of video streaming services, etc.

In order to seize the revenue opportunities that will arise from these new intelligent networks, CSPs need to transform their operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS). Current operations and processes are too costly and not agile enough to meet the new requirements of service fulfillment, service management and service assurance associated with 5G. In fact, one recent research report stated that “72% of 5G revenue growth is dependent on transformation of operational and business support systems.”

What CSPs need to accomplish

 Transforming OSS and BSS systems requires fundamental changes at all levels of the software stack. At the network layer, CSPs need to deploy software-based virtualization technologies like Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) in order to shift from manual to automated network controls.

Analytics driven distributed orchestration systems that work across physical and virtual networks are also critical. And closed loop quality of service (QoS) is needed to segregate traffic at the multi-layer level. When combined with analytics and machine learning, closed-loop QoS will be able to provide deeper insight into network activities, guaranteeing 100% uptime without overprovisioning of the specific network slice.

Systems can then be mapped to multi-tenant, cloud-based, online charging mechanisms which can scale across applications and geographies. This will allow auto-provisioning of an on-demand, high-bandwidth network with high QoS requirements, even for small sessions.

Examples include video-conferencing for telemedicine applications, robotic surgery and 360-degree live streaming of musical events and festivals.

As these new services and products are introduced, CSPs must be able to integrate the various OSS/BSS systems in order to provision, activate, charge and monitor parameters seamlessly in real time.

An entire new ecosystem needs to be built on an API-based architecture that allows dynamic integration between internal systems, multi-vendor products and competitors turned partners in this new 5G world.

Microservice principles will allow modular components to be independently designed, implemented and deployed with reduced time to market, enabling companies to monetize new products quickly and settle and share revenue streams with the partner ecosystem.

And as data generated in any part of the architecture must be widely available to all other components, security must be considered both at the block level and the system-wide perspective.

The transition to a zero-touch automated service portfolio won’t happen overnight. Companies will be operating in a hybrid environment for some time as they continue to support legacy systems, while moving to transform operations as quickly as possible.


Abhishek Bansal is a sales analyst for DXC, with more than 10 years experience in the telecom industry. He is responsible for driving digital transformation solutions, practice development and thought leadership for DXC’s telecom business.

Comments

  1. Infant Jones says:

    Very Informative #5G’s Digital Transformation #NextGenEra

    Like

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