As with every industry, it is only the high-performing, adaptable and agile organizations that will lead in their unpredictable markets. Basically, only the agile will survive. And the telco industry is no exception.
Companies in telco, like every other industry, need to understand the digital consumer to stay ahead of the competition. Since basic connectivity services have already been commoditized, 5G seems to be the next big thing for telcos to be able to offer their customers highly desirable experiences.
The promises of 5G include improved coverage, bandwidth and lower latencies that will enable a lot of the tech of tomorrow like drones, the IoT, and Virtual Reality, to become more viable solutions. In regards to improved bandwidth and latency, we will see the initial benefactors in the online gaming and video space. Jitter-free HD and gaming responsiveness will become the norm. And, for IoT, it means a higher volume of connected devices and data.
The versatility of 5G means network assets can be configured and moved around as needed to keep pace with demand, avoid bottlenecks, offer different qualities of service, and so on. As data needs continue to grow, this flexibility needs to be agile for telco to leverage the maximum benefits of these 5G capabilities.
Telcos that take advantage of evolving their networks as soon as possible will reap the benefits. And, what’s great is that many larger telcos have already paved the way for smaller companies to get there.
The road to 5G
To evolve to 5G, telcos can choose to build a completely new network or evolve their existing one. Whether the effort will be to build new or evolve the existing network, there will likely be a hybrid 4G evolved packet core (EPC), an emerging 5G core, and infrastructure for supporting revenue.
Therefore, more than ever before, APIs supporting a telco’s ecosystem-based processes for configuration, enforcement, and service assurance, require very flexible and agile integration of core network functions (4G, 5G, fiber, etc.) and IT systems. Either way, telcos need a flexible and agile infrastructure that combines core network functions (4G, 5G, fiber) and IT systems.
This can be achieved by utilizing a software-defined network (SDN), which is a cloud computing approach to networking that improves performance and monitoring. An SDN decouples the control plane from the forwarding plane, centralizing control, making it easier for service providers to respond to quickly changing business requirements. In traditional physical network architecture, a service provider would have many touch points spread out across different individual network devices to alter traffic patterns. Not very efficient.
But, this is only one part of what a telco needs to consider when moving to 5G. For more information and best practices on how to best move to 5G, read the paper Transforming to Digital: The Telco Service-based Network Architecture. Or, contact us to see how we can help your telco go from a communication service provider (CSP) to a digital service provider (DSP) to create all-new service menus that meet the very highest business demands and exceed anything other companies could offer.