Operators need to be agile, quick and open as we move into the 5G era

As operators look to evolve their product portfolios we asked Paul Saunders, GVP Sales, Openet how telecoms operators can evolve to become more than mere purveyors of dumb pipes
Openet, 5G, Networks, Next Gen

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Industry focus

“The focus for the industry at the moment is agility, speed and openness. Digital transformation has been high on the agenda of the telecoms industry; everyone, everywhere is doing its best to rid itself of burdensome, legacy systems that make keeping up with the pace of change incredibly difficult.

“We’re now seeing the industry move away from vendor lock-ins, and approach new ways of working such as DevOps and co-development to improve agility, speed, and time to market. We’re seeing more and more vendors come together to form partnerships and join ecosystems, and we’re rapidly seeing the emergence of multi-vendor ‘best of breed’ architectures, whereby several vendors work together, managed by an SI, to deliver the solutions and systems that work best for that operator and its subscribers.

“No longer are operators “content” with accepting the “one-size-fits-all” approach, the proliferation of open APIs, microservices and open digital architectures is giving way to a new dawn of telecoms networking: one that reduces risk, cost and gives operators the ability to become digital service providers.”

Evolving the product portfolio

“Operators know they cannot continue with the “traditional telecoms formula” of selling handsets and mobile phone contracts. They must diversify and try out new services and business models to cater to subscriber trends. To do so, they have to leverage a key asset: their subscriber data. Using data-led insights, operators can do a number of things: improve customer engagement and customer interactions, increase personalization and contextualization and deliver better services that cater to subscriber trends. Data insights can also play an important role in understanding QoS requirements for individual services and applications. Delivering a seamless experience will become key as we move towards 5G and we see a wealth of new services become available—from VR and AR through to ultra-low latency gaming. Subscribers must feel like they’re getting the service they expect.”

The role of 5G

“For operators, 5G is exciting, yet daunting. Many are still unsure about how to monetise their latest network investments and are increasingly feeling the pressure. But 5G will pave the way for a “new age” operator—in the 5G era, we’ll see them become increasingly important for the enterprise and this is where the 5G business case lies. With the arrival of network slicing, 5G will make it possible for operators to better guarantee QoS and meet SLA-grade network requirements. This opens them up to a wealth of opportunities to offer their networks to enterprises requiring SLA-grade connectivity. Network slicing also operators to monetise services and applications on a slice-per-slice basis, in accordance to individual network requirements. This will prove to be a lucrative source of revenue for operators, but only if they have the monetisation tools capable of dealing with the complexity that 5G is set to bring. The charging and policy management tools of yesterday simply won’t do—operators will need agile, digital systems that can meet the demands of 5G.”

Looking ahead to 2020 and beyond

“2020 is set to be another exciting year for Openet. In fact, we think it’ll be the year of change, where we see real, implementation of strategic change programs within operators. So this year, our plan is to continue to support global operators to find the solution that works for them—this can range from co-development, whereby we work with operator IT development teams to roll out new BSS services, all the way to helping operators completely replace existing legacy BSS. 2020 will see us continue to push digital and 5G BSS solutions that are cloud-native, microservices-based and that leverage open APIs.”

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