As you have undoubtedly noticed, 5G is generating quite a bit of buzz in telco and OSS circles.
For many it’s just an n+1 generation of mobile standards, where n is currently 4 (well, the number of recent introductions into the market mean n is probably now getting closer to 5 🙂 ).
But 5G introduces some fairly big changes from an OSS perspective. As usual with network transformations / innovations, OSS/BSS are key to operationalisation (ie monetising) the tech. This report from TM Forum suggests that more than 60% of revenues from 5G use-cases will be dependent on OSS/BSS transformation.
And this great image from the 5G PPP Architecture Working Group shows how the 5G architecture becomes a lot more software-driven than previous architectures. Interesting how all 5 “software dimensions” are the domain of our OSS/BSS isn’t it? We could replace “5G architecture” with “OSS/BSS” in the diagram below and it wouldn’t feel out of place at all.
So, you may be wondering in what ways 5G will impact our OSS/BSS:
- Network slicing – being able to carve up the network virtually, to generate network slices that are completely different functionally, means operators will be able to offer tailored, premium service offerings to different clients. This differs from the one-size-fits-all approach being used previously. However, this means that the OSS/BSS complexity gets harder. It’s almost like you need an OSS/BSS stack for each network slice. Unless we can create massive operational efficiencies through automation, the cost to run the network will increase significantly. Definitely a no-no for the execs!!
- Fibre deeper – since 5G will introduce increased cell density in many locations, and offer high throughput services, we’ll need to push fibre deeper into the network to support all those nano-cells, pico-cells, etc. That means an increased reliance on good outside plant (PNI – Physical Network Inventory) and workforce management (WFM) tools
- Software defined networks, virtualisation and virtual infrastructure management (VIM) – since the networks become a lot more software-centric, that means there are more layers (and complexity) to manage.
- Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) and virtualisation – 5G will help to serve use-cases that may need more compute at the edge of the radio network (ie base stations and cell sites). This means more cross-domain orchestration for our OSS/BSS to coordinate
- And other use-cases where OSS/BSS will contribute including:
- Multi-tenancy to support new business models
- Programmability of disparate networks to create a homogenised solution (access, aggregation, core, mobile edge, satellite, IoT, cloud, etc)
- Self-healing automations
- Energy efficiency optimisation
- Monitoring end-user experience
- Zero-touch administration aspirations
- Drone survey and augmented reality asset management
- etc, etc
Fun times ahead for OSS transformations! I just hope we can keep up and allow the operator market to get everything it wants / needs from the possibilities of 5G.Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email