THE BENEFITS OF 5G AND NETWORK SLICING
Although still in trials, by 2020 5G is expected to supercharge the world of data services and connected things, with data speeds 100X faster than today’s 4G networks, and latency reduced from 50 milliseconds in response time to only 1 millisecond. 5G will give service providers the ability to create individual network ‘slices’ that are each customized with varying characteristics for the type of service they provide – yet can all be run across the same infrastructure. It is expected to be a real game-changer for telecom, the IoT and enterprise services.
PREPARING FOR 5G
As the reality of 5G looms ever closer, TEOCO is hard at work ensuring operators have the tools required to plan, assure and optimize their 5G networks when the time comes.
PLANNING 5G NETWORKS
Along with the existing 2G, 3G and 4G support, ASSET is now also well on its way to being a fully capable 5G radio planning tool, already supporting key initial 5G modeling capabilities such as Massive MIMO, NB-IoT and 200MHz+ carrier bandwidths at up to 6oGHz frequencies. As a founding member of the 5G Innovation Centre, TEOCO has provided a number of tools to the project. ASSET is one of those tools and it is being used on a daily basis by researchers in the 5G test bed, providing us with as excellent opportunity to understand the engineering requirements of 5G network planning and expand the tools 5G capabilities.
OPTIMIZING 5G NETWORKS
The methodology for optimizing 5G networks is expected to be similar to that for optimizing 2G, 3G and 4G networks. The big difference however will be the amount of network and call detail record data available to optimization engineers. With the latest release of Mentor, our RAN optimization and analytics tool, we have added support for Hadoop to ensure we are able to provide sufficient processing and storage scalability to meet the demands of optimizing a 5G network.
SERVICE ASSURANCE IN A 5G WORLD
With 5G, it all comes down to being able to track, measure and enforce various service agreements and functionality to ensure each network slice contains all the necessary components each service requires. Each slice can be configured with its own network architecture, engineering mechanism and network provisioning. In effect, each one becomes its own mini-network that requires many of the same OSS/BSS support systems as the larger network, and service assurance plays a big role.
TEOCO’s Helix Service Assurance Suite takes an automated, analytical, proactive and unified approach to service quality assurance, network performance and fault management. Supporting the digital transformation of service provider networks, it enables quick adoption of new-generation telecommunications services driven by technology advancements such as virtualization, NFV/SDN, 5G and IoT.
LEADING THROUGH INNOVATION
Our continued focus on innovation keeps TEOCO on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and industry advancements, through participation with organizations like the Telemanagement Forum’s Catalyst Program, and a Gold Founder on the Advisory Board of the 5G Innovation Center at the University of Surrey, UK.
ASSURING SERVICE FOR CONNECTED CARS – A TM FORUM CATALYST
TEOCO joined forces with the Telemanagement Forum (TMF) and other partners to study the emerging area of 5G service assurance in a Catalyst called 5G Service Operations. It showcased the benefits of agile, closed loop operations for delivering 5G Network Slice Assurance and other Network as a Service capabilities. This Catalyst addressed multiple industry verticals that must continuously optimize how the infrastructure is utilized to meet all its SLA commitments for Connected Car services.
Because the 5G concept of network slicing allows Communication Service Providers to offer service classes with varying characteristics on the same infrastructure, in this Catalyst TEOCO demonstrated how two service classes for IoT, uMTC (ultra-reliable MTC, also known as uRLLC) and MMB (mobile broadband services), are assured on a common infrastructure. This whole process was performed instantaneously in a ‘closed loop’ fashion, which means it is fully automated and the slice could heal itself without the delays of human intervention.