5G will spur new applications, new devices and even new industries. Many of these will be mission critical, with connections that power things like autonomous vehicles, remote medicine, smart cities, and someday – even drone taxis. When you factor in that all these new devices, services and applications will be hitting the market, paired with a new technology backbone that depends upon complex, heterogeneous networks, there are plenty of opportunities for missteps and mistakes.
Subscribers and businesses today have little patience. They expect new services to work right the first time, with little or no friction. If not, they will take their dollars elsewhere. With so much at stake, the ability to plan, optimize and assure the 5G network will be paramount.
At TEOCO, we have been working to develop 5G network engineering and assurance requirements since 2015 when we joined the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Center as a founding member. Since then, we have also led award winning TM Forum Catalysts on 5G and taken an active part in initial 5G projects with system integrators, NEP vendors and service providers globally.
Below are some of the ways we are helping our customers today:
PLANNING 5G NETWORKS
A robust network design is the critical foundation on which a high-performance network is built. Without a solid design, no amount of optimization will bring the network quality up to the standard required. The design stage also has a big impact on network costs. An inefficient design can significantly increase CAPEX spending on the network for no additional performance gains.
ASSET is TEOCO’s radio planning tool. Along with providing support for 2G, 3G and 4G networks, it is now fully 5G-capable; enabling CSPs to plan state-of the-art 5G networks. This includes ensuring that multiple network technology layers (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G) work seamlessly together to provide the best possible quality of experience for all users. Additionally, ASSET’s 5G NR modelling capabilities, with advanced propagation models, complex antenna array and full multi-technology capacity simulation, guarantee that CSPs deliver the best possible QoE at the lowest possible cost.
“We have a longstanding, valued relationship with TEOCO. It was therefore a very easy decision to entrust the planning of our 5G infrastructure to TEOCO and its ASSET Radio planning tool.” – Tier 1 US Operator
OPTIMIZING 5G NETWORKS
As 5G networks are ‘switched on’ it will be critical to ensure initial customer impressions are positive and any performance issues are quickly resolved. Then, as traffic grows, the network will require daily optimization to ensure it is always delivering the best quality of experience possible to your 5G subscribers.
The methodologies for optimizing 5G networks will be similar to those for optimizing 2G, 3G and 4G networks, something TEOCO has been an expert in for over 20 years. The big difference, however, will be the amount of network and call detail record data available to optimization engineers. In preparation for this, we have added support for Hadoop to our RAN optimization and analytics tool, Mentor, ensuring we are able to provide sufficient processing and storage scalability .
SERVICE ASSURANCE IN A 5G WORLD
5G will soon become much more than just the sum of its technical and architectural improvements. It will create dramatic changes on multiple levels. In a sense, it will be the start of a perfect storm, agitated by many factors, such as network slicing, RAN diversity, edge computing, virtualization, cloudification and softwarization of the network, and more.
When it comes to 5G transformation, a ‘more of the same’ approach to network management will not suffice. This especially holds true for Service Assurance, which will play a critical role in the proactive management cycle of network slices and services. Helix Service Assurance enables CSPs to efficiently address these challenges and deliver new revenue streams by launching and managing 5G-based services.
From leading award-winning TM Forum Catalysts, participating in 5G labs with vendors and System Integrators, to participating in projects with leading service providers and network equipment vendors, we have evolved our Helix Service Assurance suite to meet the needs of a 5G world. The result is a mature solution, ready to cope with the specific challenges of 5G, while helping CSPs accelerate their network deployments and reap the multiple benefits this new technology brings.
ASSURING YOUR 5G BUSINESS
5G is the enabler for a multitude of new digital services and connections, offering many new opportunities for CSPs. However, the already complex ecosystem for service contracts, billing and reconciliation will become even more complex. Billions of new event records, connections and services will introduce new risk and fraud challenges for financial departments.
New CSP business models and innovation will include fields such as fintech, family plans, wearables, watchables, media, IoT, M2M and many more exciting innovations that are just around the corner. Naturally, CSPs will want to quickly introduce many of these new digital services and connections for revenue growth, in a bid to positively impact profitability.
At TEOCO we have introduced machine learning and AI capabilities to help CSPs identify and prevent revenue leakage and fraud, particularly as new digital services open additional avenues for fraudsters to exploit. We have also invested in our big data analytics platform to handle the volume challenges that 5G will bring to the market.
At TEOCO, we help CSPs to reduce risks from current and emerging fraudulent practices, while introducing new 5G digital services and connections at speed.
ASSURING SERVICE FOR CONNECTED CARS – A TM FORUM CATALYST
Recently, 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 their infrastructures are utilized to meet all the 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 was able to heal itself, without the typical delays caused by human intervention.
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 as a Gold Founder on the Advisory Board of the 5G Innovation Center at the University of Surrey, UK. Leveraging this experience, we develop software solutions and services to solve the many challenges CSP’s will face as they move towards 5G.
Whether you are in the planning phase, working on business cases and technology choices, trying to determine what spectrum you can clear, or you are looking for tools and expertise to plan, deploy and operate your 5G network – we can help.