5G evolution will greatly improve network capabilities, bringing 1 millisecond latency, 10 Gbps throughput, and a 90% reduction in network energy usage. At the same time, the number of devices in the Internet of Things is expected to reach 100 billion by 2020. But the real 5G revolution will be seen in verticals. These include autonomous cars, critical services based on zero latency connectivity, remote medical and engineering works, sensor networks, and smart cities.
The Challenges of 5G (R)evolution
Among the 5G challenges for CSPs is the need to introduce virtualized network architecture based on commodity hardware. Such hardware should host virtualized network functions, handle connections between them, and be re-used between several virtual networks to create fully converged network architecture and drive down TCO (total cost of ownership) for operators.
Network virtualization brings even more possibilities for network convergence. For example, separating the infrastructure/platform provider from the service provider means several CSPs can share the same network resources, while network slices allow the same resources to be used for different purposes. As an example, shopping mall owners can easily become IaaS providers or micro-operators, with CSPs hosting and configuring their VNFs on mall infrastructure. In this way, the micro-operator monetizes their facility and accesses customers, while shared network infrastructure lowers costs for CSPs. Optimization by deploying and scaling VNFs based on real-time demand is also possible, due to the high flexibility of software-based services.
Future-proof OSS also has integrated service fulfillment, network inventory, planning and service assurance functions. Service fulfillment enables provisioning to reach the highest possible level of automation, while service assurance acts automatically if thresholds are exceeded. In addition, future-proof OSS conducts and orchestrates the transition from physical infrastructure to a virtual system, which requires a standard information model representing the physical and virtual resources, their relations, and the services provided.
5G represents a revolutionary moment, when the number of connected devices, standardized interfaces, and the availability of anything as a service brings great opportunities for dramatic optimization in operational efficiency. In short, 5G is a game changer for everyone who can harness its potential.