2021: The year 5G will change telecoms

Avishai Sharlin, President of Amdocs Technology, discusses how 5G is re-inventing telecoms

Avishai Sharlin

19 Jan 2021

2021: The year 5G will change telecoms

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It’s always good to see how the world’s most innovative service providers are developing new 5G use cases and offers that can help change telecoms and also play a major role in driving innovation in other industries.

The recent CES (consumer electronics show) keynote by Verizon CEO and Chairman, Hans Vestberg was one of the best examples I’ve seen of how a service provider is using 5G to enable innovation, change telecoms and also provide advancement in society.

Verizon announced several 5G partnerships across a range of sectors that really show the potential for 5G. These included partnerships in sports, learning, smart cities and entertainment with organisations including the NFL, UPS, The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution. These leading organisations are working with Verizon to use 5G to change how they operate. For example, the Smithsonian will work with Verizon to provide high fidelity scanning of the Smithsonian’s collections and artefacts to deliver new immersive digital experiences. This enables people to experience the history and culture of the Smithsonian collection remotely. Also UPS is working with Verizon to leverage the low latency of 5G and edge compute for monitoring traffic and freight across their fleets of drones, trucks, and planes. As UPS advances with autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, 5G will become essential.

The Power of the 5G Network

These are just two examples from the many that Verizon announced at CES 2021, but all the use cases highlighted during this presentation have one thing in common: they are enabled by the power of the 5G network. This is so far beyond selling connectivity on its own. These services and many others that we’re seeing with the rollout of 5G can be described at Network Embedded Services. It used to be that the network was a mean to deliver a service, but with 5G Network Embedded Services the network is central to the service and the experience that it delivers. With 5G and the roll out of network slicing we will see different network characteristics such as speed and latency be applied to different services. 5G gaming is often cited as a service where customers would pay a premium for a service that delivers the best gaming experience. There are many, many more examples – from autonomous vehicles to remote surgery where the best 5G network experience is mission critical. To ensure the right 5G network quality of service you need to manage the network slices to apply the right rules in the 5G policy control function. The next step is to monetise this experience, and service providers can apply charging rules in the 5G charging system to monetise these high value services accordingly.

As the 5G network characteristics becomes part of the use cases and offers that a service provider delivers, it’s essential that the 5G network is tightly integrated with the IT/ BSS and business side of a service provider. Traditionally BSS collected CDRs for billing from the network and sent provisioning requests to the network. With the introduction of 5G Network Embedded Services this all changes. The interactions between the business / IT side of a service provider and the 5G network become much more varied and dynamic. A bridge between business / IT and the 5G network is needed to ensure management, delivery and monetisation of all the new 5G use cases that will be rolled out. With 5G, the potential range and number of use cases may only be limited by the imagination. The last thing service providers need is not being able to roll out and monetise new use cases because their IT and network software hindered them from realising the full potential of 5G.

For more information on how 5G is re-inventing telecoms please listen to the Amdocs Technology ‘Future of Tech’ podcast. On this podcast I recently discussed the fourth industrial revolution and the evolution of compute platforms with Toby Eduardo Redshaw, SVP, Enterprise Innovation and 5G Solutions, Verizon Business Group. Toby discussed some of the areas that he sees as ripe to make the biggest impact on our lives and work moving forward. From IoT to NextGen Cloud Computing to AI and 5G. I’d encourage you to listen to this podcast. It highlights the change that is happening in our industry and is available on Apple, Spotify and Google platforms.

The 5G Value Plane

At Amdocs we could see these 5G advances coming and we were evolving to meet them. Understanding that our traditional delivery models may not always suit our customers’ needs in some circumstances we have expanded our capabilities to address network models too. We saw that Openet has the best 5G policy and charging systems in the world. Combine this with the innovation, expertise and scale of Amdocs then we are perhaps the most serious 5G vendor in the market now, with an extensive software portfolio and range of delivery models.

The 5G Value Plane is a good example of this combination delivering new and innovative solutions that will help change the telecoms industry. The 5G Value Plane is a bridge that joins the business / IT side of a service provider with the 5G network. At the core of the 5G Value Plane is the Openet 5G charging and policy systems and the Amdocs Service Catalog. Openet’s products provide the integration point to the 5G network and the Amdocs Service Catalog provides the integration point to the business / IT universe. This bridge linking the digital experiences all the way back to the layers of the very complex 5G networks is unique. Having this foundation for 5G management and monetisation also opens up new opportunities to update adjacent solutions – such as Digital customer experience management on the business side and network optimisation on the network side.

Network optimisation used to be all about managing capacity, keeping costs down and ensuring that the network was working optimally. While these are still very important, with 5G network optimisation also should include network monetisation and experience management. Are cell sites delivering the best level of profitability they could? The best way to ensure network monetisation is to roll out high value 5G Network Embedded Services where the network quality is a fundamental part of the offer and the customer experience.

2021 will be the year where 5G innovation goes to a new level. It will also be the year when Amdocs (with Openet as an important part of the engine) drives the enablement of 5G innovation to become commercial reality and help change the industry. The Openet tagline about being “Built for Change” equally applies to Amdocs – and this is really apparent in our ambitions and successes in becoming the leading provider in the 5G network market. It is a serious challenge to be the leader and we are very serious about it. I look forward to working with you to shape the future of 5G.


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