5G, with its promise of multi-Gpbs speed, ultra-low latency and greater bandwidth, has unleashed a new spectrum of applications and services targeting enhanced customer experience, sustainability and all-round connectivity.
Complemented by advanced communication capabilities such as network exposure, cloud computing, edge and AI/ML, 5G technology enables us to inter-connect a wide range of domains such as health, transport, infrastructure, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, sports and more. For CSPs looking to make their mark, this creates an ideal environment to launch innovation solutions, aimed at elevating day-to-day living – from e-health to connected vehicles, delivery-drones, augmented reality and so forth.
Yet the challenge goes far beyond just ideating and launching new experience-driven services. For CSPs, it also requires them to prepare for the explosive growth in connectivity demands that these new services will bring. This is where a purpose-built network lab emerges as a powerful solution, providing an ideal environment to simulate real-world scenarios, validate new services and optimize network performance before they become costly mistakes in a full-scale launch.
Complexities of network labs
Even this approach however, brings its own set of complexities. Replicating a network or a service in a lab environment can be time-consuming and lack the reliability of a full-scale installation. Furthermore, there’s the issue of synchronization between the lab and the real network, which can become disrupted in terms of software versions, traffic loads or usage patterns. And since both the real-life networks and their lab-counterparts comprise a complex ecosystem of competing vendors and technologies with misaligned roadmaps, it can lead to unanticipated functional or non-functional behavior.
Ultimately, creating a network lab that can serve as a reliable sandbox for advanced 5G applications and services, boils down to several key capabilities. Firstly, there’s agility in terms of setup and teardown costs, including automation for vendor onboarding and integration test capabilities. In addition, it must have closely aligned pre- and post-production toolsets, technologies and service blueprints. Finally, a user-centric dashboard or alerting mechanism is crucial to ensuring the timely insights needed for fast time-to-market certifications.
The solution: Amdocs Network Lab Acceleration Services
Amdocs Network Lab Acceleration Services, with its pre-integrated suite of automation tools and pipelines, fills this gap, reducing time-to-market and launch of next-gen services at a fraction of the cost. With its comprehensive dashboards – including insights powered by AI and health check KPIs – it enables CSPs to rapidly build, test and optimize network functions and services in a multi-vendor environment, allowing them to validate network software quality prior to deployment. Together, these capabilities make it a powerful tool for blueprint-driven automated cluster management, network function onboarding, benchmarking, certification as well as inter-operability and compliance testing.
With the power of network labs at their disposal, an intelligent network lab approach provides CSPs with the edge they need to deliver hyper-advanced 5G services in both existing and new markets. Yet when implemented with the right partner, it can also strongly position them to redefine the future of connectivity and customer experiences and establish themselves as leading players in this increasingly important domain.