Monetizing 5G: The Strategic Importance of End-to-End Orchestration

Key findings from a recent Heavy Reading survey show service providers believe E2E orchestration will be pivotal to completing the 5G service monetization journey.

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Jim Hodges

Research Director, Cloud, and Security

12 Jun 2024

Monetizing 5G: The Strategic Importance of End-to-End Orchestration

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Heavy Reading recently conducted the 5G Orchestration and Service Assurance Market Leader Program to document E2E opportunities, challenges and orchestration platform requirements.

The survey findings provided valuable insights, including how service providers assess the monetization value of E2E orchestration.

As service providers continue on their 5G monetization journey, several questions remain. One particular question is the role end-to-end orchestration (E2E) will play in the monetization process. While E2E orchestration is conceptually straightforward, the execution requires the seamless integration of several foundational factors and capabilities including intent-driven policy and automated processes.  

To understand service providers' E2E execution strategies, Heavy Reading recently conducted the 5G Orchestration and Service Assurance Market Leader Program to document E2E opportunities, challenges, and even orchestration platform requirements. This survey project sponsored by Amdocs and Cisco was conducted in March and attracted 124 qualified respondents.

Assessing E2E Orchestration Importance  

The survey findings provided valuable insights on numerous levels including how strategically important service providers assessed the monetization value of E2E orchestration.  

As shown below, end-to-end orchestration  falls into strategic imperative territory, with nearly half (49%) of respondents assessing it as a “very important component” for monetizing 5G or cloud services and 44% as an “important component.”

The high ranking of E2E orchestration confirms the value of supporting comprehensive E2E service lifecycles to drive service innovation and migrate from domain-based orchestration to a comprehensive end-to-end lifecycle management system.  

Assessing E2E Orchestration Importance

How important is end-to-end orchestration for monetizing 5G or cloud-based services?  

E2E Orchestration Use Cases

Another key consideration is how E2E orchestration is tied to specific services or capabilities use cases. When given a broad list of six service-based use cases that are driving implementation, service providers ranked cloud orchestration (67%) in first place, followed by 5G sliced-based services (58%) and NaaS (57%).

Heavy Reading believes this input provides further validation that end-to-end orchestration will play an important role in service monetization by enhancing the revenue potential of high-value cloud-based services such as Network as a Service (NaaS) and even slice-based services.

E2E Orchestration Use Cases

Which service-based use cases are driving your implementation of end-to-end service orchestration? (Select top three)

AI Integration  

Automation is a given in end-to-end orchestration. This is because, as noted above, service execution is extended across multiple domains which means there are new performance requirements to meet strict SLA budgets for both sliced and non-slice-based services.  Since these happen in real time, they are beyond human performance levels.

This means some level of automation must be integrated into an end-to-end orchestration platform.  

Humans, however, can and must still manage service execution. This can be accomplished through the creation of intent-based business rules (e.g. define a service with a specific performance level). Once these rules and policies are defined these intent-driven principles and artificial intelligence techniques can be deployed to determine optimal network performance ( e.g., by the optimal placement and allocation of multi-domain workloads).  

The key question here is what are the benefits that service providers anticipate through the integration of AI into an E2E orchestration system. Since the breadth of benefits is so broad, we asked the survey respondents to prioritize the following defined capabilities areas. 

  • Dynamic optimization: Adjust network resources, ensuring peak efficiency and performance.
  • Customer-centric assurance: Enhance quality and reliability by using advanced analytics.
  • Agile innovation: Enables intent-based automation and service creation, quickly developing and deploying services.
  • Flexible orchestration: Service orchestration across diverse and complex networks. Model-driven automation and accurate representation of services and resources.
  • Operational efficiency: Streamline network resources across multiple vendors and technologies. 

As captured in the figure below,  the top-ranking benefit is operational efficiency (74%). A second tier of closely ranked benefits spanning from dynamic optimization (61%) to customer-centric assurance (58%) and flexible orchestration (57%).  

Heavy Reading interprets these results as reinforcing that initially, service providers will focus pragmatically on streamlining all their network resources to improve network operational performance which in turn will lower costs and increase revenue performance.  This is accomplished by leveraging AI to ensure the optimal performance of both services and underlying network resources within agreed-upon service standards as per the intent-based defined rules.  

While operational efficiency stood out, it’s important to note that on some level all of the categories  

have the potential to drive new revenue streams since they possess attributes that improve monetization potential by matching network performance and error detection to QoS and customer experience.

AI Integration

What are the leading benefits of integrating AI into an end-to-end orchestration system?

Purchasing an E2E Orchestration Platform

As we have seen, end-to-end orchestration is a fundamental component of monetizing 5G services.

But what are the platform impacts and what do service providers need to consider when they purchase an end-to-end orchestration platform?  

Based on “extremely important” input, the clear leader was reliability and resilience (52%), with scalability achieving a second-place ranking (41%). The remaining six capabilities were tightly ranked (29–33%), indicating that while viewed as secondary factors, each is subject to due diligence in the purchasing phase.

The focus on scale reliability and resilience is logical since cloud or no cloud; service providers still need to meet 5 9s reliability. This focus on scale also makes sense since the concept of scale has been extended to ensure there are sufficient resources in a multi-domain environment.

Purchasing an E2E Orchestration Platform

How important are the following capabilities when making end-to-end orchestration platform purchasing decisions?


The research confirms that service providers believe E2E orchestration will play a pivotal role in successfully completing this 5G service monetization journey.  

Accordingly, SPs are now in the due diligence phase and "dotting the i's" on the impacts, importance, and monetization value of integrating E2E orchestration augmented with AI and intent-based service logic into their multi-domain networks.

Looking for more information?

Check out the archived Light Reading webinar

Access the white paper here

This blog is sponsored by Amdocs    


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