Exposure can take numerous forms, including NaaS (Network as a Service) and NaaP (Network as a Platform). For years, operators collaborated using NNIs (Network-to-Network Interfaces) for networking/connectivity services and reciprocal enrichment – but in the 5G and beyond 5G era this collaboration must be taken to the next level.
NaaP (Network as a Platform) is a novel idea, that expands NaaS beyond connectivity. In a disaggregated and automated operator world, a CSP/MNO or MVNO has a set of capabilities (networking, mobility, apps, services, etc.) that can be shuffled, categorized, and made accessible via APIs. Network Slicing and Network Slicing as a Service are credible NaaP examples.
Extended Reach with a Multi-Cloud Networks Strategy
Congratulations if your firm is exploring a multi-cloud strategy as you read this page. It indicates your OSS/BSS infrastructure is optimized to include multi-cloud implementation and configuration management with Terraform/CloudFormation. Your cloud-native strategy has advanced so much that your hybrid cloud vision can be driven by a unified IT solution.
- Leverage multiple cloud providers for computing resources to reduce downtime and data loss
- Expand business reach to tap into new business horizons while managing cloud costs
- Avoid vendor lock-in and manage the risks of a sole cloud partner.
- Hire and retain employees who understand cloud service providers' infrastructures and specifications
- Manage apps security for data and access permission and exposure strategy
- Operational management and administrative responsibilities will grow more complex as every cloud provider uses different tools.
The Role of Data Analytics Functions in Tomorrow’s Network
3GPP defines 5G, Network Slicing, MDAF, and NWDAF data analytics functionalities. E2E service orchestration and zero-touch networks use AI/ML data analytics. Data intelligence models should monitor and observe network/service infrastructure. These actions produce performance, gap, and forecast analytics data.
OSS/BSS service layers offer the end-to-end network capabilities needed to build tomorrow’s networks and services, including network slicing, service monitoring, and zero-touch automation. Data Analytics sub-functions are required to support this vision with use cases such as AI/ML fueled anomaly detection, cross-domain correlation, root-cause, and OSS/BSS integrated remediation.
Data analytics is enabling telecom networks to self-heal without human involvement.
The Dream of Network Slicing
Network slicing involves turning a mobile service infrastructure into a network with logical divisions called Network Slice Subnet Instances (NSSI) for each operational domain (RAN, Transport, 5G Core, and even hyperscalers), stitching them together to create a Network Slice Instance (NSI), which is intuitive yet complex to implement.
The result is the ability to transition from a one-size-fits-all network to tailored, high-performance, low-latency network slices.
5G and Network Slicing are B2B and B2B2X-oriented. Thus, market velocity and exposure make Network Slicing as a Service (NSaaS) a commercial need. NSaaS naturally uses all features covered in this 2023 network trends blog:
- E2E Service Orchestration for cross-domain resources allocation and Network Slice instantiation
- Data Analytics Function fueled by AI/ML for cross-domain monitoring and observability
- Network & service exposure capabilities combining several API standards and 5G NEF capability
- Fully integrated OSS/BSS functions to flexibly establish and adjust chargeable events and align the service billing