Service providers, together with the wider technology industry, need to work harder to demonstrate the value of network slicing – both to their organization, as well as to potential enterprise customers. The Outlook on the future of network slicing is overwhelmingly positive, and service providers are confident it will contribute to the success of 5G.
Showcasing live end-to-end 5G network slicing orchestration
Service provider professionals’ outlook on the future of network slicing is overwhelmingly positive and they’re confident it will contribute to the success of 5G. Furthermore, their primary motivation to pursue network slicing is to offer enterprise services. Such were the findings of Heavy Reading’s recent 5G Network Slicing Operator survey . In addition, while these stakeholders feel enterprise customers have some understanding of network slicing and see value in it, there remains some way to go to fully convince them. Meanwhile, despite the encouraging signs that operators will be able to successfully commercialize network slicing over the next two years, the majority are still in the early phases of implementation.
The conclusion is that operators, together with the wider technology industry, need to work harder to demonstrate the value of network slicing – both to their organization, as well as to potential enterprise customers.
So what’s holding them back?
As operators embark on their network-slicing business journeys, they are doing so with trepidation around technical and business challenges. Indeed, the survey indicated that operating complexity and cost are the top business challenges for network slicing. Today, these players are overwhelmingly aware of the role automation solutions play in alleviating this complexity. Indeed, over the next three years, 73% plan to augment their automation solutions by investing in new network and service orchestration solutions to meet the requirements of 5G network slicing. Arguably, this explains the large demand for technological proofs of concept to showcase the ability for such solutions to manage end-to-end lifecycle of 5G network slices and services across multiple network domains, as well as edge applications that enable new revenue-generating use cases.
Collaborative PoC showcases live end-to-end 5G network slicing orchestration
One such scenario was recently showcased jointly by A1 Telekom Austria Group and Amdocs. A1’s strategic objective was to demonstrate the plausibility and advantages of creating a software-defined architecture that can be deployed with any radio or infrastructure and at any location, with the ability to create edge application services capable of solving business-critical use cases.
Together, the two parties built a proof of concept (PoC) that demonstrated 5G slice operations and monetization based on Amdocs’ end-to-end service and network orchestration including:
- E2E lifecycle management of 5G network slices/network services and edge applications
- Network slice and network service orchestration across RAN and core network domains
- Application management and orchestration on the edge
- An example of a customer portal for ordering 5G network slices and network services
Scope of Proof of Concept
Amdocs E2E Service and Network Orchestration played a key role in the network’s slice lifecycle management, enabling the delivery of a plethora of diverse 5G services over a shared network infrastructure. To combat the significant new complexity introduced by 5G network slicing in managing the service lifecycle (design, orchestration, operation), the PoC enabled the customer to deliver service manageability as an integral part of the BSS and OSS, including automating, orchestrating, productizing and commercializing slicing-based services from one location.
One use case demonstrated the end-to-end 5G service and network orchestration of 5G network slices, while also managing the complete E2E service fulfillment and activation process, including configuration and instantiation of the applications on the edge cloud. Another showcased the enrichment of the customers’ monetization and business model capabilities by serving as a charging-triggering function that passes information about a slice’s activation, utilization and performance to the charging function.
The PoC proved that using Amdocs’ solution, network-slice-based communication services can be designed and deployed in just minutes rather than hours or days. Furthermore, it showed how the entire network slicing lifecycle management can be automated across multiple network domains, with automation addressing the complexity faced by customers, helping them to deliver high-performance services to both consumers and enterprises. Thanks to automation, the PoC successfully reduced human effort and time to market, while enabling error-free deployment – all drivers of cost reduction and higher customer satisfaction.
The PoC also showcased how to orchestrate the creation of network slices in each domain, while stitching together network slices to deliver end-to-end connectivity across all domains to the applications on the edge cloud. Here, an important highlight was the solution's ability to generate new revenue and monetization possibilities. As such, it demonstrated how operational events, usage events, performance and analytics events are collected for each network slice and reported to the customer’s charging system.
Combined with the survey findings, the successful PoC serves to validate how Amdocs’ end-to-end service and network orchestration can benefit any operator who seeks to create edge application services capable of solving business-critical use cases.
Case study: A1 Telekom Austria Group showcases live end-to-end 5G network slicing orchestration
A1 Telekom Austria Group selected Amdocs to design a multi-vendor E2E service and network orchestration PoC to manage the E2E lifecycle of 5G network slices and edge applications.
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