The programmability and flexibility of the 5G network will provide service providers the opportunity to offer specialized services that address customer needs with more precision. Network slicing, with its ability to support diverse services with specific performance or control requirements on a common network platform, provides such a capability. But more importantly, as CSPs ramp up their 5G investments, such capabilities provide a solid foundation for new and innovative ways to monetize the 5G network.
A recent Amdocs-led survey of 50 mobile operators across the globe revealed that 52% believe Network Slice as a Service (NSaaS) will be the leading approach to network slice monetization, while 30% expect to charge for specific QoS parameters (e.g. throughput, latency).
Indeed, the NSaaS use case is appealing to many CSPs and their potential customers, as it allows the rapid creation of on-demand network slices to support a specific application, service, organization, set of users or network. The challenge however, remains in identifying how to lay a foundation with the potential to unleash maximum 5G network slicing monetization possibilities.
One approach is to enable CSPs’ charging systems to become aware of chargeable network slicing events. Such an approach would empower CSPs to revolutionize their monetization and business model capabilities, as it has the ability to not only generate subscriber- or session-based charging reports, but also much more comprehensive slice-level reports covering:
- Operational events such as slice/service instantiation, termination, activation, de-activation
- Usage events such as dynamic resource consumption by slice/service/network function
- Performance and analytics events based on collection of network slice performance metrics
Nevertheless, since network slices will span across RAN, transport and core networks, and utilize virtual, containerized and physical network functions, collecting chargeable network slicing events could be an obstacle for many CSPs in achieving their 5G monetization strategy.
Amdocs, which introduced the industry’s first 5G-ready charging system, is the first company to successfully negotiate this event collection challenge with its new Amdocs 5G Slice Manager solution. Responsible for the end-to-end network slice lifecycle management, Amdocs 5G Slice Manager is hierarchically positioned at the top of the multi-domain network management architecture (as specified in ETSI ZSM003), making it ideally situated to coordinate the RAN, transport, and core network slice subnet operations and services across the network management domains.
Taking a holistic, automated approach to end-to-end network slice lifecycle management and monetization, the solution maintains track of the resource consumption of every network slice, and serves as a charging triggering function that passes information about a slice’s operations, as well as resource consumption, utilization and performance to the charging function in accordance with recent 3GPP Release 17 guidelines.
With the agility to provision customized NSaaS for new services in the 5G digital economy, combined with the ability to support complex B2C, B2B and B2B2x business models, a 5G slicing management system must be a central pillar of any 5G monetization platform. For CSPs looking to maximize 5G monetization, such an approach should be considered an essential part of any strategy.
Read this whitepaper to learn more on how to transform your 5G network into an agile monetization platform.