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South East Asia’s Journey to 5G Goes Through the Core- by Todd Ashton

There’s no denying that 5G is fast becoming a reality. We’re continuing to see mobile explode on 4G and 5G is on its way for South East Asia with the potential to change lives and businesses. 5G isn’t just about new spectrum and new radio technologies - its about the Digitalization of the full Telco stack and big changes to the way of working.

The telecom operators across Southeast Asia, Oceania and India are already accelerating their digital journey towards 5G. We feel its essential for all leading operators in the region to execute on this transformation.  Becoming a digital player demands embracing new business models and putting new levels of agility across the business, IT and network capabilities of today.

The new 5G technologies provide exciting capabilities such as network slicing – a logical instance of an end to end network for a specific use case – giving multiple possibilities for differentiation and business. Capabilities for operators include being able to quickly address new segments by launching increasingly-crucial IoT services with flexibility and agility, all while reducing cost and increasing performance and providing enhanced network stability and security.

Innovating your own business at this unprecedented scale means moving towards adopting a 5G core system, an architecture that’s built to be flexible, modular and scalable. This allows for deployment across both central and distributed cloud environments. Whether network slicing, NFV, SDN or distributed cloud, the elements of the core system clear the way for agile innovation, allowing an operator to create business opportunities by reacting quickly to new challenges that are certain to rise within the South East Asia marketplace.

Adopting the core system and breaking through into the digital space will allow you to focus on three essential areas necessary to expand the revenue base. The first is transforming the customer experience by changing their touchpoints. Our research shows that its critical to create zero-touch type engagements with service providers.

The second revolves around developing programmable networks. Again, 5G is a technology that’s not only about radio, but the full telco digital stack. This new digital stack gives the ability to implement slicing and create an operation that’s truly unique to an industry even as it differs from other operations within the same network. The requirements for the consumer retail business are very different from what the oil and gas or agriculture industries need. Programmable networks allow for distributed workloads in a flexible way. You’ll be able to see your infrastructure better and create more efficiency.

The third area is really around automation and AI. As you get these more programmable networks, there’s a lot of room to create innovations and development on top of these networks to reduce the cost. The cost could be anything from the number of people required to run the applications to the money you spend on electricity, floor space and data centers.

Reacting to new challenges with renewed focus on these areas will put the customer first, ensuring an experience that’s convenient, relevant and reliable for your chosen segments and across your customers’ touch points.

At the end of the day, undertaking this transformation is not just about the technology roadmap. It will be about changing how we work: ensuring there is an aligned vision that inspires change. This will rally the organization around that change and will provide a roadmap for your operation to follow into the future. It’s really about leading the people. This is an execution business.

Read More: To Be the First To 5G, First Get to the Core Network