5G ecosystems, disruptive trends, and collaboration at this year’s OSS/BSS User Group
Behind the scenes at this year’s OSS/BSS User Group meeting in New York, I had the opportunity to speak to our industry analyst, Dez Blanchfield and give my thoughts on the event’s key themes. Read on for my summary of the video.
It’s all about evolving ecosystems
The OSS/BSS User Group is the leading industry event where global operators can gather and exchange experiences and knowledge. This year, a key theme wasthe concept of collaboration, rather than competition, and how operators will need to work together for more nimble, smooth and effective delivery to customers: “It was really interesting to get some of the operator perspectives about evolving ecosystemsand what they see is going to be necessary in a 5G world to deliver to their customers – their enterprise customers, their potential business partners.” There’s no doubt the 5G ecosystem is evolving, and it’s up to all of us to help realize it.
Cloudification and virtualization is on for BSS/OSS
Knowing that we have to adapt to the increasing cloudification and virtualization of networks, we’re proud to have recently brought CENX into the Ericsson family: “CENX is a nice fit to round out the OSS portfolio. CENX will allow us to gain an end-to-end view of the network. It’s rich in detailed information about how the network works, and how it fits together. Then there’s analytics and AI on top of that to quickly understand the root cause problems and sort through the alarms much faster.”
The plan will be to integrate CENX with Ericsson Expert Analytics (EEA) and the benefits are clear. Where EEA focuses on the customer experience, CENX augments the root cause of any diagnosis by looking at every part of the network and identifying exactly what’s overloaded. Integrating the two is a natural fit for smoother, more efficient and reduced-risk customer experiences through broader and deeper data insights.
Disruptive trends with 5G are getting closer
Integrating AI and machine learning will be key to developing 5G use cases. I talked to Dez about Ericsson’s ongoing work with universities around the world and the importance of getting the right kind of data science involved at an early stage so that it can be industrialized and eventually available for customers.
Again, what is important to highlight is collaboration: “5G is driving so much now – the IoT use cases we’ve been looking at for a while are going to come out of 5G, and that’s partly where this ecosystem comes in again, where we’re doing Network-as-a-service for enterprise customers and where the kinds of reliable, flexible services they want, have to be provided on a nationwide or continental footprint with operators working together.”
Predictive data will be a big part of 5G use cases
“We’re finding that operators are still working out all the kinds of 5G use cases they’re going to emphasize. As they do that, they need to be able to act as they blossom, so they can operationalize quickly.” What can they use to help them adapt quickly? Data. Data-driven operations is where it’s at. We’ve shifted from historical data, to live data to what we have now: predictive data - data about customer experience, behavior and preference and making that part of real-life decision making. This is what can be leveraged to enable operators to act swiftly on all the different types of use cases that are to come.
Expectations have risen
The results from our recent Consumerlab report indicated that consumers’ expectations are continuously rising as commercial 5G gets closer. “Consumers are now used to easy, zero touch, customizable, smooth experiences from all sorts of industries through their mobile device, and are expecting the operators themselves to deliver that same smooth end-to-end experience.”
The future? The aim is a much more integrated, holistic, end-to-end solution for OSS, for one. That will enable things like orchestration, SDN and NFV to make our end goals a reality. It’s all about the integration of capabilities, the integration of data, and the integration of effort between the operators and providers like Ericsson.