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Ericsson and partners demonstrate 5G-based healthcare cooperation

Digital Transformation World always provides a great opportunity for telecom operators and vendors to work together to demonstrate co-operative innovation, based on TM Forum Framework best practices and standards. This year, the Skynet catalyst meets a number of important social, business, and technology objectives in the context of a very practical and important B2B2X business concept: eHealth and tele-medicine.

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In the Ericsson report entitled 5G Business Potential, we predict a USD 76 billion revenue opportunity in 2026 for operators addressing healthcare transformation with 5G. To realize this potential, collaboration between different players is essential. Telecom operators are fundamental drivers for the future hyper-connected Healthcare ecosystem, with technologies such as 5G Radio, federated network slicing, RAN virtualization, Distributed clouds, and advanced charging being vital to enable advanced remote health services.  

In the Skynet Catalyst, we are leveraging the unique benefits of 5G technology to demonstrate how telecom operators can bring collaborative and time-critical eHealth and tele-medicine solutions to those in desperate need of the world’s best medical services, even when the required medical experts are located halfway around the globe. In this new world of borderless cooperation, hospitals, doctors, and specialists can offer their services to the global market. 

Eleven global Tier-1 operators (BT, Chunghwa Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, du, NTT, Orange, Telus, Telenet, TIM, Vodafone, Verizon) and six vendors are participating in the catalyst to showcase 5G-enabled remote healthcare and drone management in a multi-operator orchestrated environment. Skynet will highlight the importance of business assurance, monetization, and the technical maturity of next-gen 5G enabled services and use industry standards such as TMForum Open Digital Architecture (ODA) and Open APIs, Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), MEF APIs and Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) defined by industry group OASIS. 

Skynet objectives 

The Skynet catalyst meets a number of important social, business, and technology objectives in the context of a very practical B2B2X business concept. 

Social objectives: 

  • Showcase how remote healthcare services - including remote diagnostics, drone-based inspection, image analytics, and robotic surgery - can deliver more effective and timely responses to disease epidemics and life-threatening natural disasters. 

Business objectives:  

  • Demonstrate the success of borderless partner collaboration in a complex business ecosystem (B2B2X) that includes telecom operators, 5G technology providers, IoT equipment vendors, hospitals and medical teams, public sector coordinators, health organizations. 

  • Emphasize the importance of telecom service providers in enabling vertical industry solutions that monetize 5G assets and generate new revenue streams beyond their traditional role as infrastructure and network providers - as outlined in the 5G healthcare blog. 

  • Empower hospitals and specialists so they can offer valuable services to a globally available market without the need for costly and time-consuming travel. 

 

Technical objectives:  

  • Deliver a compelling collaborative service based on advanced 5G technologies, including network slice lifecycle management, orchestration, assurance, charging, and settlement solutions. 

  • Verify the readiness of maturing industry-standard frameworks and standards to enable innovative 5G solutions. 

 

Skynet results 

Visitors to the Skynet catalyst will see the end-to-end global eHealth and tele-medicine use case. This provides a great B2B2X example with end-to-end service orchestration and monetization on a 5G network slice in a hybrid network for large enterprises with multiple global locations 

The main telecom operator business results being demonstrated are: 

  • Faster time to market: automation of 5G and IoT services from planning, ordering, charging, and settlement. 

  • Zero-touch, end-to-end service management: orchestration of network slices in hybrid network across multiple domains. 

  • Assured service quality and guaranteed service SLAs: service monitoring, correlation-based impact analysis, SLA management, and closed loop automation. 

  • Real-time charging and settlement: using advanced 5G charging and blockchain technologies. 

  • Improved return on investment: enabling on-demand network solutions. 

 

Contribution of Ericsson 

Ericsson teams from around the world have engaged with this project and contributed to the Skynet architecture and use cases. In particular, Ericsson is showcasing the roles of orchestration, assurance, and charging in the multi-operator and multi-vendor ecosystem. Ericsson has taken a key leadership role in defining how global orchestration, network slicing, and inter-carrier cooperation actually works - from both a business and a technical perspective. 

Ericsson Dynamic Orchestration is the key enabler for the network slice life cycle management providing orchestration through Ericsson Orchestrator and service assurance through Cenx for the hybrid cross-domain and cross-operator network. Ericsson Orchestrator and Cenx are integrating to the ecosystem through standard APIs. Using standard models provides a set of common policies/rules to serve the needs of closed loop automation through assurance and orchestration systems across different enablers. 

Ericsson Charging delivers several benefits essential to the rapid delivery and monetization of collaborative new services to a 5G environment. In addition to real-time charging, rating, and quota management, Ericsson Charging offers the flexibility, partner support, slice-based charging, and feature extensibility needed to deliver and monetize collaborative new services quickly and profitably. 

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