Differentiated services experience for advanced use cases with Ericsson 5G Core
- Ericsson has launched new 5G capabilities in RAN and Core to offer a differentiated services experience, which enables CSPs to monetize 5G services.
- The new capabilities in 5G Core that will be released in 2023/2024 will include data boost functionality, low latency, low loss, scalable throughput support in Core, quality of service framework enhancements, and Local Packet Gateway with industrialized life cycle management
People are now using mobile phones in all parts of their daily lives to perform all kinds of services like shopping, bank errands but not at least for their own entertainment. Streaming movies and playing games during different hours of the day has become the new normal. This puts high requirements of impeccable capacity, since lagging should not stop anyone from leveling up in their favorite game!
Ericsson has recently launched its 5G new capabilities in RAN and Core for Time-Critical Communication (TCC) and advanced slicing to offer true premium services experience and QoS based differentiated services for advanced use cases including AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality), cloud gaming, remote control, industry control and public safety.
One example of differentiated services in B2C is gaming. Communications service providers can provide a specific bundle for gamers to enjoy network priority while playing a game even when in a busy area but they still get a fast and stable gaming network.
Another example of B2B is the remote control of machines, equipment, and vehicles by people. With Time Critical Communication TCC, real-time sensor information is transmitted from the teleoperated machine/vehicle to the remote operator, based on which reliable control commands are sent from the operator to the remotely controlled machine/vehicle. CSPs can provide specific bundles with required QoS within a network slice so that the service characteristics needed are achieved and prioritized.
These capabilities will also help meet Service Level Agreement commitments for 5G use cases in the business to business and consumer segments. Device vendors also revealed URSP support in their latest device announcements.
Increasing customer experience is of course one of the key pillars at Ericsson, which is why the development within this area and this particular launch is part of Ericsson’s 5G SA value capture/value creation journey that kicked off in 2022 with the 5G Core launch of Dynamic Network Slice Selection to support multiple tailored slices to 5G devices which was followed by a successful demonstration of end-to-end 5G standalone network slicing capabilities on a Windows laptop alongside Intel and Microsoft before MWC 2023.
Later on, the first live broadcast of a marathon using 5G network slicing was announced with Far EasTone. And, just recently, a live 5G Standalone network slicing trial for cloud gaming with Vodafone was completed where the trial confirmed a 5G standalone network slice can enhance mobile gaming.
From the core network side, Ericsson is ready to offer two different ways to monetize differentiated services experience based on four key capabilities in the 5G Core network. In this blog, we will be tackling these two different monetization ways and will also emphasize the key capabilities in the core network that make it a reality.
Ericsson 5G Core enabling monetization of differentiated service experience
5G Core networks play a key role in slice selection and QoS (Quality of Service) prioritization (for example based on subscriber profile, subscribed plans, device, and more).
The two models to monetize differentiated service experience are explained below:
1. Differentiated subscriber offerings
In this case, when it is identified that the connectivity on the subscriber side is not performing well, a pop-up with an offer will appear, and the end-user can select to subscribe for a specific time or update the subscription package.
2. Pay per use model with exposure
In this case, the operator can enable the application provider to provide an in-application promotion to add a QoS based package for a premium experience, and the revenue is shared between the application provider and the CSP.
Assigning differentiated service connectivity based on policies and business rules in 5G Core
The Core network will provision URSP rules and QoS profiles to enable differentiated connectivity for eligible subscribers. In this way, the CSP can ensure that a differentiated service experience is delivered according to subscriptions and business rules.
Based on user selected service capability, a corresponding slice URSP information is submitted to the device and associated with the service AP to use. So, for example when a subscriber signs up for a differentiated gaming connectivity then the new URSP rules are provisioned to the devices from the policy node that will then mark the gaming traffic with NSSAI (Network Slice Selection Assistance Information) to indicate gaming traffic.
5G Core new capabilities
The 5G Core new capabilities that are part of this overall launch are Data boost upsell functionality, L4S (Low Latency, Low Loss, Scalable throughput) support in Core, QoS framework enhancements, , and LPG (Local Packet Gateway) with industrialized LCM (Life Cycle Management).
The main benefit of having these capabilities is to ensure that the differentiated experience:
- Can be monetized.
- Delivered to subscribers, applications, and devices with the right plan.
- Have a reduced transport latency with distributed user-plane architecture.
Data boost upsell functionality
The data boost functionality, according to GSMA*, is a new service providing upsell capabilities for premium connectivity with alternative quality of service offered by CSP for example to gaming users.
The end-to-end use case implies that the CSP, upon identifying that a user could benefit from better QoS e.g. when playing the game, offers the subscriber an alternative higher quality connection for a better gaming experience.
If the user accepts the offer, the user’s subscription profile will be expanded with the game profile which when activated by the game app in the device can use a specific slice assuring higher quality of service for the game session.
The data boost functionality is provided via Ericsson Secure Entitlement Server (SES) which is a comprehensive platform that provides a variety of capabilities for activation and onboarding of services and devices to users, provides on-device eSIM subscription activation for smartphones without using QR codes.
The main capabilities are:
- Entitlement support for the offering of additional subscription capability for gaming application
- User eligibility check
- User consent for selection of offered service(s)
- Adding a game profile to the user’s subscription data
- Triggering the allocation of a slice assures higher QoS and policy rules
- Submitting the slice URSP to the device gaming app
CSPs can also offer their business customers access to a dynamic priority lane for business-critical communication, when and where it’s needed. Users can also schedule QoE (Quality of Experience) optimization ahead of time for important events and meetings to ensure the best QoE for participants.
*Recently the Data Boost service enabling the offering and allocation of premium connectivity to a subscription has been specified in GSMA TS 43 (ver 9.0 CR or in ver 10). The service onboarding triggers the submission of URSP information to the device for usage when a gaming application is used.
Low latency, low loss, scalable throughput support in core:
The purpose of the e2e feature is to secure consistent low latency for rate adaptive use cases (with Video/Audio). The concept is built on identifying temporary congestion in the 5G Network using Low latency, low loss, scalable (L4S), and then providing L4S feedback to the Application endpoints, with a request to reduce bitrate and thereby avoid latency peaks/packet loss.
The main capabilities are:
- Possibility to initiate specific L4S-capable bearers. Both congestion marking and relaying congestion info can be applied on L4S bearers when DL (Down-Load) traffic is approaching congestion.
- Provide an early indication of congestion which enables a rate recommendation towards the application.
This means that 5G core can enable policy-based application recognition and congestion marking – and also activate L4S based on subscription packages, which enables operators to offer premium service packages. In addition, it provides ability to scale L4S to any application without manual configuration which helps to provide net neutrality.
5G QoS framework enhancements:
The 5G system has a QoS framework that can be used for transmitting traffic with differing QoS characteristics. It is important to separate the required traffic type from best-effort MBB traffic using the 5G QoS framework with optimized QoS flows
The main added capabilities are:
- Automatic QoS flow initiation and modification, based on configurable policies (Application detection and Service Detection).
- Application Function (AF) triggered QoS, based on application request via AF/NEF (Network Exposure Function). QoS flow can also be based on subscription data, combined with application recognition.
Again, this means that CSPs can ensure assigning the relevant QoS based on application demands, policy, and subscription.
Local Packet Gateway with industrialized Life Cycle Management
LPG is an optimized product for distributed user plane deployments. In this context, it is an enabler for reducing the transport (and e2e) latency, which is beneficial for any Time-Critical use case.
The main added capabilities are:
- End-to-end management and life cycle management solutions integrated into the CSP NOC.
- Independent LCM for LPG Infrastructure and Application.
- Common installation flow for optimized deployments of new LPG instances.
Therefore, CSPs can have lower service costs per LPG instantiation and upgrades, minimal intervention per deployment onboarding, and finally scalable LCM to handle high volumes of LPGs (10s-100s).
Differentiated services experience is an important launch for both core and RAN where Ericsson is providing multiple capabilities that enable CSPs to differentiate 5G services and monetize it.
5G Core enables 2 different types of differentiated services connectivity monetization methods for a CSP via 4 different key new core capabilities based on policies and business rules as explained in this blog.
Be the first to offer new differentated services to your customer - contact your Ericsson representative today!
Read more about our launch, an innovative toolkit with advanced RAN and Core capabilities.
Read more about Secure Entitlement Server
Want to know more about new capabilities and enablers in 5G Core? Get inspiration from other service providers.
A blog post about the strategic implementation of network slicing and the evolution of BSS/OSS systems to empower the delivery of superior service experiences.
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