Contributed by B-YOND.
Recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of seamless telecommunication services delivering high-speed, ultra-low latency, differentiated network services is more pronounced and significant than ever. As a result, a Telco paradigm shift towards 5G Standalone (5G SA) is imperative to deliver differentiated, highly valuable services, potentially rendering 4G LTE and 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) technologies futile.
Beyond Telco, other Vertical Enterprises (aka Smart Enterprises), such as the health care and automotive industry, are leveraging the benefits of 5G SA. The diverse applicability of 5G SA is attributed to its distinctive dynamic individuality & its ability to deliver:
- Massive Machine-Type Communications
- Simplified Network Architecture
- Ultrareliable, low latency comms
- Network Slicing (hence new Monetizable Services)
- Network Cost Optimization
5G SA needs ML-infused automation of a disaggregated and reaggregated full stack solution. Though 5G Standalone technology promises numerous advantages, its induction has proven challenging. 5G SA is complex because it demands the disaggregation and reaggregation of the vertical (full) stack. The technology entails multiple and diverse horizontal layers provided by different vendors, hence disaggregation. Afterward, the reaggregation of the vertical (full) stack delivers a flexible comprehensive architecture that combines all the distinctive (and differentiated capabilities) chosen from the individual horizontal layers. This full stack architecture requires at least five different vendors (one from each horizontal row, see Figure 1).
It is arduous to judiciously select five vendors horizontally only to reintegrate the chosen ones vertically for an optimized monetizable architecture. Achieving this requires a scientific selection process to incorporate the layers in a lab environment & verify their homogenized functionality. The scattered nature of these layers not being pre-integrated and validated necessitates ML-infused automated blueprint validation to deliver an optimal architectural implementation. This blueprint needs to be configurable and, more importantly, repeatable. Accordingly, an automated method for blueprint delivery is essential as 5G SA demands automated segregation and reintegration.
Figure 1: Blueprints for Disaggregation and Reaggregation
Ideally, 5G SA services need to be conceptualized and delivered in minutes or hours through self-service accounts that allow users to create services from a catalog. 5G SA’s capabilities, such as network slicing, support the creation of differentiated services that provide innovative monetizable value to consumers and Smart (vertical) Enterprises. For example, a sliced network can address the needs of crucial communications like e911 while another slice of the same network handles V2V or V2I & another handles IIoT (monitoring gas pipeline leaks). In this example, each slice requires ultra-low latency at the sub-milliseconds level to address new B2B2C models. These 5G SA network sliced latencies are lower than those typically used in 4G LTE (and even 5G NSA) networks. Therefore, it is essential to test end-to-end precision, speed, and latency to ensure that the quality grade is suitable for mission-critical M2M, health sector & Autonomous Driving (ADAS) tasks.
End-to-End Validation Required for New Operational Methods
5G SA capabilities, such as network slicing, uLLC (ultra-low latency), and eMBB (improved broadband services), facilitate many new differentiated services. However, developing new end-to-end services designed for rapid operationalization (in hours, days, or seconds) is immensely difficult. Presently, simple, preliminary network services take months, quarters, or up to a year to enable! Nonetheless, rapid rollouts for new premium differentiated services are crucial for the operation and monetization of 5G SA and the realization of its full potential.
New differentiated services as required by B2B customers and Smart Enterprises (aka vertical industries) need ubiquitous end-to-end network services (from app to UE to Tower to RAN to Core/IMS through S1 to internet/server) with value generation enabled for Private Wireless. Facilitating these universal services requires all network parts (from app/UE to Core to app/server/internet) to be provisioned using an amalgamation of service catalogs of sub-systems dynamically strung together and tested on an almost real-time basis.
Additionally, operational needs require Zero Touch Service Provisioning (ZTSP) (not just ZTP as defined by TM Forum). Service creation needs to happen end-to-end horizontally (across the X-Axis) from App/UE to Core, along with configuring and setting up the vertically reaggregated (full) stack, (across the Y-Axis) to deliver the complete solution. Creating dynamic services using approaches such as BPM (Business Process Models) is paramount to competing in the modernization of telecommunications service delivery.
In conclusion, a mix of ML-infused automation and ZTSP enabled SDx (Service Delivery Experience) is required to monetize and offer new services, at an exponentially accelerated pace, using new operational models that address the needs of B2B and B2B2C ecosystems. While there may appear to be a multitude of “buzz” solutions available from various vendors, one that delivers both (a) ML-infused automation and (b) ZTSP that enables (c) integration across a broad ecosystem is needed to monetize 5G SA’s value.
B-Yond’s product AGILITY provides an ML-infused approach with ZTSP to realize the value of delivering SDx (Service Delivery Experience) and monetize 5G SA’s value. The new 5G standalone technology era brings advanced capabilities and challenges juxtaposed against its predecessors. Though the configuration of the 5G SA blueprints is rugged, the demand for this new wave of standalone technology is far too significant to ignore. The introduction of 5G SA blueprints will pioneer new and accelerated means of monetization across the telco industry. B-Yond aims to expand on the usage of 5G SA and is currently already using ML-infused automation to provide solutions such as Continuous Assurance (CA) via Anomaly Detection and Continuous Validation (CV) via Root Cause Analysis (RCA). RCA applies machine learning to automate test analyses & troubleshooting & predicts root cause for failures, decreasing the test life cycle and accelerating time-to-market. Anomaly Detection provides service assurance through continuous monitoring, prediction, & impact analysis, thus, accelerating the transformation to a low touch network with ML-based automation.
B-Yond’s ML-infused automation solution using our product, AGILITY, enables these much-needed capabilities. Refer to our website or ask for a demo/presentation for more details.
Header image from the B-YOND website