Everyone is waiting for true 5G launch with bated breaths. It is supposed to reshape the way Internet is accessed and used. As telecom operators face the frenzy of excessive competition, monetization of 5G has become all the more important. It is vital that 5G is packaged in a way that is attractive to the subscribers, and at the same time brings in the much-needed revenue. Real time charging implemented via a convergent charging system has become the minimum requirement for telecom operators.
The Anticipation Amongst MNO, MVNO, MVNE and MVNA
The value of 5G is different for different operators. According to their status, roles and expertise, operators have different responsibilities. Have a look:
The Core Aspects of 5G Revolution
MNOA CSP or MNO is a major player in the market and needs to focus on 5G essential hardware, networking infrastructure, routers, gateways etc. Most MNOs have their own telecom software development teams, and these teams are trying their hardest to design tailor-made 5G solutions for their business.
MVNOMVNOs can be of different variety and level. Depending on their scale, resources and area of expertise, they will look at 5G differently. For example, a full MVNO would require a telecom software platform that complements its operations. As it has technical expertise in areas like HLR and SIM card manufacturing, it would require support services that are custom-made. On the other hand, a thin or reseller MVNO would be totally dependent on its telecom support services provider. Its main priority will be to requisition a 5G platform that is versatile and has a simple to use dashboard and interface. APIs will be extremely important for both types of MVNOs as they allow for reusability and addition of new services and functionalities without any need for software customizations. APIs are also important because they eliminate such additional expenses, which can be too much for small-scale virtual network operators.
MVNEA Mobile Virtual Network Enabler (MVNE) can play a crucial role for expanding MVNO’s 5G outreach. An MVNE can simplify resource acquisition for MVNOs and make their tasks easier. With true 5G launch on the horizon, MVNE will be looking for quality business support systems, administration, and operations support systems that they can provide to the MVNOs. Network slicing and security will be key areas that need to be kept in view before procuring such systems.
MVNAIn the simplest of terms, MVNA is a business facilitator for MVNOs. It represents several partnering MVNOs and gets them access to vital network resources like network frequency spectrum. As it represents many clients, it can bargain better deals and provide cost-effective solutions. With 5G coming into the industry, we will see the number of MVNOs increase. Most likely, there will be formation of several mini-MVNOs that will target smaller niches. So, the number of MVNOs that an MVNA has to represent will grow, which will probably allow them to strike better deals for essential telecom resources.
The Core Aspects of 5G Revolution
5G is so fast that it has the power to change our lives in a good way. But such a transformation does have its cost. Many currently prevalent devices and telecom resources would have to go for the start of true 5G revolution. Have a look:
- Major changes in Radio Access Network (RAN) and a move away from Evolved Packet Core (EPC) architecture in order to fully-launch 5G in its real avatar. EPC has its roots in 4G LTE charging architecture and BSS, and it needs to be overhauled.
- Implementation of service-based architecture (SBA) for driving policy control in a better way. There will be a need for different charging triggers that would facilitate scaling of network for IoT and edge computing.
- Evolution of Online Charging System (OCS) and Offline Charging System (OFCS) into Convergent Charging System (CCS).
- Removal of 4G-centric diameter interface for 5G-centric interfaces known as Service Based Interfaces (SBI).
- Impact of front-end charging system will be felt on back office functions such as handling of CDRs, revenue assurance and reconciliation of CDRs.
The change in technology has a huge bearing on its monetization. For a telco to be successful in this fast-transitioning industry, it is important evolve its charging services according to the newly set standards and do it faster than the competition.
Underpinning 5G Techs that Need to be Leveraged
5G will comes with a storm and bring in other related technologies and functionalities. You need to be well-equipped with relevant billing and charging systems and solutions that support convergent charging functions to stay competitive in the 5G-driven market. Have a look at some key technologies that will become the mainstay of 5G:
5G Network Slicing
The large bandwidth associated with 5G allows telcos to offer different portions of the network to different customers. For distinct business use cases, it is possible to divide the network into a variety of end-to-end segments via network slicing technology that comes with 5G. Every use/business case will get its very own well-optimized network topology. Different properties of the network e.g. speed, latency etc. can be provided exactly as per the requirement of a particular use case. Network slicing look like a great proposition for MVNOs who thrive in the market by serving different customer niches. Due to the great benefits and opportunities it offers, network slicing needs to be looked at properly and incorporated into business strategy with great care.
Network Function Virtualization
Network Function Virtualization (NFV) has been prevalent for a long time but hasn’t been employed on a large scale due to the limitation of legacy B/OSS. But with 5G, we are going to see major transformations in the B/OSS, which will give a chance for NFV to become the new-age tech. More and more telecom operations will shift to the cloud and there will be improvement in scaling with auto-scaling and enhanced fault tolerance.
Rise of Microservices
5G is expected to launch connections with the lowest of latency, something that has been never seen before. To support such connections, the centralized charging components would have to be moved away from the center. With 5G launch, we are expected to see these charging components moved away to the edge of the network in a distributed manner. Multiple smaller applications will replace erstwhile massive applications and smaller components will be preferred over the larger ones. Meditation systems will also be changed, so as to allow their alignment with the new tech.
The Need to Stay 3GPP Compliant
Many changes have already been made and some are still been made by the operators. The technology evolution has necessitated these changes and everyone has to make them to stay competitive in the industry. But it is very important that one uses 3GPP compliant software, equipment and architecture. For those who don’t know, 3GPP is a term for multiple organizations that develop mobile telecommunication protocols.
By employing 3GPP compliant real time charging systems for 5G, you can enhance your telecom billing and prevent revenue losses. Monetization is an important part of telecom business and by following the standard architecture you give yourself the best chance to grow in the industry. 5G is a groundbreaking technology. It can be tough to acclimatize to, but it can also offer great rewards in the long-term.