At Whale Cloud, we are proud to be involved in three TMF Catalyst projects all related to different aspects of delivering 5G. What’s more, the projects are all centred on helping the operators to make a better, and faster return on their 5G network investment. We are looking at techniques to smooth the data flow for 5G service billing; ways to facilitate the creation of new services based on the unique elements of a 5G network, and and at innovative use of technology to enable co-building and co-sharing 5G infrastructure.
There is no shortage of hype surrounding 5G in the telecommunications industry. Indeed, both the industry and the investment community, have high expectations about the benefits that can be reaped. However, operators all across the world are struggling with revenue pressures and are searching for the right business models to underpin and justify the levels of investment needed both now and in the future.
The Catalyst project we are working on with both China Telecom and China Unicom is specifically targeted at helping to close that gap between investment and return by investigating collaborative ways to build, deploy and share 5G networks using Blockchain technology.
The ‘Blockchain-based 5G Collaboration Economy’ Catalyst project recognises that boosting 5G business could be enabled by creating a ‘collaboration economy’ around the entire 5G ecosystem, exploring benefits to all the potential players. It believes that the success of the 5G economy is not linked just to the technology but to the ways that collaboration can be employed across multiple partnerships to build successful business models.
Our Catalyst project partners China Unicom and China Telecom recently announced their 5G network co-building and co-sharing strategy. Part of this Catalyst project will look at how, in a co-building environment, Blockchain can be used to drive information sharing and approval processes while eliminating data discrepancies. In addition, this project will address the massive amounts of data gathered by 5G networks and will consider the use of Blockchain technology to help operators collectively and securely monetize that asset.
The ‘5G Value Plus Lifestyle’ Catalyst project looks specifically at how the unique abilities of a 5G network – in particular network slicing - can be turned into innovative new, direct or indirect, operator-sourced products and services. This project is vital for the operator community as it specifically targets the fear that the 5G network could simply become a high-speed data pipe where the value creation and rewards are concentrated in the hands of specialist service providers.
The project – which we are running in partnership with China Telecom – is focused on a lifestyle event and the possible ways operators could use the capabilities of 5G network technology to build and sell ‘Value Plus’ services. Using a football match, the project looks at the experiences that can be sold via a dedicated network slice at the stadium for match going fans – everything from live or recorded customised playback of the action, to cross selling services such as valet or autonomous parking. For fans not in the stadium network, slicing could be used to sell Virtual Reality viewing to fans watching in selected ‘experience’ centres.
The AI for 5G Billing Data Acceleration Catalyst project targets the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and calculations in the network edge as techniques to counter the problems operators could face from the type of fast and massive real-time data stream processing created by 5G networks. Working with China Unicom, this catalyst looks to enable the billing and charging architecture to cope with this exponential growth of event data that will be produced within the network.
The project analyses the basic data consumption characteristics of different users and applies AI and machine learning techniques to create user portraits based on specific patterns of customer behaviour. Combined with calculations at the network edge this can help to reduce the amount of downstream billing data that needs to be produced and processed.
The Forum’s Catalyst program is driven by collaboration; not just between vendors but crucially between operators as well. Certainly the involvement of both China Telecom and China Unicom is helping us to drive these projects forward – having that input right from the start of the process is a vital part of accelerating the development path and delivering innovation.
Each of our three Catalyst programs will help address operator concerns around the cost of building 5G networks and rolling out 5G services. We believe they will accelerate development cycles, help co-create innovative solutions to key industry challenges, and ultimately speed return on investment.
This content is sponsored by Whale Cloud.