For a long time, mobile operators have vowed to become more like internet companies, especially driven by the realisation that the internet giants have been riding on their networks to generate high revenues and even have “hijacked” their customer relations. 5G is providing mobile operators with an opportunity to make the transformation target they set for themselves, provided they have the right tools.
Whale Cloud, with its expertise straddling both telecoms, through its history with ZTE, and internet, with its new association with Alibaba, is in an ideal position to support operators’ ambition.
It has become clear that while 2019 was the year when the first commercial 5G networks were launched, 2020 will see 5G much more broadly deployed, and the first commercial standalone mode 5G networks go live. That makes now the right time for Whale Cloud to update the digital platform to help optimise 5G operators’ monetisation capabilities.
To that end, Whale Cloud is launching ZSmart 5G Master Solution, to make 5G network management, operation and orchestration easier, more flexible, and more intelligent. It is also designed to enable operators to stay ahead of competition with innovative business models and partner ecosystems. An end-to-end solution, three key assets that address operators’ biggest 5G challenges make the 5G Master Solution standout: network slicing orchestration, 5G marketplace for B2C, B2B and B2B2x customers, and AI-driven network assurance.
While the 5G Master Solution has been developed for operators to support all 5G use cases, network slicing is an opportunity of importance that the new solution can prove to be particularly helpful. This is because, on one hand, network slicing is one key 5G customer promise that will give operators the opportunity to generate high value not only from consumers but also from the government and enterprise sectors. On the other hand, when standalone 5G networks are launched this year, operators will have stronger need for support solutions to make end-to-end slicing both a technology reality and a viable service offering.
Therefore, the first key asset of the new 5G Master Solution, the network slicing orchestration, is to enable operators to efficiently offer different types of network slices with installed templates, covering eMBB, mMTC, and URLLC scenarios, such as AR/VR, Autopilot and IoT. The Master Solution offers a “slice function center”, with which 5G operators can either provide their customers with end-to-end guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) via automatic hybrid orchestration, or offer network slice as a service (NSaaS) for those customers that prefer self-service.
The transaction of network slices take place in the 5G marketplace, the 5G Master Solution’s second key component. This works in both B2C context and in B2B or B2B2x context. In the former scenario, for example, a video game or e-sport enthusiast, can buy a dedicate network slice with pre-defined parameters to guarantee him bandwidth and speed for his important gaming experience. In the latter scenario, a business customer can either buy a pre-defined network slice, or design its own slice with SLAs it needs to meet its business demands. For example, an automatics manufacturing facility may need a slice with high bandwidth and low latency, while an IoT operator may choose a slice with high level of throughput but not necessarily low latency, depending on the frequency and volume of transmitted data. Equally important is that, in addition to the capability to choose or design network slices, the 5G Master Solution also comes with plenty of industry specific applications, thanks to the developers’ rich experience in different sectors. Both consumers and business customers can source end-to-end 5G solutions based on their different needs.
One big advantage of the 5G marketplace is its support for multi-dimensional charging, which means operators can charge customers based on multiple-factor combinations (speed, latency, service types, availability requirements, data volumes, connection volume, location, etc.) with policy customisation. And there is the flexibility of how the charging is conducted depending on the nature of the services. With low latency services the charging can happen offline after the service session is complete, while services with higher tolerance of latency can be charged directly online.
No new functions can be realised or services offered successfully without stable and reliable networks. This is addressed by the 5G Master Solution’s third key asset: AI-driven network assurance. This system relies on the underlying big data analytics platform that helps deliver full visibility into what is happening in the networks, including network, service, and customer data. The strong machine-learning capability and policy center of the assurance system enable 5G operators to provide proactive assurance and network self-healing. This will cover the legacy networks as well as the virtualised network components including SDN, NFV, and the cloud. Therefore, it can 360-degree monitor the network slices for customers, and service quality can be tracked in real-time against SLA parameters.
In summary, Whale Cloud’s new 5G Master Solution, the latest iteration of the company’s intelligent platform to support operator digital transformation, is fully upgraded to power monetisation of operators’ 5G assets, including the anticipated launch of standalone mode 5G. The three key assets of the Solution, together with other components, are designed to help operators make 5G success attainable and simplified. See the diagram for more details.
Many collaborations with operators and industry partners in China and in the global markets, across many industry sectors such as autonomous manufacturing, guaranteed gaming experience, have been successfully conducted.
This content is sponsored by Whale Cloud.