Although COVID-19 is an ongoing concern in much of the world, 5G roll outs continue moving forward with telecom operators providing critical support by offering constant connectivity for remote work, schools, healthcare, and entertainment.
In this setting, this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) ran as a hybrid event, with many of the sessions being broadcasted online. The overriding theme of the congress was the 5G digital revolution and its accelerated adoption pace due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As described by Telefonica’s Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete, COVID-19 has been like “traveling in a time machine five years ahead of time in terms of technology adoption”.[i] Remote working, E-commerce, retail, and others have all gone digital in no time. With this acceleration of digitalization, networks performance has been enhanced.
Today’s 5G networks are no longer only focused on communications, but also about enabling a new world of use cases. AI, Cloud, Multi-Access Edge Computing, and Open RAN are all core technologies that are the enablers to delivering 5G to its full potential. Connectivity has taken center stage, being the cornerstone that sustains this new digital world, with the telecom industry being its vehicle on the road to an ecosystem of innovations.
AI Key Role in the 5G Digital Revolution
Digitalization is all about data and its usage. Every day we generate a tremendous amount of data that can be transformed into insights with AI. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been one of the key themes being explored at MWC 2021 to make networks more intelligent and deliver a more personalized experience to customers. For example, during the Congress, we saw how IBM and Samsung are helping customers develop industry 4.0 capabilities with AI, 5G and edge on enterprise networks.
In this regard, RADCOM’s cloud-native product RADCOM ACE, leverages built-in AI and machine learning capabilities to provide operators with an understanding of the real customer experience and automate the optimization of network quality.
RADCOM ACE delivers AI-driven insights and automated root cause analysis for 5G. Thus, proactively ensuring the customer experience and service quality with a range of telecom-specific AI-driven use cases. It reduces noise and brings into focus the critical issues enabling engineers to work smarter and focus on core business objectives.
Capturing the Edge Opportunity
It feels like almost everyone at the MWC 2021 has been talking about the edge. Various discussions centered on building an intelligent edge to unleashing the possibilities of 5G and setting a new era of innovative use cases.
With edge computing, the data is processed and analyzed closer to its origin, enhancing the user experience by reducing latency and ensuring highly efficient network operation and service delivery. In addition, edge computing’s unique ability to process data in such an intelligent way adds significant opportunities for operators to create new value chains and develop new business models.
During the Congress, companies like Intel, Red Hat, Lenovo, and others all announced their edge progress, discussing the profound impact of edge to reshape industries, enhance networks operations and deliver greater flexibility to a better user experience.
Connecting the Dots with IoT
Picture a world where your house, your workplace, your school, your healthcare provider, virtually everything can be seamlessly connected. 5G faster and more stable connectivity has started spurring digitalization across industries and businesses, turning IoT into an essential part of our economy and lifestyle.
With IoT, traditional industries are moving forward to create a new digital ecosystem. From smart grids for renewable energy to remote surgery to digital robots on factory floors. To this end, Verizon revealed its 5G-connected robots, describing how “5G will make it possible for robots to connect with other robots and devices of all kinds in a way that simply wasn’t possible before”.[ii] These smarter robots are considered crucial to making factory floors more agile and efficient through automated remote monitoring, thus cutting operational costs.
Hence, with IoT, the networks can serve billions of connected devices, offering the right consolidation of speed, latency, and cost.
Cloudifying 5G Networks
5G offers innumerable opportunities for operators to redefine the services that they deliver to their customers, transitioning from providing only communication services to providing a cloud platform for other companies. Operators are transforming into digital service providers (DSPs), offering new use cases to customers.
In this regard, during the Congress AWS (Amazon Web Services) presented its collaboration with DSPs, such as DISH, helping them build new cloud networks, simplifying and automating operations to unlock 5G growth. Also, Swisscom has announced its partnership with AWS, working together to streamline and standardize its IT and telecom operations.
Opting to be part of this virtual evolution, many operators are also choosing to virtualize their 5G RAN, joining a growing ecosystem. In this sense, Deutsche Telekom has conducted a first-of-its-kind in Europe of its Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN),[iv] further transforming today’s telecoms market.
Customer Experience Reimagined
The show also constantly highlighted that at the core of it all is the experience for the end-user. As a result, operators are in an ongoing effort to continuously improve the experience for their customers. Whether that is achieved through enhanced network capabilities, proactive handling of network issues, and providing a more personalized experience, operators understand that they need to continue moving from a network-centric to a customer-centric approach.
Operators have an opportunity here to apply 5G innovative capabilities to maximize their networks intelligence, using advanced insights to an improved overall customer experience. RADCOM ACE disruptive technology utilizes streaming analytics that sends automated real-time network intelligence to the operators’ orchestration or BSS/OSS systems to detect, analyze, and resolve issues automatically. It also provides network troubleshooting from the KPI level down to the session/packet level, critical to delivering rich, actionable insights, which in turn improve the service delivered.
RADCOM’s solutions are fully aligned to support operators in the challenges that tomorrow may bring with our 5G ready cloud-native portfolio. We are excited to be playing such a key role as the core components of 5G are beginning to fall into place and support operators as they make significant strides towards delivering their 5G networks as a one-stop-shop for connectivity.
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