Ken Wieland has been a telecoms journalist and editor for more than 20 years. That includes an eight-year stint as editor of Telecommunications magazine (international edition), three years as editor of Asian Communications, and nearly two years at Informa Telecoms & Media, specialising in mobile broadband. As a telecoms writer Ken has written various industry reports for The Economist Group.
Openet says it’s now possible to develop, launch and control more 5G services in a shorter timescale than was ever previously possible and all done with relatively low impact on the network.
The route to better management of 5G services, according to the Dublin-based firm, lies in its newly-launched Openet Policy Controller (OPC).
Specifically designed for 5G, the OPC is cloud-native and microservices-based, and has been built for CICD (continuous integration continuous delivery). This apparently allows a “succession of new services to evolve and be deployed rapidly”.
Being cloud-native is important. Essentially an approach to building and running applications that better exploits the efficiencies of cloud computing, operators are increasingly demanding cloud-native approaches from their suppliers as they move towards a cloud-based service delivery model.
Slicing and dicing
The CICD approach, adds Openet, enables operators to deploy new policy controls for any new ‘network slices’ they may be trialling. A unique feature of 5G, slicing allows operators to provide certain services with their own dedicated portion of the network. Openet flagged a number of 5G-based services that might benefit from an OPC boost, ranging from high-value entertainment and gaming through to critical healthcare, massive IoT and smart cities.
“Service providers will need to re-invent how they roll out new products and services,” explained Tony Gillick, GVP of product management at Openet. “To enable this, OPC contains ‘blueprints’. These are out-of-box fully working use cases that can be deployed as they are or easily edited. In addition, OPC is self-configurable by the service provider, which removes a layer of vendor lock-in [and associated cost] and has been proven to drive significantly faster time to market.”
Policy and charging
Aside from claiming that time-to-market for new 5G services can be done in matter of minutes, Openet emphasised that the OPC is closely linked to charging systems. In this way, new 5G monetisation models can apparently be developed and implemented. Specifically, network slices are ‘tightly coupled’ with policy and charging functions, which helps guarantee quality of service.
As a smaller player in the BSS space, Openet is up against supplier heavyweights, such as Amdocs, Ericsson and Huawei. Unlike the bigger players, however, Openet reassures operators that there is no vendor lock-in by using its BSS solutions. By working to an open API architecture, Openet says that integration with monetisation systems from any other supplier is possible.
- Useful read: What is Network Slicing?