By Stephen Douglas
On October 10, 2018
, 5G Testing
, 5G Test
, 5G Service Assurance
, 5G Validation
, 5G Conformance
, 5G Verification
, 5G R&D
, 5G Acceleration
, 5G Revenue
, 5G Savings
, 5G Security
, 5G RAN
, 5G Core
, 5G Fronthaul
, Cloud RAN
, 5G Performance
, 5G Quality
, 5G Experience
, 5G Labs
, 5G Trials
, 5G Deployments
, 5G Business Case
5G opportunities abound, but complexity looms large
The telecom industry has seen its share of change. But what it faces right now is a true watershed moment.
Sure, network evolutions of the past have introduced a fair number of challenges and opportunities. But never have so many come so fast. We often think of 5G just sitting there, ready to take orders. New revenue? New services? New goals? New savings? New markets? There is so much that the industry expects 5G to deliver. And it can…but first, there's work to do.
Even as many 5G deployment schedules are accelerated, there is still a high degree of uncertainty that looms. Standards are still being sorted and global alliances are still plotting strategies. On the journey to 5G, not all players will take the same path. Though networks will converge, we'll see more divergence than ever in the business and technical strategies that will be pursued. To put it bluntly, this will be complex, untrodden territory.
Simplifying the complexity of 5G
Service providers can't afford to allow the complexity brought by 5G to delay progress and slow time to market. We will face multi-layered, virtualized and hybrid new architectures ranging from a new core, radio and spectrum to new devices and chipsets.
What is the best approach to quickly, safely and cost-efficiently deliver these 5G innovations? To start, it means ensuring 5G devices and services interoperate and simply work as expected. That requires new approaches to testing, verifying and delivering 5G. Intelligent automation, network and traffic emulation, and new test methodologies are also essential innovations that will assure 5G's many promises.
Safely accelerating 5G deployment
The 5G timeline has accelerated faster than anticipated. This pace dramatically compacts the gestation period for understanding, proving and validating associated technologies-and increases risks in many areas. Besides the potential for technological and security failures, there's significant financial risk as well.
To accelerate towards 5G, the industry needs a new approach to testing and assurance that breaks down traditional process and department silos and enables continuous delivery of services and functionality. Speed, agility, stability and risk reduction will require continuous testing in the lab and in the network, plus continuous operational assurance across the end-to-end service lifecycle.
Assuring 5G opportunities
5G will be used to introduce new services and target new vertical markets. It will bring opex and capex savings even while delivering faster speeds, ubiquitous access and rapid response times. As operators plan business strategies that align with these improvements, they must also be confident that expectations will match reality. This means having the ability to measure and evaluate 5G to operationally ensure delivery of those benefits.
New capabilities are also needed to reduce operating costs, and improve performance and customer experiences throughout the service lifecycle. Important elements are fully automated testing and autonomous service assurance, as well as evaluation and assessment of user experiences.
Simplifying, accelerating and assuring 5G
We will delve deeper into these questions in our 5G blog series and white papers that explore approaches to assuring the promise of 5G, including how to:
Our insights into 5G industry challenges detail solutions operators and enterprises are implementing to accelerate innovation and reduce the complexity and costs of 5G testing.