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1 March 2021

How to undertake a structured CSP to DSP transition

The difficulties faced by communication service providers (CSPs) in recent times have been myriad. From getting to grips with the complexity of 5G and other emerging technologies to battling the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has not been smooth sailing for the beleaguered sector.

Nokia believes that the solution lies in CSPs reinventing themselves as digital service providers (DSPs). By adopting the latest advances in automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML), and virtualization, CSPs can manage the scope, scale and rising complexity of their networks. And CSPs are doing just that – according to a Nokia survey, nearly two-thirds (60%) of IT leaders in the global telecom industry say the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of their digital transformation efforts.

The roadmap to become a DSP

Every CSP will have unique business objectives and need to define their priorities accordingly.

The two main variables that impact the extent and nature of the digital transformation are complexity and cost. With the advent of 5G, CSPs are confronted with the daunting task of upgrading their systems and processes to prepare for next-generation technologies. For instance, a CSP that operates 35,000 base stations and manages eight different bands, will have 50% more of each by 2025. An analysis of a medium-sized CSP based in Europe showed that in the next five years, it would witness a 73% spike in network growth due to 5G rollouts, re-farming of spectrum assets and LTE refresh.

These complexities will only increase with advanced 5G services that will demand varying performance parameters and service-level agreements (SLAs) for distinct network slices tailored to different use cases and customer segments. As network complexity grows, so do their related costs. If CSPs were to seize a piece of the market, the need to digitalize becomes imperative.

CSPs should aim to focus digital transformation efforts where they stand to make the greatest gains soonest. According to our survey, in 2021 the top three digital transformation priorities for CSPs are automating operational processes (53%), upgrading legacy IT systems (41%) and cybersecurity (38%).

But with over half (53%) identifying insufficient budget as their top digital transformation challenge, how should CSPs go about balancing their initiatives? Based on real-world experience in virtually every region of the globe, Nokia has identified some clear principles of digital transformation success. All depend first on taking a structured approach to setting priorities while avoiding the pitfall of “too much at once.” CSPs then need to view the transformation effort holistically across three interconnected areas — the network, processes and people — with a rigorous approach to balancing complexity and cost.

Read here to find out how CSPs can take a structured approach to manage cost and complexity in their bid to emerge as robust and dynamic DSPs that are primed for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Learn how to avoid common pitfalls and achieve transformation goals based on lessons Nokia has learned in the field here.

Find the results of the CSP to DSP transformation survey here.

About Nokia

We create the critical networks and technologies to bring together the world’s intelligence, across businesses, cities, supply chains and societies. With our commitment to innovation and technology leadership, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we deliver networks at the limits of science across mobile, infrastructure, cloud, and enabling technologies.

Adhering to the highest standards of integrity and security, we help build the capabilities we need for a more productive, sustainable and inclusive world. For our latest updates, please visit us online http://www.nokia.com/ and follow us on Twitter @nokia.

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