All (5G) roads lead to (Charging) SaaS
The evolution of mobile networks from 4G to 5G to 5G SA (Stand Alone) has created significant cost pressures on Communication Service Providers (CSPs). As such, they seek new ways to get return on their investment and better monetize their assets. To do this, CSPs need to reimagine business models, and find topline growth through the agile introduction of new types of commercial offers.
The BSS Challenge
CSPs have long been burdened by legacy, highly customized, cumbersome Business Support Systems (BSS). And as we move into the world of 5G, this is proving to be an even bigger challenge as these systems struggle to keep up with the rapid introduction of new and innovative services and offers. Our recent Nokia monetization survey conducted with 100 CSPs from around the globe, found that 98% of CSPs plan to modernize their BSS to better support 5G, with real-time charging systems being the top investment area. To enable effective 5G monetization, moving BSS to the cloud is increasingly top of mind for CSPs, with many considering hybrid or public cloud deployment models. Our survey found that 70% of CSPs are considering public cloud deployments for their BSS transformations.
All (well, many) roads lead to SaaS
So, this is where SaaS comes in. Despite the telecommunications industry being slower than others to adopt SaaS, things are now speeding up; according to Analysys Mason, SaaS deployment models will increase by nearly 20% by 2023, and the same trend can be seen when looking at BSS, and specifically the charging system. The benefits of SaaS support the specific needs of the charging systems to be able to keep up with customer and enterprise expectations in the 5G era including faster time to market, rapid system deployment and out of the box functionality.
Introducing Nokia AVA Charging as a Service (ChaaS)
At Nokia, we recently launched our AVA Charging as a Service solution to deliver a carrier grade Converged Charging system along with all the benefits of SaaS to enable faster 5G and IoT monetization.
We had two main goals in mind when building our solution; the first was to increase business agility. AVA ChaaS includes a product catalogue with out-of-the-box and highly configurable use cases, using our no-code charging configurator. This allows CSPs to quickly and efficiently launch new products into the market, giving them the ability to 'charge for anything' and quickly react to changing market needs. The second goal was to accelerate Charging evolution, which can often be a lengthy and costly process. We achieve this by making AVA ChaaS available as SaaS on public cloud and utilizing our production-proven integration to multi-vendor 5G SA network functions, together with TMF API integrations to IT environments.
Charging beyond connectivity
One of the key capabilities of our solution was to be able to support the ability for CSPs to move beyond just charging for connectivity services, towards the idea of 'anything you can measure, you can charge'. Charging based on volume may have been enough to cut it in the world of 4G, but in the world of 5G, new 5G network integrations mean you can charge more innovatively according to different charging parameters.
Further, as CSPs expand beyond traditional telco services to solutions for things like IoT, the charging system must be flexible enough to charge for new services coming from new platforms. An example of these types of services would be for residential IoT services. Here the charging system supports smart meter charging, extending charging capabilities beyond 'connectivity' and creating ecosystem value.
At Nokia, we are driving the next generation of telco monetization. We are helping CSPs around the world to effectively monetize their 5G networks and to create value in vertical markets by moving beyond connectivity towards limitless revenue potential.