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Charging the Open way

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For the telecommunication industry, technology evolution has gone hand in hand with the network evolution. As networks have evolved through the many G's, the very nature of the network itself has changed, and we are now in the era of disaggregated, cloud-native networks. This has also had a knock-on effect on the hardware and software that is used to build and manage the network and has been a significant driver in the increasingly open nature of the telecommunications software market.

Setting standards

At the forefront of this drive towards openness within the telecommunications industry is the TM Forum. TMForum's Open API program 'is a global initiative to enable seamless connectivity, interoperability and portability across complex ecosystem services'. TM Forum Open APIs have been widely adopted within the industry as the standard method for interoperability.

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Source: TM Forum

This industry wide project has helped to bridge the gaps and manage the challenges that have come with finding the best mechanism to help Communication Service Providers (CSPs) and vendors work together flexibly and efficiently to create open solutions.

Openness and monetization

Openness is also really important for CSPs to effectively monetize their networks and get a return on their significant investment in the network rollout. Increasingly, openness is becoming a key enabler when it comes to effective monetization. One way that openness contributes to effective monetization is that it allows CSPs to take part in business ecosystems, which is a main driver of 5G revenue. Our 5G monetization survey found that 60% of 5G revenue will come through the B2B2X business model and that open APIs and partner ecosystem integrations were the second most important factor when selecting a BSS vendor for 5G monetization.

One area this is heavily impacting is charging. The charging system is at the heart of effective telecommunication monetization, and without a future-ready charging system, CSPs will struggle to get the true value out of their 5G networks, and so in turn struggle to effectively monetize them. When it comes to the charging system, this openness must be both towards the network, and towards other systems and vendors, and so requires that the charging system be built with open technology and aligned with industry standards.

Nokia's openness journey

Understanding the importance of openness for telecommunication software, Nokia has been working to gain certification for a number of TMF APIs and has achieved several certifications across our software portfolio.

Many of our API certifications are for our future ready charging system, Nokia Converged Charging (NCC). NCC is a cloud native convergent charging solution that provides real-time rating and charging capabilities, enabling new monetization opportunities for CSPs and enterprises. Our solution is built on three pillars: flexibility, efficiency, and openness.

TMF API certifications not only contribute to the openness of our solution, but also enhance our capabilities and better support the needs of our customers. As an example, NCC is certified for the Party Management API (TMF632). The TMF Party Management API includes two entities, that of the individual, referring to a single person, and that of the organization, referring to a group of people identified by shared interests or purpose. Prior to the certification, NCC supported only individuals mapped to the User Entity, but now can also support an organization mapped to the User Entity as well. The additional support of the organization resource allows NCC to create and manage enterprise or corporate models with complex dependency relationships, based on the TMF structure, and to include such customers within the supported range of our charging system. This brings more opportunities and flexibility for our customers to engage with NCC and allows us to better support future revenue growth for our customers.

One small API for Nokia, one giant leap for openness

Having certified TMF APIs provides a standardized way of integration with external systems, allowing lower costs and a seamless integration process in multi-vendor environments. Nokia is committed to this openness journey, and through certifications with organizations like the TM Forum, and alignment with our partners across the industry, we are working towards creating more open products and a more open vendor environment for the benefit of all our customers.

To find out more about our charging solution, Nokia Converged Charging, visit our webpage here.

Elana Crowne

About Elana Crowne

With 15 years of experience in business consulting and strategic marketing, both outside and within the Telecommunications industry, Elana is a skilled problem solver and storyteller with a customer first mindset. As Head of Product Marketing for Nokia's Charging and Mediation products, Elana is responsible for defining and taking the solution stories to market.

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