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Is your 5G core done right, done now, and made real?

Is your 5G core done right, done now, and made real?

Recent past, near future

Every generation of mobile technology has improved bandwidth and coverage, creating new possibilities for Communications Service Providers (CSPs), consumers and enterprises. At the same time, the core and its operations have become more complex with only small gains in efficiency and time-to-market – certainly nothing transformative. But that was OK, because in the era of mass-market services, cost and reliability were the core’s key criteria.

The near future is different. CSPs can no longer compete by simply offering the same broadband, voice and messaging services to everyone. Instead, stimulated by software’s digitalization of everyday life and work, consumers, enterprises and industries understand, need and embrace a diversity of services. While access and transport undergo their own generational change, it is the core that provides services or connects to what is needed. It’s time for the core to radically change.

Innovation blockages – cleared away

Today’s cores are reliable yet static, which limits a CSP’s ability to innovate and execute. Innovation needs openness to a wider ecosystem, cloud resource optimization, and 5G’s new use-cases. Execution needs new ways to create and deliver services, including continuous software delivery and deploying onto any cloud, anywhere.

Economically and securely serving more devices and more traffic is a major challenge for CSPs. 5G adds more challenges, such as how to rapidly create new applications and services. This might require the management of individual network slice characteristics, such as latency, bandwidth and security, to support different services. It may also need re-training and innovative business models to pursue new markets. All this must be done while protecting the CSP’s brand value, particularly for mission-critical applications such as robotics or autonomous driving.

A core is needed that solves a CSP’s key challenges:

  • How to profit from opportunities, winning against traditional and new competitors, while best serving existing telecom and new ecosystem markets.
  • How to deploy without limitations, by being able to deploy onto bare metal or any cloud (private and public, central and edge), and move workloads around.
  • How to evolve with confidence, with the lowest possible risk, while maintaining service reliability, even while disrupting the market with innovative offers.

The right core, done now

The new core is flexible, dynamic and simplified, helping CSPs to capture fresh opportunities arising from the intersection of 5G, cloud and automation. Working with a vendor with multi-domain expertise (core, operations, security, wireless, IP routing, cloud) that closely aligns to their business strategy, CSPs can transform their network into a flexible engine.

Figure 1: Core built as cloud-native and with extreme automation

Nokia simplifies the core by applying two design principles: building it from the ground up using cloud-native technology and equipping it with extreme automation. Nokia’s universal adaptive core has three characteristics:

  • First, it is a core that is done right: cloud-native and flexibly deployable without limitations across bare metal or any cloud, as a pure software product.
  • Second, it is done now: CSPs can profit from opportunities by using a core that takes advantage of innovations in automation, AI/ML, DevOps, and web-scale infrastructure advances. The core becomes an innovation engine for any access, generating a strategic business advantage – today.
  • Third, it is made real: this is a core that meets the stringent reliability and security requirements of premier CSPs, such as the world’s first nationwide launch of standalone 5G at T-Mobile US.

CSPs can benefit greatly by simplifying how their core is integrated, deployed and operated, allowing them to serve and optimize, innovate and execute, pivot and create. With 5G, the core gains its own identity, because 5G and cloud-native enable CSPs to differentiate with the core, as all services either come from it or are connected by it.

I invite you to read our new whitepaper that examines these topics in greater depth, and be sure to watch Telia CTO’s remarks regarding 5G evolution and rolling out Nokia’s Standalone 5G Core.

Read our new whitepaper: Innovate and execute with a simplified 5G core

Edmund Elkin

About Edmund Elkin

Ed’s passion is market development, which for him these days means the 5G core. Based in Naperville, Illinois, he is enthused about what’s next for telecom that helps improve people’s lives and their societies. Previous experiences include AT&T and the US Navy. He holds Bachelor and Master degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Tweet me at @EdElkin1

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