One Mediation to rule them all
The One Ring, a central piece of the Lord of the Rings story, among other powers, gives the bearer control over the other Rings of Power. Although there is no direct link between this world-famous story and telecom mediation, the mediation system of today has some similarities to The One Ring; giving Communicating Service Providers (CSPs) control over all their data sources, which with the massive explosion of data that has come with the rollout of 5G, is becoming increasingly important.
What are telecom mediation systems?
Telecom mediation plays a crucial role ensuring the smooth flow of data and information within critical telecommunication networks. It acts as a bridge between different systems, collecting, validating, enriching, aggregating, correlating, and processing vast amounts of raw data, and transforming it into actionable insights. This enables CSP revenue generation as well as contributes to other Business Support System (BSS) applications such as revenue assurance, fraud management, and partner settlement, as well as business intelligence.
Say hello to 5G
CSPs today face multiple challenges; related to 5G network rollouts, rapid technology evolution and connecting a huge number of devices, in addition to a continually growing subscriber base. But with these challenges also come many new opportunities. 5G technology enables new use cases ranging from fast low latency mobile broadband connectivity to virtual reality applications, as well as a wide variety of industrial IoT use cases in AR/VR driven experiences in smart stadiums/arena, transportation, ehealth, robotics, smart cities and many more. The growth of 5G data usage is driving the requirement towards cloud infrastructure and software products with elasticity and scalability, automated software lifecycle management, higher security, and better quality; according to one study, 5G customers on average consume up to 2.7x more mobile data compared to 4G users.
What does this mean for CSPs?
These new business opportunities mean that CSPs will sell connectivity in different ways. They will be selling a wider variety of applications and content, for example, AR/VR enriched games and movies and streaming videos, either on their own or with a digital partner, together with connectivity. These can be bundled together in a flexible manner, as a subscription or usage based, or a hybrid of these, and can also be packaged for customer groups, such as a family, university hubs, or enterprise customers. This will add significantly more complexity to the CSP billing and settlement process and create more demand for understanding consumption in real-time and outside of traditional billing periods. These services may also be charged according to more complex charging parameters, for example by QoS, location or API calls, which will put greater demand on network mediation to manage and aggregate the usage effectively.
Additionally, as edge computing becomes more prevalent, network mediation will also need to measure the usage of new applications or edge computing platforms, providing insights into how resources are being utilized and where optimizations can be made. This will require additional intelligence and data analytics capabilities to collect and analyze data from various sources, including edge devices, edge servers, and the network itself.
Usage data management is becoming increasingly important
As a result, CSPs need to find ways to reduce their data processing costs and to efficiently manage the future usage data of consumers, enterprises and IoT devices, but also other data associated with future monetization models such as network slice usage, IoT applications, cloud resources, signalling/probing data, and locational data.
All this usage data processing needs to happen using a unified, horizontal, real-time, mediation layer, and can't be managed by traditional, siloed mediation systems. This unified approach will enable the best possible digital experience and consolidated real-time usage billing for all CSP customers (B2C, B2B, B2B2x), and help them manage their partner ecosystems.
One unified mediation platform
In summary, the evolution of new technologies such as 5G, network slicing, and edge computing will require network mediation to expand its role beyond the role of the charging gateway, to provide more intelligent traffic management, QoS monitoring, and data analytics capabilities to support these new services. This will only be possible with a highly scalable and distributable real-time, unified mediation platform; One Mediation to rule them all.
To find out more about Nokia's Mediation solution, visit our webpage.