Skip to main content

Revolutionizing Telecom efficiency with Telecom SaaS

Man scrolling on a tablet in an office

In the arid village of Kiyosaki, where water is scarce, two entrepreneurs, Ed and Bill, secured contracts to deliver this precious resource. Ed, a traditionalist, relied on manual labor, using buckets to fetch water from a distant lake. Bill, however, took a forward-thinking approach. He constructed a modern pipeline, providing cleaner, more reliable water at a fraction of the cost. The villagers quickly embraced Bill’s innovation, prompting Ed to adapt by lowering prices and expanding his operations. This tale underscores the contrast between conventional and progressive methods, emphasizing the need for agility and adaptability.

The Telecom landscape: a paradigm shift

Amidst the ever-evolving telecommunications industry, a profound transformation is underway, fueled by the disruptive force of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In this exploration, we delve into the multifaceted aspects of how SaaS is reshaping cost structures, enhancing agility, and delivering unparalleled operational benefits when compared to traditional on-premises and hosted-cloud solutions.

Let’s first explore the definition of Telecom SaaS and how it is different from the standard IT definition.

Telecom SaaS is a service delivering a business outcome that is bought as a subscription and based on cloud-native software. It’s delivered with a fully digitalized business experience and a fully automated services lifecycle, that is designed for any carrier-grade network. Simply put, with the software-as-a-service model, communication service providers are provided access to the software they need instead of buying it outright, typically through a usage-based subscription purchased on a monthly or yearly basis.

What appears to be a nuanced difference between the definitions of IT and Telecom SaaS is that they are designed to handle the rigors of managing telco workloads. Keep in mind that when an IT SaaS workload fails, that service is effectively “off-the-grid”. In contrast, when a telecom SaaS workload fails, the grid is subsequently at risk because the role of a Comm SPs is to provide the grid itself! So, the seemingly nuanced difference is not really a nuance at all. Rather, Telecom SaaS involves a significant degree of specialized capabilities required to support carrier-grade availability, scalability, resiliency, performance, and security.

Redefining cost structures

At the heart of the SaaS revolution lies a fundamental reimagining of cost structures during the initial deployment phase. Traditional models often require substantial upfront investments in IT infrastructure, including server procurement and management. However, SaaS disrupts this norm by shifting the burden to vendors. These vendors take responsibility for both hardware and hosting, allowing organizations to focus on their core competencies.

Accelerated rollout capabilities

The newfound agility afforded by SaaS is remarkable. Real-world examples demonstrate significant reductions in time-to-value, ranging from 69 percent to 77 percent. How does this happen? It’s all about instant availability. Upon subscription initiation, SaaS provides immediate access to software, eliminating the prolonged installations associated with traditional models.

Scalability and flexibility

Telecom SaaS enables companies to scale their operations effortlessly. Unlike traditional infrastructure, which demands additional hardware investments as companies grow, SaaS allows for seamless expansion. By subscribing to additional services or increasing usage, telecom providers can adapt swiftly to changing demands without significant upfront costs.

The proof is in the pudding.

NTT and DOCOMO collaborated to enhance the 3GPP standards-compliant mobile core network utilizing Nokia's 5G Core SaaS. This integration showcased the effectiveness of the In-network Service Acceleration Platform (ISAP) in dynamically allocating computing resources based on device connectivity and service requirements. ISAP efficiently provided GPUs for tasks such as 3D rendering to enable immersive metaverse experiences on devices like smart glasses. Furthermore, it optimized video processing by intelligently allocating GPUs and DPUs as necessary, alleviating strain on the CPU. This adaptive utilization of accelerators underscores the fusion of communication and computation within the network infrastructure, promising enhanced efficiency and performance.


As the telecommunications landscape undergoes continuous transformation, embracing Telecom SaaS becomes imperative. It empowers organizations to maintain agility, respond effectively to market dynamics, and deliver state-of-the-art services. Similar to how Bill’s pipeline revolutionized water delivery, SaaS is reshaping telecom efficiency, subscription by subscription.

SaaS providers such as Nokia bring specialized expertise to the forefront. Their profound understanding of the telecom sector enables them to steer companies towards innovation and expansion. Whether ensuring carrier-grade availability, scalability, resilience, performance, or security, Telecom SaaS providers play a pivotal role in shaping the industry's trajectory.

Through the adoption of Telecom SaaS, companies can achieve enhanced control over communication expenses, optimize network utilization, and curtail energy consumption by optimizing asset utilization. Let's toast to innovation and adaptability—the driving forces propelling progress in telecommunications!

Mark Bunn

About Mark Bunn

Mark Bunn is the Senior Vice-President of SaaS Business Operations for Nokia Cloud and Network Services.  He brings over 25 years of experience in product management and software development, and a passion for driving SaaS transformation.

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

Article tags