When creating customer presentations for network management systems, it’s normal to open with significant market changes first, like the increased network complexity due to data growth. This is typically followed by the network management market dynamics at play such as the increased need for virtualization, analytics and automation.
It’s no surprise that these market dynamics affect the network management system (NMS) and that any competitive NMS must stay one step ahead or end up 2 steps behind.
We have taken a similar approach towards our 5G Network Management Get Together events for our customers, with the most recent one taking place in Singapore in December. In Singapore, a high-profile group of operator participants, an analyst and Nokia experts exchanged views about network management vision, industry requirements, challenges and opportunities.
Jake Saunders, Managing Director and Vice President from ABI Research, Asia and Pacific was also on hand to present an independent outlook on “Redefining Network Management for a 5G World”. Saunders commented: “The stakes are high for mobile telcos. They need to go beyond the 4G LTE mobile data service to support 4K video, ultra-low latency gaming, thousands and potentially millions of IOT devices, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous vehicles. These applications represent additional revenue opportunities for the telco. And while 4.5G and 5G will enables these applications, telcos need to install network management systems that optimize, and just as crucially, automate, their network management processes.”
5G demands will be set by businesses
So what makes 5G different from the preceding network generations? While 2G, 3G and 4G were primarily led by the need to improve human communication, 5G is mainly driven by new demands and aspirations set by businesses. We know that communications systems beyond 2020 will need to be flexible enough to accommodate the diverse use cases, without increasing management complexity. And the management systems will need to be sophisticated and automation mandatory.
The voice of the customer tells of different opportunities. Cloudification enables flexible scaling and new vertical business opportunities, which are first on the list. Then with respect to the network management system, there will be new open data sources. Increased automation brings new possibilities to maximize the performance and efficiency of the mobile network. Furthermore, predictive accuracy is one of the key elements in the new era of network management systems. All in all, it’s a question of carefully planned and scheduled small steps.
But there is also much to consider due to the new market dynamics. For instance, how can operators manage increased network complexity with the same workforce; how can resources be utilized after extreme automation; where will operators find and identify the right competences? There is also a need for a cross-functional task force. In the management system itself, there is a question of data: OSS needs the information from all the systems from all the different vendors in the living environment. Strong management systems must be in place to maintain service quality during the change period.
The time to start is now
Nokia has followed different 5G market angles from our very first network management solution, through to our latest innovations with NetAct fast pass, cloud releases and 5G readiness. Recently, NetAct on OpenStack installations have taken place and been successfully completed. And particuarly in the area of automation – which has been one of the top discussion points with customers our 5G NMS Get Together events – this is the time to go for it. Extreme automation simplifies the operation of a complex array of new 5G use cases.
We will be hosting further 5G Network Management Get Together events in 2017, with our next event taking place in Dubai in April. Reach out to your sales respresentative if you are interested in attending to gain further insights about our vision of the future for network management.
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