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What is Telecom SaaS and how does it work?

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 SaaS 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 customers and industry analysts say about Nokia SaaS


How can Telecom SaaS turbocharge 5G innovation? 

Webinar: Turbocharging 5G innovation with Telecom SaaS

Check out this panel discussion with TelecomTV as Nokia President of Cloud and Network Services Raghav Sahgal and Forrester Research Principal Analyst Dan Bieler discuss how Telecom SaaS can turbocharge 5G innovation.

What are the benefits of Telecom SaaS

Telecom SaaS is about improving value and reducing complexity by providing software that is always the latest version and consumed purely on demand through a subscription, eliminating large up front capital expenditure; by freeing CSPs of the burden of putting their networks through software maintenance and updates; and, by accelerating CSPs’ ability to launch new services faster and see “time to value” quicker.   


Faster time to value:

  • Enables rapid customer adoption and use of service by reducing the time spent on software installation and configuration
  • Provides outcome-based solutions and services, increasing the value proposition of the service
  • Facilitates ecosystem partners and customers in co-creation of value

Greater business agility:

  • Permits automated scaling and on-demand resource availability, according to customer need
  • Provides swift service provisioning, often within minutes or hours
  • Enables customers to remain up-to-date with frequent and efficient delivery of software patches and upgrades

Improved financial performance:

  • Requires limited upfront investment and no additional hardware or physical space
  • Eliminates financial risk related to software maintenance and upgrades
  • Provides improved cost management, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and compelling economies of scale
  • Lowers entry barriers to market evaluation

Why, when and how to start the journey today

Why, when, and how to start the journey today

Webinar: Turbocharging 5G innovation with Telecom SaaS

Elisa’s journey to Telecom SaaS and 5G monetization

The six principles of the SaaS universe


The economic case for Telecom SaaS

Why it's time to start the Telecom SaaS journey

Is SaaS the same as cloud?

At a high level, SaaS is a type of cloud service model. SaaS solutions reside in cloud environments (which are managed by a dedicated cloud vendor) and are often integrated with other software offerings from the same SaaS solution provider. Well-designed SaaS architecture must be able to scale and accommodate hundreds or even thousands of users who will be accessing the software simultaneously over the cloud or the web.

Compared with the traditional approach of installing and maintaining software on-premises, with the SaaS model telecom companies don't have to worry about adding another server on which to run the software. The SaaS provider takes care of all server capacity planning. Telecom companies only need to enable a new SaaS offering — and they get the flexibility to scale their SaaS use up and down based on specific needs.

In addition, because the software is delivered over cloud-based architecture, telecom companies do not need to download upgrades or reinstall new versions of a product. Any updates or patches to a service are handled by the SaaS provider.


The Rapidly Evolving 5G+ Landscape

The difference between IT SaaS and Telecom SaaS

How to think beyond the standard IT definition of SaaS, to include the requirements of telco-grade workloads?
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. 

Executive summary

The A-to-Z of SaaS purchasing

Why automation is essential for a great customer experience

Automating current tools and operations in the telecommunications industry is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough to keep up with the rapidly evolving demands of the market. While automation can help streamline processes and improve efficiency, it does not address the need for more flexibility and scalability in the face of ever-changing customer needs and technology developments.

Telecom Software as a Service (SaaS) offers a new vehicle for the industry to meet these needs. SaaS allows telecommunications companies to access the latest software and technologies without the need for large capital investments or extensive in-house IT resources. This means that they can quickly and easily adapt to new developments, such as 5G, IoT, and edge computing, and offer new and improved services to their customers.

In addition, SaaS also provides a more cost-effective and flexible solution for the telecommunications industry, allowing companies to pay for only what they need and scale up or down as required. This will be crucial for the telecom companies to stay competitive in the market.

Overall, automating current tools and operations is a necessary step, but it is not enough for telecommunications companies to remain competitive in today's fast-paced digital world. Adopting Telecom SaaS is necessary to keep up with the changing demands of the market and stay ahead of the competition.

How Nokia helps secure and deliver SaaS at scale

To fully seize the 5G opportunity, communication service providers need to shorten Time-to-Value for software they use to manage their business, IT, and network. At the same time, the expectation to achieve a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) will continue.

CSPs of all sizes already recognize the value that hyperscaler Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service provide and will continue to expand their use. It’s a perfectly rational and natural step from today’s demand for cloud-native applications hosted on cloud hyperscale platforms to Telecom SaaS.

Telecom SaaS provides the right combination of rapid Time-to-Value with on-demand access to mature SaaS applications and low TCO. communication service providers can achieve this with pay-as-you-go / pay-as-you-grow commercial models.

Our vision for the SaaS portfolio is to take a journey toward Network Services on demand. We start this journey with a few initial services around analytics and security to begin to kick the tires of our SaaS Delivery Framework. As we gain competence in delivering SaaS services, we are now ready to take a bolder look at services that enable the digitalization of the network.

Alongside, network services to orchestrate, assure, and monetize the network are also planned. As we gain expertise in enabling networks on demand, the ultimate goal of this network when you want it, where you want it, is to enable advanced application experiences that leverage on-demand connectivity at scale.

  • Digital engagement: To help communication service providers secure, predict, orchestrate, automate and monetize 5G operations.
  • Digital marketplace: To enable new vertical solutions and use cases.  
  • Digital networking: To provide dynamic digital infrastructure through 5G network components delivered as SaaS.

Telecom SaaS: Empowering you to innovate at scale

Ready to find out more about SaaS?

Nokia Telecom SaaS Solutions

AVA Charging

The advent of 5G technology is revolutionizing the telecom industry through innovative use cases and business models. 98% CSP’s plan to alter their BSS to monetize 5G - however traditional BSS transformation is a lengthy and complex process. Through a SaaS model, AVA Charging accelerates 5G BSS transformation with fast proven integration with 5G SA network functions. It also provides CSP’s the capability to rapidly bring new commercial products to market through an inbuilt product catalog and no-code charging configurators.

Nokia Data Marketplace

Nokia Data Marketplace (NDM) is a private permissioned blockchain-based solution for secure business-to-business i.e. B2B data exchange and monetization, and driving the development of B2B2X ecosystems. It enables data providers and consumers to share and transact data and other digital assets like algorithms privately and securely, establishing vital trust between market participants while ensuring compliance with governments. It unlocks multiple use-cases across industry verticals including supply chain, transportation, healthcare, telecom, smart cities, governmental agencies, etc.

NetGuard Cybersecurity Orchestration

NetGuard Cybersecurity Orchestration provides a trusted hybrid SaaS deployment model, consisting of both on-premises and cloud components. It provides the coverage of network elements and connections from telco Radio Access Network (RAN), Transport and Core workloads for faster threat detection and response. Automated responses allow security analysts to create cyber playbooks that perform faster remediation actions to lowering the cost of breaches.

AVA Anomaly Detection for Telecom

AVA Anomaly Detection for Telecom helps CSPs to spot the most important hidden patterns and connections in the mass of telco network data, patterns that might point to anomalies. This allows telco operators to take action to increase efficiencies and provide a better customer experience.

AVA Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF)

AVA Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF) helps CSPs to improve customer experiences and use their 5G investments to create new sources of revenue. It also enables more predictive and proactive network operations.

Nokia iSIM Secure Connect

iSIM Secure Connect is a fully automated secure remote subscription provisioning (RSP) and lifecycle management SaaS solution which helps CSP’s and enterprises speed up time to market with new services for eSIM and iSIM consumer and M2M devices.

AVA AI for Energy efficiency for telcos

AVA AI for Energy efficiency for telcos achieves up to 30% energy savings and less CO2 emission for radio networks since it minimizes all kinds of energy waste across active radio and auxiliary equipment. The AI-driven automation can be implemented in a matter of weeks and thus provides the fastest track towards massive energy savings.

Home Device Manager

Home Device Management (HDM) is an intelligent automated broadband device management SaaS solution to help CSP’s offer assured high performance broadband and smart device management to the home.

Altiplano Access Controller

The Altiplano Access Controller is an open cloud-native platform offering network management as well as SDN control functions to operate and automate broadband access networks through open APIs. Altiplano supports SDN-native, legacy and third-party equipment. Its zero-touch operations, powerful intent life-cycle management and ready-made automation tools provide the support and insights to plan, optimize and assure network services. The applications are easy to customize and can also be extended using the Developer Portal.

5G Core Network

Nokia Core SaaS provides CSPs and enterprises the option of running the heart of their network through a highly flexible, fully automated, scalable software model that enables greater business agility and faster time to value for delivering and monetizing network services. CSPs and enterprises can consume core software on-demand through a more cost-effective subscription service that eliminates large up-front capital expenditure and avoids the need to perform on-site software maintenance and updates. 

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