How to accelerate 5G roll-out

From launching the first city-wide 5G network to creating network slices to monetize new enterprise services, the roll-out of 5G is about more than base stations and devices. It’s not enough to just ‘deploy 5G’, there is a whole roll-out lifecycle. However, while the race to 5G is global, no two CSPs are alike. Each market and every CSP is at a different point in their 5G lifecycle. The challenge for operators therefore is to identify, enable and execute a roll-out plan that is right for their business.

The 5G race is on

In its most recent data, the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) reported that 77 mobile operators have announced deployment of 3GPP-compliant 5G technology in their networks – against a backdrop of 791 operators with commercially launched LTE networks offering broadband fixed wireless access and or mobile services.

For most CSPs, therefore, 5G is not a greenfield. It is operating in a cross-domain environment, where services and users are handing over between 5G and pre-5G networks. All this makes the complexity of roll-out, launch and operations all the greater; CSPs must balance the pressure to deploy new 5G services rapidly with the imperative not to compromise their existing customers’ service quality.

As these 5G deployments gather pace, CSPs are in a race to be first to launch basic services in their market. However, often their assurance systems are not 5G-ready and they can’t afford the delay and complexity to implement new ones. CSPs need to focus on their 5G network and service launch and simply activate essential 5G assurance capabilities quickly and cost-effectively. And they need to do all this with zero to minimal internal risk and impact while keeping an eye on future revenue streams, easily expanding into more sophisticated assurance capabilities such as around Telco Cloud assurance and network slice orchestration.

The 5G roll-out lifecycle

So, what steps can CSPs take to accelerate the roll-out of 5G across the full lifecycle?

  1. Launching 5G – From validating that 5G sites are configured as planned to certifying that they are running as expected, CSPs must improve the reliability and speed of site acceptance and continually audit that 5G RAN configurations are within expected parameter metrics to maintain optimal performance and reliability. What’s more, they must do this across the access, transport and core network domains and include the management of resources that concurrently support 5G and pre-5G workloads
  2. ‘Business-as-usual’ 5G – Once live, the next (and ongoing) challenge is to monitor the ongoing KPI performance of the 5G network and simultaneously manage 5G and pre-5G customer experiences. Given the increasingly real-time nature of the processes supporting this, it’s critical that CSPs’ NOC/SOC teams have powerful dashboards that provide an at-a-glance visualization of the entire 5G network, supporting agile, responsive and proactive operations
  3. The 5G future – The big promise of 5G isn’t simply faster mobile broadband, but rather the opening up of new revenue streams in a large and ever-expanding list of verticals such as enterprise IoT, live broadcasting, manufacturing, smart cities and automotive, which all have their own unique connectivity and service requirements. The future, therefore, is one where CSPs operate dynamic network slice orchestration, driven by assurance of SLA and QoS (the ‘5G promise’) to unlock and monetize these markets using zero-touch and closed loop automation. This future is approaching fast – at MYCOM OSI we’ve already been part of three TM Forum Catalyst proof of concepts on this very topic

Why the cloud holds the key to accelerating 5G roll-out

The competitive pressure on CSPs to rapidly launch and operate 5G networks and services while still delivering on the promise of faster connectivity and protecting quality of service for existing customers is significant.

However, business-critical service assurance systems with complex configuration, customization and integration challenges represent a significant bottleneck to this roll-out. Deploying and operationalizing traditional service assurance solutions typically takes 6 to 18 months or more and represents a significant investment. This quite simply isn’t an option in today’s ultra-competitive market.

In contrast, a cloud native service assurance SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering for CSPs launching 5G services is deployable and scalable on-demand, ready to ingest data within one hour and pre-integrated with most 5G radio equipment. By providing the end-to-end network and service assurance capability required to support the key assurance use cases for 5G network and service roll-out and operation, solutions such as MYCOM OSI’s 5G Roll-out Accelerator™ can be deployed and operationalized within weeks, and completely eliminate infrastructure management and Capex.

As the pace of commercial 5G service launches relentlessly increases, CSPs are rapidly scaling up their 5G networks city-by-city, town-by-town. Accelerating 5G roll-out isn’t just about being first to launch, it’s also about delivering noticeably differentiated Quality of Service (QoS) in the 5G experience, both compared to pre-5G services and 5G services of competitors, today and in the future.

Want to know more?

Further information about MYCOM OSI’s 5G Roll-out Accelerator™ solution is available on
MYCOM OSI’s website, including on-demand webinar, the first in a series that introduces the solution and its core functionality. A second webinar ’Demonstrating MYCOM OSI’s 5G Roll-out Accelerator™ Solution’ is being held at 10:00 GMT on 13th February 2020. Click here to register.