5G Orchestration Unlocks New Value
Extensive integration, advanced OSS, self-sufficient domains and intent-based orchestration can create new 5G value for CSPs.
The widespread deployment of 5G has opened networks to more vendors and enabled the deployment of more network loads on hyperscaler platforms to create complex hybrid environments. These complex environments can help CSPs drastically expand on the innovation of existing 5G networks with next-gen capabilities like on-demand services, on-demand slicing and rapid upgrades with DevOps. However, CSPs cannot effectively leverage 5G capabilities until they develop in four essential areas to achieve high levels of automation in the operations environment.
Efficient automation is impossible without integration on an unprecedented scale. To achieve this integration, everyone must work in an ecosystem and conform to open APIs from standards organizations like TM Forum, MEF, 3GPP and O-RAN Alliance. Proven use cases, service models and POCs are vital in building these ecosystems.
For example, a recent MEF POC from Netcracker and its partners used on-premise IoT apps hosted on open compute platforms and connected with private 5G to increase factory automation and performance. Their use of different public hyperscaler and CSP edge platforms for instantiating apps and associated connectivity shows how comprehensive integration is one of the keys to drawing greater value from 5G.
5G orchestration is not a single product or function. It melds a variety of different capabilities across a network to automate E2E services. Effective E2E orchestration requires new OSS functions with AI/ML, such as active resource inventory to monitor and automate networks in real time or automated Non-RT RIC to optimize RAN.
Implementing orchestration for self-sufficient RAN, transport and core domains can eliminate outdated monolithic engines for automation. Enabling domains to independently function on an E2E basis without going to other layers equips CSPs with the flexibility to provide on-demand services.
Intent-based orchestration is essential to making 5G simpler and more accessible. It utilizes an orchestration engine so that a user can express an end goal and have it automatically implemented without complicated workflows or large engineer teams. Intent-based orchestration requires:
- Dynamic service models: A service model defines everything that you need for that service to work. If the model is made too complex to try and deal with any conceivable problem, it is too slow. If it is too simple, it requires too many manual inputs, which defeats the purpose of automation. Dynamic service models enable intent-based orchestration by providing adaptable automation and eliminating excessive manual intervention.
- Flexible implementation: Scalability in the orchestration engine is essential in meeting the rapidly fluctuating demands of 5G networks.
Watch Susan White, Head of Strategy and Portfolio Marketing at Netcracker, discuss the challenges and advantages of 5G orchestration: