What is Open RAN?

The open RAN promise of greater cost-efficiencies will be broken without a fit-for-purpose OSS/BSS. If the back office can’t keep pace, telcos will struggle to take full advantage of network advances.

Open RAN is picking up industry momentum. Big telco beasts, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica and Vodafone, are urging suppliers to adhere to ‘open’ principles in the radio access network (RAN), where software is disaggregated from general purpose processing hardware.

Fiber optic planning

5G needs a RAN overhaul, pumped up with more fiber. Cost-efficient network planning is then required if the business case is not to be derailed. 5G network operators need to pay close attention to fiber. If the next-gen tech is to deliver on its promise of greater capacity, faster speeds and lower latency, more fiber-optic cable is needed in the radio access network (RAN). There’s no other way to handle increased data volumes and provide a future-proof solution. According to some estimates, internet traffic is growing tenfold every five years.

Networks during pandemic

The right network planning tools can help operators meet bandwidth challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19 has thrown the spotlight on networks and connectivity. Home working, distance learning and videoconferencing –  the popularity of Google’s Zoom app has soared – is the new normal. People need reliable broadband more than ever. Without it, a global recession is much more likely.

OSS digital transformation

Back-office refurbishment is just as important as network advances if telcos are serious about OSS digital transformation.

A lurking danger for telcos is that network transformation outpaces operations support systems (OSS). Given network innovation enjoys a much higher profile than back-office refits, perhaps it’s understandable that OSSs tend not to command as much attention in the boardroom as SDN, NFV, 5G and Internet of Things (IoT).  

5G Network Planning

Operators must pay close attention to network planning and asset inventory if they’re to get the most out of the next-gen tech.

5G means more business opportunities for ambitious operators. If they play their network cards right, they can tap into new and potentially lucrative markets such as real-time video gaming on smartphones, factory‑floor automation and smart driving. Network slicing, where dedicated resources are set aside for a service or a private enterprise network, plays a crucial role in making this happen. Consumers and business customers are more likely to pay premiums for services if they are delivered over high‑performance networks.

Unlock enterprise revenue

Digital telcos need the right OSS / BSS tools if they are to serve the enterprise market profitably. One thing sure to irritate enterprise customers is a finger‑drumming wait for service activation. When IT and network managers make an order to connect a branch office, say, their patience will quickly run out if weeks pass before the service is up and running. Hardly surprising. Enterprises never take too kindly to potential losses in revenue. But there’s another reason why patience soon wears thin. 

Digital telcos

Comprehensive and real-time network inventory is a must if SDN, NFV and 5G are to realize their full potential.

Network resource management and inventory systems tend not to grab the headlines as forward-thinking telcos plan their digital transformation strategies. Software‑defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are much more likely to be in the spotlight. SDN and NFV are all about launching new services quickly and optimizing network assets, which is exactly what the digital telco wants.