Legacy Assurance Systems Won’t Hold up for 5G

5G will enable capabilities for service providers that will facilitate the expansion of its revenue base beyond current models. At its core, the decision to move to 5G is driven by the need to bring more products and services to market. These capabilities support the addition of more internet connected devices, efficient energy management, smart cities and connected transportation, to name a few, and introduce a level of sophistication in the back offices that has not been seen to date. The securitization, accuracy and timeliness of the transactions, messages, events and data associated with these new 5G services that will reside across multiple and dynamic new virtual architectures won’t be able to be managed by legacy assurance systems.

The new capabilities enabled by 5G will require a targeted and disciplined monetization strategy to support the business investment. Service providers will be working diligently to develop new charging and billing capabilities to allow users more options as to how they pay for these new services. The frequency, type and method of invoicing customers will be driven by the consumers. Imagine scenarios where users will be able to make these decisions on the fly on their handsets. Not only will consumer billing options change, but so will new and advanced third party relationships that will add new layers of complexity to the end-to-end financial stream. Likewise, new services will be enabled in the cloud and will be deployed dynamically to ensure the most cost efficient delivery.

Legacy assurance models relied on gathering and reconciling standard transactions from static physical networks and IT platforms and contained inherent latencies that when anomalies went undetected, customer and financials could be adversely impacted by. In many cases, these anomalies weren’t identified until customer complaints affected net promoter scores. Now, 5G will add even more complexity and the risk to impacting customers and financials increases exponentially!

In the new 5G and virtualized network environments, it will be required that the data associated with the newly enabled services not only work as designed for the consumer but also reach the internal subscribers to the data. Assurance models will need to provide real-time, early detection of anomalies and ensure the completeness test is met. The typical change management service provider models aren’t designed to manage the warp speed pace of change and complexity that’s about to hit them.

In this regard, here’s a few categories of assurance that need to be developed by service providers to avoid the risks associated with 5G monetization.

  • Dynamic services/provisioning
  • New charging applications for new services
  • Publishing and subscription completeness
  • Multi-network platform types (physical, hybrid, virtual)
  • Cloud connectivity effectiveness

This article was originally published on Openet’s blog. It has been reproduced with their permission.

Joe Villarreal
Joe Villarreal
Joe is the Product Leader for Openet’s Audits and Controls Solution. He joined Openet after 37 years with AT&T, where he held positions of Assistant Vice President of Revenue, Billing and Fraud Assurance for the company. Previous roles with AT&T included CFO of their International Operations, CFO of Cingular Interactive, Sarbanes Oxley and Merger Integration lead for Cingular and VP Finance of the Washington-Baltimore Region. Joe is a CPA and holds an MBA from Georgia Southern University and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas – San Antonio.