Navigating the end-to-end service orchestration journey

How communication service providers can evolve into digital service providers for a 5G ecosystem

We are standing at the precipice of a new 5G era. Unlike previous generations of mobile telecommunications networks, 5G represents not an incremental step, but a fundamental disruption of today’s realities.

As the first mobile telecommunications generation to be virtualised from inception, 5G is poised to combine a series of concepts – such as network slicing, open ecosystems, and service-based architecture – to deliver tailored connectivity for a vast universe of use cases.

The implementation of these concepts and use cases, however, cannot be achieved without automation. Indeed, in a 5G world, a communication service provider (CSP) will be expected to dynamically manage and orchestrate services of an unprecedented volume and complexity, all while coordinating a multitude of different data and technical domains. This means that automation will become mandatory – and not optional – as manual human operations alone will never be able to achieve this feat.

To deliver on these expectations, CSPs must ultimately become digital service providers (DSPs). In other words, they will need to possess networks capable of providing on-demand consumable services that are not only flexible and fast to provision, but also tailored to be compatible with the three main pillars of 5G: enhanced mobile broadband, ultra-reliable low latency, and massive machine type communications.

Central to becoming a DSP, therefore, is end-to-end service orchestration (E2ESO). Specifically, CSPs must evolve their mindsets and operations to manage their end-to-end customer service – and not merely networks.

In this report, we will lay out a vision of the 5G orchestration architecture – and within it, the critical role of E2ESO. Then, we will explore the E2ESO journey through a persona-based view, and consider what mature E2ESO use cases could look like in a 5G ecosystem. Finally, we will examine several success factors for CSPs embarking on the E2ESO journey, and share 10 lessons that we have learnt from our experience supporting CSPs on their automation and virtualisation programs.

Navigating the end-to-end service orchestration journey
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