5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

5G and the future of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) services

 

October 08, 2021

 

 

Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X)

The automotive sector is on the brink of a digital revolution with the commencement of 5G, bringing new opportunities for cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology. Next-gen capabilities such as ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) and high bandwidth are set to transform connected cars and, ultimately, the way we travel.

Existing cellular technology addresses some V2X requirements, so what makes 5G so different? Combined with fast-developing AI and sensor technologies, 5G will enable completely autonomous vehicles. This means the possibility of eliminating or minimizing road accidents by enabling vehicles to share data in real-time and avoid accidents. In addition, 5G-powered self-driving cars will also vastly improve vehicular performance through energy optimization, ensure traffic efficiency, provide faster routes through accurate route mapping, enable safer roads by letting drivers “see” beyond their visual horizon, and much more. V2X will not only help vehicles communicate with each other and prevent accidents and hazards, but it will also help protect pedestrians with the PC5 interface integrated into their smartphones.

The result: significantly improved quality of life and tremendous monetary savings.

V2X capabilities and transmission modes

The connected cars of today have been evolving for years to become increasingly connected, intelligent, autonomous, and efficient. Apart from reducing latency and enhancing safety, cellular V2X also brings new capabilities to the table.

As a part of 3GPP release 14, V2X includes two transmission modes that collectively enable several use cases:

Direct C-V2X (Cellular V2X) – operates in its own 5.9 GHz spectrum that is independent of mobile networks. It includes the following use cases:

  • Cars connecting to each other – Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V)
  • Cars connecting to pedestrians – Vehicle to Pedestrians (V2P)
  • Cars connecting to infrastructure like street signals – Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I)

Vehicle to Network (V2N) – relies on traditional licensed mobile spectrum

In Release 16, too, direct C-V2X can operate without dependence on cellular networks. However, 5G connectivity helps build an ecosystem of highly reliable and accurate devices that enable autonomous vehicles. These include sensors, cameras, light detection devices, real-time car-to-car communications, and more. With 5G’s ability to support a large number of connected devices in a small geographical area, vehicles will be able to access more data about their surroundings.

C-V2X use cases enabled by 5G

The V2X ecosystem enables a broad range of services for connected car environments, and 5G takes accuracy to new heights. Some high-value use cases include:

  • Cars connecting to cyclists
  • Traffic lights broadcasting signals to cars
  • Dynamic maps in real-time
  • Central planning systems to coordinate traffic flow
  • High-density platooning or cars driving in close proximity to safely optimize road space
  • Positioning and ranging
  • Identifying empty parking slots
  • Hazard warnings
  • Cooperative driving to minimize sudden braking and disruptions
  • Collecting tolls without drivers having to stop at physical checkpoints
  • Why it demands an edge core

    Today, autonomous cars like Tesla and Zoox are highly advanced and require mission-critical low-latency. 5G URLLC enables them to fully meet their potential. The 5G edge core is essential in enabling mobile network operators to cater to 5G connected cars by helping keep latency low, maintaining safety even for vehicles driving at high speeds.

    How does 5G core enable V2X?

    An edge core with high transaction per second (TPS) is imperative for C-V2X. Alepo’s 5G Converged Core provides V2X support, including V2X subscriptions and policies, the capability to configure and maintain V2X subscription parameters, and more. It allows UEs to be authorized for V2X capability in both EPC and 5GC. UEs can be classified into two types – vehicle and pedestrian – each having its own QoS parameters.

    Alepo’s Policy Control Function (PCF) will help configure policies for vehicle and pedestrian UEs. The operator can launch innovative V2X services by defining parameters such as RAT, transmission profile, communication mode, and signaling protection mode. Individual services can then be associated with a V2X policy, customizable for different geographical areas and radio parameters.

    With Alepo’s Subscriber Data Management (SDM) agent portal, each individual subscriber profile can be enabled for V2X services. This flexible configuration will enable the operator to achieve optimized end-to-end V2X connectivity.

    Where we’re headed

    Cellular vehicle-to-everything provides a host of benefits for all involved parties: vehicle manufacturers, drivers, pedestrians, those in charge of traffic operations and management, and, of course, 5G network providers. 5G enables the end-to-end delivery of V2X services, ensuring high ROI.

    C-V2X can be rapidly deployed as it is compatible with LTE base stations. 3GPP standards help provide a roadmap for operators to evolve from LTE to 5G, ensuring a highly scalable and future-proof investment. Operators can leverage their existing network infrastructure for the initial rollout of services, and gradually transition as they evolve their networks.

    It will be a while before the autonomous car ecosystem is fully functional. However, the technology is ready and communications service providers should invest in the necessary infrastructure now. Trials should be conducted to ensure the reliability and feasibility of the ecosystem.

    Alepo already has V2X trials underway, and we’d love to share the details with you. To know more, write to us on market.development@alepo.com.

    Nitish Muley

    Nitish Muley

    Senior Engineer

    Nitish has spent years developing use cases for technologies like VR, AR, IoT, and is currently working on Alepo’s newest products. Always up to speed with the latest in the industry, Nitish is a voracious reader – and fervent writer – about all things related to tech and wireless standards. After hours, he wears a traveler’s hat, pursuing his love for photography as he explores different countries.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

    Four key enablers for 5G monetization

    Four key enablers for 5G monetization

    Four key enablers for 5G monetization

     

    August 05, 2021

     

     

    Introduction

    Operators today provide connectivity to millions of people who are embracing a more digital lifestyle. They are also facilitating this shift for enterprises as they undergo digital transformation. To make their 5G investments profitable, CSPs need a monetization strategy that takes a multipronged approach. In addition to direct monetization, they must include partnerships, digital ecosystems, as well as unique and innovative business models. 5G monetization demands that communications service providers (CSPs) reshape and evolve their revenue management systems to ensure they can support complex B2B, B2C, and B2B2X services. So, what are the key enablers for this change?

    5G use cases ready to be monetized 

    5G means CSPs will be able to offer a host of new services that require advanced monetization platforms, new business models, and new ways of thinking from traditional voice and data subscriptions. These include services enabled by 5G capabilities such as:

    • Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB): enables CSPs to handle ever-increasing data rates, user density, and traffic capacity.
    • Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC): enables the IoT ecosystem, where a large number of devices are connected to the network with varying policies.
    • Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC): caters to latency demands, especially for mission-critical and safety-critical applications.
    • Network Slicing: enables operators to use shared physical infrastructure to create multiple autonomous networks, each one catering to different QoS requirements for bandwidth, storage, processing power, and more.

    The key enablers for 5G monetization

    To cater to the needs of their individual and enterprise customers, and to capitalize on the possibilities of 5G, CSPs need to focus on these four key enablers:

    Platform-based business model

    As the 5G ecosystem expands the services and applications that can be consumed through the network, CSPs need to evolve their business models to serve as platforms that connect consumers with producers. A platform-based business model enables operators to build a wide range of industry-specific business models based on consumption (APIs, insights, and so on), use of shared infrastructure, customer journeys, and more. Operators can also set up digital ecosystems using the platform business model. These ecosystems or digital marketplaces connect businesses with consumers.

    5G operators can leverage their existing infrastructure to forge diverse partnerships and offer a platform to producers, manufacturers, retailers of products and services. Network slicing enables CSPs to support and monetize these services. These partnerships can span across industry verticals such as connected cars, smart cities, industrial IoT, and more.

    CSPs today are associated with multiple diverse service chains and can leverage their customer data and analytics to create highly profitable platforms that are mutually beneficial for customers and the providers of the service. They can be used to introduce more advanced offerings. For instance, Telefónica UK provides an insurance offering called O2 Drive, leveraging customer data insights to create contextual offers at better rates. The app uses GPS tracking to monitor customer journeys, giving each customer a score to tell them how safely they drive and providing tips to improve.

    Robust partnership ecosystem

    One of 5G’s core transformative abilities is in enabling service providers to forge diverse partnerships, thus enabling B2B2X ecosystems. 5G and IoT open business opportunities at multiple levels, with business models such as shared infrastructure, revenue-sharing, connecting multiple devices on a single network, and more. Operators can monetize partnerships based on SLAs and QoS, volumes, product/service type, inventories, infrastructure use, API and service consumption, and so on. Partners can, in turn, implement subscription- and transaction-based models, charging consumers based on their usage in terms of time, volume, output, and more.

    CSPs can facilitate and monetize diverse and advanced telco as well as non-telco applications, building a partner ecosystem that spans across industries. Use cases such as road safety with self-driving vehicles and smart traffic management hold immense ROI potential. Logistics companies can be provided platforms to maximize business efficiency through real-time fleet tracking, route and fuel optimization, and more. Smart grids and utility providers can use data from IoT and connected devices to manage distribution. Healthcare professionals can benefit from platforms that enable telemedicine and remote surgeries. Agriculture can employ connected devices such as drones, sensors, and cameras to monitor soil and crop quality. Manufacturing units and factories can connect all devices on the floor from larger machines right down to a screwdriver to optimize efficiency. For retail applications, operators can help enable smart home portals and apps, digital ecosystem platforms, and much more.

    Customer-focused innovation

    Customer experience (CX) is a major driver for success today, compelling operators to shift their focus to customer service and service monetization in all aspects of their business, from designing products to the partnerships they build.

    Ensuring good CX includes innovative business offerings, digitized experience, high network performance, service availability, and reliability. It also means billing, charging, settlement, customer support processes need to be CX-driven. Operators must look at automating CX by integrating artificial intelligence (AI) in their back-office processes such as order management as well as by implementing chatbots and automation in their payment and self-care apps.

    So, how do operators monetize CX? A major part of it is ensuring simple and easy-to-implement pricing structures. Offering asset-light business models is especially beneficial to enterprises, where CSPs can provide the underlying IT and charging infrastructure to businesses, granting them full control of the services they offer to their consumers without having to invest in their own infrastructure.

    Monetization models can be based on a host of different parameters depending on the applications, such as UE/MAC address for IoT and I-IoT applications, infrastructure use, inventories, geographical locations, time of day, demand, and more.

    SBA core driven networks

    SBA architecture with 5G core and cloud infrastructure are key enablers to the network, helping launch advanced services like URLLC, network slicing, and more. Network slicing is set to revolutionize how networks are used and monetized. And while sharing network resources means more efficient use of the infrastructure, it demands advanced charging systems to cater to the diverse use cases it supports. One slice may demand low-latency QoS, while another demands ultrafast speed, and a third demands high bandwidth. Monetizing these network slices demands dynamic near-real-time charging and policy control.

    In addition to QoS, 5G monetization platforms enable charging for network use, based on the number of connections, data frequency, real-time versus non-real-time operations, location precision, and more.

    Solutions that maximize 5G monetization capabilities 

    In consumer as well as enterprise applications, 5G supports endless possibilities of business models and charging use cases. They will be required to support online as well as offline charging, scaling to handle the demands of IoT billing so they can charge small amounts at a massive scale. They will also need to support a range of revenue-sharing arrangements with n-level hierarchies. CSPs will need to ensure they are constantly innovating to support charging with evolving services like on-demand network slices.

    As CSPs make the transition to 5G, successful monetization relies largely on the flexibility of an operator’s billing, charging, and policy infrastructure systems to support multiple pricing models. They also need to implement a next-gen partner management solution to handle diverse partnerships. Implementing a future-proof digital BSS/OSS infrastructure helps begin their journey of digital transformation, enabling them to get the most out of their 5G monetization infrastructure.

    Rajesh Mhapankar

    Rajesh Mhapankar

    Vice President, Product Management

    A seasoned professional, technologist, innovator, and telecom expert. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Rajesh brings a strong track record of accelerating product innovations and development at Alepo. He supports the company’s mission-critical BSS/OSS projects in LTE, WiFi and broadband networks, including core policy, charging, and control elements.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

    Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

    Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

    Leveraging partnerships to increase 5G revenue

     

    August 05, 2021

     

     

    Introduction

    Partnerships are the future of 5G, and they will shape the future of the CSP. Success will rely on the systems and infrastructure that enable CSPs to create new and innovative business opportunities, helping build a vast and diverse partner ecosystem. Increasing their 5G revenue will mean that telecom operators will need to look beyond offering network coverage and support more advanced uses and outcomes with the connectivity they provide.

    The use of technology is increasing in sectors such as agriculture, logistics, energy, manufacturing, automotive, and transportation, helping drive business decisions, improve processes, optimize resource use, and secure new revenue streams. Many have also begun using RFID tags, sensors, cameras, drones, and other real-time surveillance and data-gathering devices. As more and more industries begin to digitize their businesses and use cloud-based infrastructure, they need robust and reliable network connectivity to ensure they can efficiently monitor and operate their assets, support process automation, and handle large volumes of data unlike ever before. And that’s where 5G comes in.

    Through private or enterprise 5G, CSPs can enable businesses to run their own secure and reliable networks. Network slicing also reduces the need for businesses to invest in dedicated infrastructure. CSPs can optimize and monetize their network by dividing it into dedicated “slices” for different enterprise customers, allocating resources depending on the use case.

    Top 8 industries that benefit from 5G partnerships

    Partnerships provide infinite possibilities for CSPs, though some industries are more likely to be early adopters of the technology. Some of these industries and their use cases include:

    Transportation

    5G will revolutionize transport: a recent World Bank report states that 5G holds the potential to accelerate several evolving technologies such as sharing economy and digital platforms, electric and autonomous vehicles, and advanced business models like Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The report also says that mobility-driven demand for connectivity will likely be an important revenue stream for expanded 5G coverage, and the revenue from connected vehicles in major road corridors could potentially yield ROI within just 3-4 years.

    Autonomous vehicles will improve road safety and be especially viable on closed campuses in the near future. Smart traffic control with real-time management through connected traffic lights will alleviate traffic congestion. Extending route-mapping technology to transport fleets will improve efficiency and provide real-time updates to commuters on transit times and/or delays. Connecting public places like stadiums with public transport systems will enable them to anticipate higher demand during events.

  • V2X communications
  • Vehicle-to-vehicle communication
  • Airborne taxis
  • Prognostic maintenance
  • Digital twins
  • Remote vehicle health monitoring
  • In-vehicle infotainment
  • Intelligent traffic
  • Energy and utilities

    The energy industry currently faces the shift to renewable power, uncertainty over fuel prices, outdated infrastructure, declining revenues, and regulation and policy restrictions. Next-gen technology can help tackle these challenges, helping build a digitalized smart grid using AI, machine learning, and data analytics, and connected with 5G. Intelligence gathered from IoT devices and other technologies gives utility providers more control over distribution, battery energy storage, and renewable energy generation. This enables building smart factories, improved agility, improved CX, lower operating costs, decentralized business models, and high ROI.

  • Smart street lighting
  • Virtual power plants
  • Smart energy management
  • Drone monitoring
  • Smart metering
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Healthcare

    Private 5G is set to revolutionize healthcare, helping ensure more efficient patient care, implement monitoring to enable preventative practices, and reduce escalating treatment costs. It will also mean improved healthcare practices, safer storage of patient data, and broadening access even to those in remote or distant areas.

    The high speeds, reliable connectivity, low latency, and real-time data streaming that private 5G networks provide enable limitless IoT applications, also known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Teleconsultation is already being adopted by many hospitals and clinics – a trend escalated by the pandemic to enable patients to access quality medical care from the safety of their homes. As IoT-enabled automation and private 5G networks become more pervasive, healthcare professionals will be able to leverage these technologies to provide e-health applications and personalized treatment options.

  • Remote surgeries
  • AR/VR-enabled healthcare
  • Telemedicine
  • Robot-assisted minimally invasive surgeries
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Wearables and ingestibles
  • Connected ambulances
  • Implantable device monitoring
  • Financial services

    Today, the success of financial services such as banks, finance, and insurance (BFSI) companies is hinged, among others, on two important factors: security and customer experience. Private 5G helps fulfill these two requirements by providing ultra-high reliability, higher data capacity, and low latency. The adoption of private 5G and more widespread use of IoT systems and devices will help boost security and CX while driving ROI. It supports disruption from fintech firms, enables a host of advanced mobile transactions, and facilitates service providers to create custom financial solutions to meet an array of business requirements.

  • Smart bank branches
  • Remote tellers
  • Internet of Moving Things
  • Payment-enabled wearables
  • Entertainment and media

    5G technology will change the face of entertainment and media. According to this report, the global media industry is expected to gain $765bn in cumulative revenues from the new applications and services that 5G enables. Smartphones and consumer devices increasingly support the richer and more advanced audio, video, and multimedia experiences that are facilitated by 5G’s low latency and high bandwidth. The next step is new media experiences for residential and enterprise applications. This will mean collaborative and shared live entertainment, AR/VR, interactive and cloud gaming, immersive events such as sports, personalized content, immersive advertising, and much more.

  • Temporary event networks
  • Enhanced mobile advertising
  • Smart stadiums
  • Connected haptic suits
  • Immersive media
  • Enhanced mobile media
  • In-car entertainment
  • Ultra-high-definition video streaming
  • Manufacturing

    Manufacturing units that run business-critical activities require infrastructure and applications that demand high reliability, low latency, and uninterrupted connectivity without a wired network. Enterprise or private 5G enables the application of robotics, AI, automation, Industrial IoT, and augmented reality to improve efficiency, lower costs, transform production processes, and facilitate new business models for manufacturing companies. It can help minimize downtime and delays in production, enable streamlined supply chain management, facilitate improved quality checks, boost staff safety, and empower more informed decision-making in real-time using BI analytics.

  • Smart factories
  • Predictive maintenance
  • Drones
  • Human-robot collaboration
  • Education

    The pandemic has already accelerated a massive digital revolution in learning, moving teaching to virtual classrooms. And while e-learning is off to a good start, 5G will help bridge the divide caused by the limitations inherent to legacy networks such as lagging speeds and the lack of more immersive experiences. Improved connectivity, ultrafast speeds, and the integration of IoT and robotics will enable educators to create enriched educational experiences that not only match classroom experiences but also surpass them.

  • Smart classrooms
  • AR/VR
  • Remote learning
  • Holographic instructors
  • Robots educators
  • Personalized learning
  • Agriculture

    5G is expected to revolutionize the agricultural sector, enabling centralized and real-time control over agricultural practices. Many have been turning to newer technologies in recent years to monitor and improve farming practices. Drones, sensors, and cameras are already in use to monitor soil hydration, rainfall, soil nutrients, weeds, temperature, and so on. Connecting these devices to a 5G network and leveraging next-gen features will enable more precision and efficiency in the systems. Smart farming applications enable farmers to segment their fields and treat different sections based on their unique needs using machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and AI. Farmers can use geolocation services to track livestock in real-time, monitor food intake, keep a check on animal health, and more.

  • Precision farming
  • Autonomous plants
  • Self-driving tractors
  • Extended IoT and M2M
  • Wireless sensors and drones
  • Livestock tracking
  • How Alepo can help

    Cross-industry partnerships will be the most lucrative path to success for 5G service providers, and to attract more partners, they will need to enable innovative 5G use cases. This means providing a robust platform that supports easy onboarding of partners and customers, omnichannel support, and in-built monetization systems. As early movers in enabling 5G, we’ve already begun facilitating operators to stay ahead of the global trend of small and medium businesses turning to operators for their private 5G networks. Our end-to-end solutions enable operators to forge cross-industry partnerships, meet regulatory needs, and develop fail-proof cybersecurity strategies. Learn more about our 5GC solutions.

    Pankaj Garg

    Pankaj Garg

    Director, Product Management

    Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS and 5G offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

    Top 5 business benefits of digital transformation for telecom

    Top 5 business benefits of digital transformation for telecom

    Top 5 business benefits of digital transformation for telecom

     

    May 06, 2021

     

     

    Introduction

    With declining revenues from traditional services, the growing threat of OTT players, and customers swiftly embracing a more digital lifestyle, operators need to keep reinventing themselves by offering new and differentiated services to their customers. Digital transformation is key to this reinvention, which means the ability to offer advanced services through delivery channels preferred by customers. Plus, it enables operators to improve efficiency by streamlining their business processes, further improving revenue through reduced operational costs.

    Digital transformation is a massive undertaking for any telco, demanding considerable investment, in terms of resources, time, and of course, money. Often, it takes years for an operator to transform their infrastructure and processes. What decides the success of this undertaking is knowing where to begin and investing in key focal points that will bring visible changes to the network.

    In our experience of facilitating network modernization projects around the globe, we’ve found that telcos gain immediate benefits after a successful BSS transformation, even when they choose to roll out in phases and reinvest as they derive ROI.

    Top five benefits of digital transformation

    In planning a digital transformation, make sure the solution you deploy will produce these benefits:

    Transforming the customer experience

    Digital transformation means enabling a digital lifestyle through a host of next-generation services, including the advancement to 5G. From smart homes, smart buildings and cities, to autonomous vehicles and industrial IoT applications in manufacturing, telcos will be able to harness the full monetization potential of the next-gen network through unique and differentiated services.

    In addition to improving CX by supporting advanced service offerings, digital transformation is also meant to enhance customer relationship management through increased engagement, more cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, consistently evolving offerings to keep pace with changing customer needs, and ensuring swift and seamless issue resolution.

    A modern BSS transformation includes CX-focused features such as:

    • digital CRM to serve as a unified 360-degree platform to manage all customer interactions
    • digitized customer journeys, including digital onboarding, electronic KYC, and more
    • interactive omnichannel self-care with integrated chatbots for social media platforms to ensure your customers can engage with you 24x7x365, making them self-reliant to solve problems quickly and efficiently, and granting more control over their accounts
    • personalized and innovative rewards programs to build customer loyalty and brand differentiation throughout the customer life cycle
    • contextual plans for different customer segments based on their location, usage needs, and more

    Accurate data-driven insights

    One of the key benefits of digital transformation is gaining access to key data insights to continually measure the pulse of your customers and modify not only plans and offerings, but also your long-term business strategies and goals. Effectively using Business Intelligence (BI) insights improve ROI and revenue.

    A next-gen digital BSS platform provides granular and customizable reports for advanced customer segmentation. Using the data from these reports, you can create personalized and relevant offerings, improve plan pricing, and build loyalty.

    Further, these insights help in creating targeted advertising to not only promote your own offerings but also for third-party sponsorship opportunities.

    Innovations due to collaborations/partnerships

    How does digital transformation help keep pace with competition from OTT services such as social media and chat platforms? Customers have far more engagement with these platforms as compared to traditional service providers, and digital transformation helps up the customer relationship game by forging cross-industry partnerships for a host of OTT services that directly engage the customer.

    Network modernization solutions enable these services to be integrated with the telco’s offerings, meaning that the telco can ensure end-to-end management of the services by maintaining control over them and providing a holistic customer experience.

    Transforming your network means creating new revenue streams by integrating a modern partner management solution that facilitates these partnerships while managing a large number of connections (think IoT ecosystem), massive amounts of data consumption, use cases requiring ultralow latency, and more. (For more on these partnerships as we move forward in the 5G era, read our blog, How partnerships are the key to 5G success for telcos.)

    Agile and virtualized network environment

    Digital transformation makes it possible to continually adapt to evolving market demands by responding swiftly with new and innovative services by creating an agile network environment. More agility means faster response time, helping telcos stay ahead of their competitors.

    An agile network environment is virtualized, replacing traditional hardware through the implementation of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and employing a software-based approach to running various traditional network functions. Modern BSS transformation solutions are NFV-compliant and cloud-native, helping telcos reduce operational costs, improve agility, lower OPEX, reduce costs by avoiding constant and expensive hardware upgrades, and support various next-gen use cases even before they fully transition to 5G.

    Earlier generations of networks, including 4G, did not serve as many use case demands as 5G. 5G caters to use cases that require more speed, latency, reliability, efficiency, throughput, and other needs. Catering to these dynamically changing needs, and handling more traffic load than ever before, demands a virtualized network environment.

    Taking a cue from the enterprise success of agile virtualized environments, more and more telcos are moving towards a virtualized core network. With more standardization as well as network-agnostic software, modern deployments are more agile.

    Automated processes and faster sales conversions

    Automating workflows and processes helps reduce operator dependence on staff, lowers the risk of errors caused by manual intervention, and helps keep operational costs low.

    Digital transformation integrates automation at all levels and in all processes. This includes automating sales processes to reduce workload, save time, and lower OPEX on creating workflows, sending emails, setting up alerts and notifications to track the sales pipeline, and more. It helps streamline the entire sales life cycle, centralizing all day-to-day operations, capturing leads, organizing customer databases, ensuring quotations are sent on time, interactions are prompt, and managing the sales pipeline. Here, too, leveraging data through the use of advanced analytics helps improve the sales process, forecast sales, identify the most lucrative lead sources, and more.

    The result: improved sales conversions, both in terms of time and volumes.

    How Alepo can help in your digital transformation journey

    Alepo been instrumental in digitalizing telecom businesses around the globe has emerged as an industry-leading solution provider to drive revenue through network modernization and digital transformation projects. Its next-gen products and solutions are the result of ongoing R&D efforts to employ the latest technologies and meet dynamically changing market demands. Alepo’s 5G-ready Digital BSS along with its 5G Core and other cloud-native solutions helps CSPs constantly innovate their service offerings, facilitate business automation, accelerate network performance, drive profitability, and reduce costs on fixed and mobile broadband networks. Its 365x24x7 global technical assistance center (GTAC) further ensures that operators can maintain highly available networks, competitive differential advantage in their target market with timely feature enhancements, and a high customer satisfaction index with proactive network monitoring and quick issue resolution.

    Looking to transform your service offerings, business processes, and customer experience? Drop us a message and we’ll get in touch.

    Pankaj Garg

    Pankaj Garg

    Associate Director, Product Management

    Pankaj Garg is a telecom and FinTech expert with over 15 years of experience in the software industry. Handling digital BSS offerings is among the many hats he wears at Alepo. Always up to speed with the newest advancements in the products he handles, he takes it slow only when he’s road-tripping across India to discover new places.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

    How advanced charging use cases accelerate 5G monetization

    How advanced charging use cases accelerate 5G monetization

    How advanced charging use cases accelerate 5G monetization

     

    April 27, 2021

     

     

     

    Why 5G demands new charging capabilities  

    5G’s transformative features such as low latency, ultrafast speeds, and high bandwidth open a world of opportunities for consumer and industry applications. Its ability to support massive volumes – according to Statista, 50 billion internet of things (IoT) connected devices are expected to be in use by 2030 – also unlocks the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). An operator’s charging capabilities thus assume a pivotal role, ensuring all 5G services are fully monetizable using modern and advanced charging use cases.

    The charging engines many operators use today were designed for networks like 3G and LTE. These previous generations did not have the network scalability and performance needs of 5G, and are unable to support the advanced monetization capabilities that 5G use cases require to accurately charge across a large number of services, devices, and different event types. This demands fundamental changes to the underlying monetization architecture, taking a service-based approach, much like the 5G core network itself.

    How next-gen charging capabilities work

    Implementing next-gen charging and policy control functions of the 5G core enables operators to truly harness the monetization potential of 5G. The Charging Function (CHF) enables operators to charge for everything, supporting models for multiple parties (for instance, B2B2X models), helps implement RESTful processes, and enables real-time charging on various types of events. The Policy Control Function (PCF) enables end-to-end policy management, implements slice-based policies for highly specific applications, supports innovation and enrichment through service exposure, and offers advanced analytics for improved services. 

    In recent years, more and more operators have implemented converged charging for all their services, which is also part of the 3GPP Release 15 standard. The CHF has been functionally and architecturally restructured for 5G versus its legacy OCS counterpart. Supporting both online as well as offline charging, it is crucial to enabling 5G service providers to swiftly respond to evolving customer demands and introducing new and innovative services that can be charged. It implements network integrations that are formulated in keeping with service-based architecture, enabling next-gen monetization opportunities, employing cloud-based and containerized technology, enabling more automation, agility, flexibility, and minimizing revenue leaks.

    Through network slicing, 5G operators can provide “slices” or smaller dedicated parts of their networks to customers, dedicating resources depending on the SLA to focus on speed, latency, capacity, and so on, supporting use cases such as smart buildings, smart offices, private campus networks, connected vehicles, and much more, all of which require charging support. Plus, 5G works on microservices-based infrastructure that helps deliver ultra-low latency, and to enable this, previously centralized charging components will now need to be more distributed and move closer to the network edge. So, 5G charging systems are required to support various new types of services like API calls, tiered QoS plans, edge computing capacity, and more. 

    Modern and scalable convergent charging systems assume particular relevance for enterprises, enabling a gamut of new-age applications to help businesses differentiate themselves while swiftly unlocking these new revenue streamsIn the coming years, as 5G standalone deployments become more widespread, converged charging is expected to be more widely implemented.

    5G charging use cases

    5G supports a wide range of B2B, B2C, as well as B2B2X services, and thus demands charging use cases that help ensure zero revenue leakage across services. These include charging based on:

    Slices

    Network slicing is a key 5G use case and is integral to 5G charging. Most devices today have the same bandwidth and service levels, but network slicing creates new charging opportunities by enabling the segregation of network resources. Operators can provide slices to cater to a wide range of customer requirements, offering endless possibilities for revenue streams. Using flexible charging models, operators can monetize these slices for both direct consumers as well as the enterprise. Operators can offer various granular and personalized services to consumers on different slices. And for the enterprise customer, operators can offer models for different needs like IoT-connected devices and equipment, for its employees, its customers, special events, field tests and trials, and so on, for which unique policy and charging rules can be defined.

    Network slices can be created based on various criteria, some of which include:

    QoS tiers

    Operators can charge subscribers based on the Quality of Service (QoS) they have signed up for. This is particularly relevant for industrial and enterprise applications, empowering the enterprise to define granular metrics such as latency, data rate, capacity, mobility, security, throughput, response time, level of service, and more.

    SLA-based services

    Network slices are designed to serve individual customer needs, for metrics including system capacity, user experience, energy consumption, coverage, latency, and more. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) will be defined based on the level of service a customer expects from each slice. 5G charging systems enable operators to dynamically scale pricing, define policy rules for specific devices, and much more, enabling them to offer more specific SLAs.

    Platform use (PaaS)

    Operators can build their own platforms and use open APIs to share and charge for their network and IT infrastructure with platform providers or developers who can use cloud infrastructure to deploy applications. The customer has control over the application, but the operator controls the underlying infrastructure.

    Software use (SaaS)

    In this case, the operator can charge for applications that it runs on the cloud and provides to consumers. The operator controls and manages both the infrastructure as well as the application and can charge on different events like time or usage.

    Infrastructure use (IaaS)

    Service providers can partner with enterprises to share their infrastructure and/or applications, granting the enterprise control over this infrastructure while charging for its use. This is especially useful for smaller enterprises who do not want to invest in their own infrastructure but are in need of a secure and private network. 

    Digital ecosystems

    Operators can set up digital ecosystems or marketplaces to provide a platform that connects producers and providers of goods and services with consumers, forging partnerships with these providers to monetize the service. Here, operators have the added advantage of having access to advanced data and analytics tools that help them segregate customers, run targeted campaigns, and more.

    Real-time performance

    5G’s ultrafast speeds, stable connectivity, and low latency enable real-time applications, including multimedia like augmented reality, virtual reality, and gaming. Operators can define charging based on real-time performance for these applications.

    Benefits of next-gen charging systems 

    5G charging engines offer a host of benefits to operators, enabling them to swiftly adapt to dynamic market needs. Some of these include:

    Handle advanced 5G use cases 

    With the rapid increase in the number of devices connected to the network, 5G charging systems must handle an unprecedented amount of traffic and charge for the endless application possibilities of next-gen networks. 3GPP has defined a host of possibilities for the 5G charging ecosystem, introducing elements in the 5G core that are unavailable in legacy charging systems. The PCF serves as a unified platform to govern the implementation of policy and charging rules. The Session Management Function enables operators to seamlessly implement session charging between devices, so they can efficiently charge users when they use different devices for the same service, for instance, like watching a movie. And other network functions, such as the Network Exposure Function (NEF), Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF), and Network Slice Management, equip operators to gather essential device and location data, implement slice-based charging, enable multiple flexible charging scenarios, facilitate operators and enterprises to share session information, allow granular charging based on advanced analytics, and more.

    Develop diverse partnerships

    5G charging capabilities include support for multiple business partners on a single platform, enabling operators’ business and marketing teams to easily and dynamically forge innovative partnerships to monetize B2B2X, B2B, B2C, wholesale, and IoT services.

    Enhance customer experience

    By making a host of advanced use cases fully monetizable, 5G charging paves the way for innovation, boosting CX, improving brand differentiation, and ensuring customer loyalty.

    High return on investment

    Advanced charging helps open new revenue streams as well as secure the revenue potential of existing services, maximizing ROI.

    Improve business agility

    Operators can effortlessly launch new plans and promotions, automate transaction processing even for the most complex use cases, implement flexible data models that support complex account hierarchies for granular plans and services, and more. 

    How Alepo can help 

    Alepo supports advanced charging use cases through robust convergent charging and policy control network functions, both of which are part of the 5G-compliant Digital BSS product suite and Alepo’s 5G Core Network solution. Both can either be deployed as part of the new solution or integrated with any other vendor’s BSS, enabling you to preserve your existing network investments.

    Legacy 4G/LTE environments are unable to support charging for 5G use cases, so the first step towards implementing advanced charging is ensuring you have a modern BSS and 5G Core infrastructure. As experts in this domain, Alepo can provide a host of deployment options to smoothly transition to 5G, including local, public, hybrid, 4G + 5G combo, and private models.

    Rajesh Mhapankar

    Rajesh Mhapankar

    Director, Innovations

    A seasoned professional, technologist, innovator, and telecom expert. With over 20 years of experience in the software industry, Rajesh brings a strong track record of accelerating product innovations and development at Alepo. He supports the company’s mission-critical BSS/OSS projects in LTE, WiFi and broadband networks, including core policy, charging, and control elements.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter

    How a carrier-grade AAA optimizes the network

    How a carrier-grade AAA optimizes the network

    How a carrier-grade AAA optimizes the network

     

    April 12, 2021

     

     

     

    Introduction

    Customer experience is the key differentiator for operators today, and while there are several other contributing factors such as automated support and digital engagement, one of the best ways to boost CX is by providing a superior network experience. Though often overlooked, successfully modernizing your network means recognizing the role of upgrading the AAA helps alleviate a host of challenges to boost network performance.

    Key carrier-grade AAA features that optimize network performance

    A modern and robust AAA and policy framework provides features that optimize network resource utilization and boost performance, even with dynamically changing traffic load. These include: 

    High availability

    A highly responsive AAA server with failover support helps maximize efficiency and ensure 99.999% availability for carrier-grade performance as the network grows.

    Powerful scripting engine

    A high-performing scripting engine ensures high performance and sub-millisecond latency, and enables operators to write and implement custom authentication and authorization rules in-house.

    Noise management

    AAA signaling noise is often produced on wireline networks by repeated authentication failures and errors. A robust AAA efficiently mitigates noise issues, instructing disturbing devices to take corrective measures, keeping network performance high. In addition, an intelligent system also enables service providers to easily identify and block malicious attempts to disturb or overburden the network.

    Real-time policy control

    A modern AAA lets service providers ensure zero revenue leakage, implement mid-session policy changes, deliver bandwidth on demand, and instantly communicate with customers.

    Scalability

    A stateless AAA stores sessions and data in a centralized database, ensuring that another AAA node takes over if one is down and enabling dynamic vertical as well as horizontal scaling without network downtime.

    Rerouting and offloading traffic

    A next-gen carrier-grade AAA enables service providers to alleviate network traffic by authenticating and authorizing mobile subscribers who connect from 3G, LTE, or 5G networks and seamlessly offloading them to services such as WiFi for calling or data sessions.

    Emergency mode

    The AAA can provide a fail-proof backup system to authenticate users if database connectivity is lost by automatically switching to emergency mode, helping prevent service disruption caused by single points of failure.

    Automated service restoration

    A AAA that enables rapid recovery from system failures or outages helps minimize strain on resources and optimize performance.

    Web-based administrative portal

    Operators can monitor and troubleshoot issues from a single interface. They can also automatically redirect customers to a self-care portal.

    Interoperability

    A carrier-grade AAA server that is interoperable with other networks lets operators deploy a multi-vendor network, not only lowering network costs but also boosting performance.

    How Alepo AAA transformation optimizes networks

    Ensuring a seamless migration is a major consideration for operators when undertaking a AAA transformation. Alepo provides a proven and scalable integration framework with provisioning support using API Gateway, ensuring a zero-downtime migration that does not impact existing integrations or IT systems. Alepo’s NFV-compliant AAA is stateless, enabling five-nines availability, and has an industry-leading benchmark of 36,000 transactions per second (TPS), supporting horizontal and vertical scaling. The highly stable system increases operational efficiency, with centralized monitoring to reduce on-ground staff dependence. Further, centralized configuration management minimizes errors by enabling operators to rapidly and easily configure changes across all AAA nodes. With automated workflows and web-based interfaces, Alepo’s carrier-grade AAA Server enables service providers to create, launch, deliver, and manage services within hours.

     

    Begin your AAA transformation journey now: book a demo.

    Gayatri Sarang

    Gayatri Sarang

    Lead Content and Engagement Specialist – Marketing

    Gayatri is part of the content and communications brigade at Alepo. Having locked focus on the telecom domain in recent years, she has vast and diverse experience in writing for leading publications. She moonlights as a volunteer urban wildlife rehabber and is a passionate baker.

    Subscribe to the Alepo Newsletter