The telecom world has already entered the era of 5G. Considered the most look forwarded disruptive technology, this fifth-generation spectrum is bringing a paradigm shift in networking and the architecture that drives those networks. With 5G in place, networks would turn capable of providing a more flexible, scalable, agile, and programmable platform across multiple industries and verticals. Innovative concepts and techniques are being developed to enable this transition. The driving force behind this development are technologies like Software Defined Networking technologies (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), which are now recognized as being two of the key technology enablers for realizing 5G networks, and which have introduced a major change in the way network services are deployed and operated.
Several leading software service providers are exploring the opportunities and thwarting challenges in the development and implementation of disruptive technologies in the telecommunications and broadcast space. VoicenData touched base with Tata Elxsi for a description on the company’s insight into 5G’s disruptive benefits and its work in the development and implementation of SDN/NFV, which are the way forward for the telecom industry.
5G and its disruptive impact
While the rollout of 5G will be a multiyear journey, the foundations have begun in 2018. One of the most anticipated mobile technology platforms, 5G will be the connective tissue for the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, and mobile media, according to the leaders at Tata Elxsi. The company’s forefronts have shared their knowledge on 5G, as below
5G to the operator’s advantage: Globally, telecom industry is facing an exploding demand for bandwidth and faster services rollout from consumers. This is contributing to falling ARPU, growing network complexity and high operational costs. Operators need to greatly factor in consumer value and adopt new routes to innovation towards digitalization that leads to greater user experience. It depends on how agile the network is for dynamic enablement of services and the network flexibility that enables operators to extract maximum value from network assets.
Operators need to greatly factor in consumer value and adopt new routes to innovation towards digitalization that leads to greater user experience.
In addition to this, digitalization means inclusion of services addressed to multiple industry verticals like retail, manufacturing, healthcare and automotive through deployment of IoT. Today, operators are challenged with limited bandwidth, real-time performance of networks and manageability of 20 billion devices (source: Gartner) that would be on-boarded in the next 3 to 5 years.
Future of connectivity with 5G: 5G designed as an agile wireless technology promises to bring the scalability which would boost several services directly connected to IoT. 5G detaches the network infrastructure hardware and software, thus enabling new possibilities such as ad-insertion, caching and high-quality content delivery.
With the dramatically higher frequencies that many 5G operators plan to utilize and the limited distance that these frequencies can travel, 5G operators will need to construct the network with a mesh of small cells that interoperate with the large cells and/or directly with the backbone fiber network.
Future of Media & Entertainment with advanced OTT services: On the media and entertainment front, consumers are choosing the internet as the preferred media for entertainment. This industry is increasingly driven by digitization. Unmanaged OTT video service providers were key drivers for operators to adopt video streaming as a service on their own managed networks venturing into IPTV services. The future of broadcast is now getting defined beyond the traditional broadcast segment.
The future of broadcast is now getting defined beyond the traditional broadcast segment.
This shift towards IPTV and OTT away from traditional pay-tv services has opened up opportunities for innovation in AR/VR to make the user experience more enriching and real. Face filters on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are examples of the everyday usage of AR. Smartphone users will start embracing Augmented Reality by creating viral content through smartphone cameras.
New paradigm in the Broadcasting Arena – Open source TV middleware: Android TV and RDK are two leading open source-based TV middleware, which is increasingly gaining traction. An open source approach provides opportunities for faster rollout of operator-specific features and better manageability by the operators. Service providers have the possibilities for providing more seamless and immersive personal experiences to the customers. The framework can integrate with many different services, and the addition of features such as voice search opens up a new window of opportunities.
Android TV and RDK are two leading open source-based TV middleware, which is increasingly gaining traction.
Unbounded disruption with AI and ML: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) will play a crucial role in the telecoms development since they will help in increasing the efficiency of back-office operations and trivial customer interactions with a great automation capability. Tata Elxsi has been helping implement customer service chatbots, speech recognition, predictive maintenance for some of the biggest operators around the globe. Broadcasters have started deploying AI for audience engagement, content planning, and network management.
Tata Elxsi has placed its services in accordance with the disruptive technologies. K P Sreekumar, Vice President and Head, Broadcast Business Unit, Tata Elxsi has said, “Some of the key issues faced by telecom industry – like the changing regulatory environments; emergence of new business or delivery models; coupled with more demanding, tech-savvy customers; and an evolving economic/trade landscape are impacting the deployment and implementation of disruptive technologies. Tata Elxsi is fully invested by building in solutions and creating centers of excellence focused on various aspects of digital transformation. This can create tremendous value for operators and broadcasters as the industry starts adopting these disruptive technologies.”
Tata Elxsi is fully invested by building in solutions and creating centers of excellence focused on various aspects of digital transformation.
Tata Elxsi’s work in the development and implementation of SDN/NFV
In the journey towards digital transformation and 5G implementation, networks are under extreme stress to deliver agility and flexibility, without compromising on security. To enable operators extract maximum value from network assets, Software-Defined and Virtualized Networking technologies (SDN/NFV) and collaborative open-source initiatives have started eliminating most of the key barriers to innovation and growth for operators.
Tata Elxsi is partnering with operators to help them achieve their vision to enhance customer experience, operational excellence, and implementation.
Perceiving this software demand, Tata Elxsi has ensured that the company has expanded its footprint in Europe and NA regions, providing next-generation network transformation consulting on SDN, NFV, Telco Cloud, SD-IoT, platforms, and engineering services.
R Rajagopalan, Deputy CTO of Network Transformation, Tata Elxsi said, “Software programmable, virtualized network and functions offers strategic answers to agile service delivery. This enables faster cycles for revenue generation and cost optimization opportunities that are key to solving operators’ key challenges.”
Leveraging the vast experience in state-of-the-art technologies and open-source platforms, combined with the deep expertise in design thinking and end to end security delivery, Tata Elxsi is partnering with operators to help them achieve their vision to enhance customer experience, operational excellence, and implementation.
Tata Elxsi has already inked partnerships with four globally acclaimed service providers to enable their network transformation journeys. The range of partnership spans from greenfield deployments to building SDN overlays over legacy networks. The next generation components span across OSS/BSS, middleware, e-commerce style self-ordering and self-servicing portals.