Monday, 18 November 2019

NETSCOUT: Transition to standalone 5G will be critical for telcos

An interview with Dr. Vikram Saksena, CTO, Cable Markets at NETSCOUT
Thursday 07 November 19

Total Telecom were proud to partner with NETSCOUT, a provider of application and network performance management products at the 2019 Total Telecom Congress. Post-event, we caught up with Dr. Vikram Saksena, CTO, Cable Markets to get his thoughts around industry hot topic, 5G. What trends are you noticing developing in the market at the moment? We are seeing increased competition for the Telcos and rising customer expectations for service innovation and agility. The hyperscale cloud providers and niche &ldquo…

Total Telecom were proud to partner with NETSCOUT, a provider of application and network performance management products at the 2019 Total Telecom Congress.

Post-event, we caught up with Dr. Vikram Saksena, CTO, Cable Markets to get his thoughts around industry hot topic, 5G.

What trends are you noticing developing in the market at the moment?

We are seeing increased competition for the Telcos and rising customer expectations for service innovation and agility. The hyperscale cloud providers and niche “XaaS” providers have raised the bar for rapidly delivering new services with greater speed and personalization. In response, Telcos are evolving to more agile service delivery platforms with greater levels of automation and intelligence to grow revenue, reduce opex, and delight and retain customers. 5G is coming at an opportune time for Telcos to leverage its unique architectural capabilities to strengthen their competitive position in the industry.

How can telcos prepare for the transition between non-standalone and standalone 5G?

The transition to a non-standalone model is absolutely essential for the telcos to capitalize on the full range of benefits that 5G offers. In particular their ability to successfully capture enterprise customers with low latency applications will require a distributed, standalone network with an edge compute platform, network slicing, and control/user plane separation. The current non standalone deployments have helped telcos get off the ground quickly with their 5G rollouts that are focused on delivering fixed and mobile broadband services to consumers.

What are some of the learned lessons from early 5G deployments?

The early 5G deployments have shown that deploying 5G in the mmWave bands can be quite challenging. The short range and attenuation characteristics of these high frequency signals requires careful propagation modeling and RAN planning to get the best performance. Cell densification is a must for getting broad and continuous coverage of 5G signals which is capex intensive to roll out. Hence the current 5G experience in most cities where it has been rolled out is quite spotty.

What new technologies are you particularly excited about at the moment?

Artificial intelligence holds a lot of promise for network analytics, assurance and operation. And it has the potential to improve security analytics and early warning detection mechanisms. There is no doubt that machines can process information faster than humans. But AI will still be reliant upon having good, real-time, actionable data in order to get smart outcomes. As other players in this space, we are continuing to develop our analytics and integrating AI and ML technologies into our products to help our carrier customers improve their networks and services. It will be interesting to see how carriers adopt AI and what fail safes they put in places.

What predictions do you have for the industry over the course of the next 12-18 months?

The broad themes of automation, IoT, and security will continue to dominate the landscape in the foreseeable future. AI and ML will play a key role in these areas as telcos progress on the path of service agility and digital transformation, while lowering their capex and opex. 5G rollouts will accelerate and we will begin to see enterprise customers embrace 5G for IoT and other services. We may also see the early adoption of private 5G networks in large enterprises with their own private edge cloud implementations to enable low latency services.
 

ABOUT NETSCOUT

NETSCOUT helps communication service providers gain end-to-end, real-time, reliable visibility into their applications and services across their networks with our Smart Visibility approach.  Gain visibility anytime, anywhere, across physical/hybrid/cloud environments, with any service inside or outside your organization – all while maximizing your efforts in 5G, NFV, Business Analytics, and Video Assurance. To find out more, please click here.

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