5G network slices create greater assurance complexity

Ericsson estimates that 5G will generate $582 billion in revenues for operators by 2026, injecting a 34 percent revenue growth opportunity for operators following years of flat revenues.

3) Grace accesses premium experiences. As the concert continues, Grace starts viewing the games using 4K video on her home TV. Later, she decides to experience part of the concert through Virtual Reality, but these premium services were not included in her standard pass. For the CSP, 4K video and VR run on different 5G slices, each with their own quality of service SLAs and pricing configurations. Not only has the CSP lost potential revenue when Grace accesses the premium experiences for free, the CSP also needs to ensure that the quality of service is met to provide a positive viewing experience. As Grace moves from 4K streaming to VR streaming, the CSP must provision the service upgrade in real-time, as well as measure and rate the content distribution at each level for accurate billing and margin analytics.

In scenarios #1 and #2, these errors can occur within the CSP’s OSS but also within the partner’s (in this case, Netflix) service inventory and service activation systems. Real-time correlation between the CSP and the content provider’s OSS is needed in order to guarantee that there is no revenue leakage. When we move to scenario #3, in order to guarantee no revenue leakage when 5G slicing is used, the CSP will need to be able to drill down into the specific 5G slices to monitor the SLA metrics and ensure that the usage is accurately rated and charged back to the content provider.

As we can see, in Grace’s scenarios, there are a multitude of opportunities for CSPs to experience revenue leakage as the digital ecosystem expands beyond traditional telecom providers.

A $582 Billion Opportunity in Jeopardy

Ericsson estimates that 5G will generate $582 billion in revenues for operators by 2026, injecting a 34 percent revenue growth opportunity for operators following years of flat revenues. Network slicing will be a key part of how CSPs monetize 5G. Therefore, CSPs must safeguard their new revenue streams and the customer experience from risks and losses that arise when implementing network slicing. This will require sophisticated risk management solutions and strategies to ensure that CSPs can provision and monitor usage to make sure that SLAs are adhered to, services are accurately charged and billed, partner settlement is managed, and fraud and revenue leakage risks are minimized. This will require the breakdown of legacy-driven siloes between OSS/BSS, security, and fraud management so that the different guises of fraud and instances of revenue leakage can be detected earlier.

There are additional pressures and considerations that apply here. Every day, the level of sophistication and organization among fraudsters increases. By relying on the traditional model of risk management governance, where the key auditing functionalities have been relegated to isolated selections of tactical technologies, management features, and operational procedures, CSPs will simply fail to assure network slicing. Gone are the days when a simple set of rules built on top of OSS/BSS data would be enough for CSPs to detect fraud and stop revenue leakage. This approach must change immediately if CSPs want to minimize their threats.

For all of these complexities, CSPs remain well-placed to act as the glue in the 5G network slicing risk assurance chain, bringing together the various participants and building on existing capabilities and experience. The key to fully monetizing 5G networking slicing is the deployment of flexible tools that enable service providers to monitor risk while still offering the flexibility needed to meet changing and diverse customer demands. To get the right risk management strategy in place, all devices, systems, networks, partners, and business models should be viewed holistically with associated requirements and risks in mind. CSPs are in the best position to properly implement, with assurance by design, an end-to-end risk management approach that will guarantee the sweeping impact that the 5G will have on the way the world will work, while minimizing the risks it introduces.  


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