Regardless of additional complexities and challenges as well as opportunities that 5G represents, a fundamental objective of Openet has always been to reduce complexity and this continues with OPC. Industry leading deployment experience: cloud-based software (not hardware), network agnosticism, microservices – these have been part of Openet’s DNA since before 5G was conceived. They are now fundamental to a successful 5G environment.
Opening the network to a broader ecosystem of partners and service enablement will be critical to the success of 5G. This includes ever more powerful access to data and AI. More than ever, opening up to an array of established and emerging partners in everything from gaming to industrial IoT will be core to differentiated value-creation.
OPC plays a critical role in the rapid launch and control of services in the 5G environment and the enablement of differentiated services. A richer set of use cases include but are not limited to: gating controls, QoS, usage monitoring, application detection, roaming controls, traffic steering, “slice” enablement and combinational services. Greater visibility and exposure control than ever before is handled by OPC.
OPC is at the heart of this differentiation for operators. It enables more testing of services more often as well as real-time reporting of cleanly controlled service slices. It enables operators to be at the heart of new service trends, not a mere enabler after they have already occurred.
OPC plays a central role slice definition and control. Once base or template slices (initial slices relating to FWA, eMBB, IoT etc.) are in place they can serve as initial templates or “blueprints” for multiple slice configuration. With Openet Slice Realisation propagation is easy whether you need to activate and control 5 slices or 5,000. Charging characteristics are also catered for as Openet includes its 5G-enabling, microservices-based, flexible charging pedigree at the slice level. End-to-end slice definition, testing, provisioning, SLA-based control, monitoring and upgrade awareness are all catered for.
‘Blueprints’ are out-of-box fully working set of functionality that can be deployed “as is” or customized as necessary. They can be considered as editable templates covering anticipated services but are highly editable to ensure new services can be launched in minutes or hours instead of weeks or months. Openet interfaces are to ensure self-service and massive reductions in opex.
Every service provider is at a different stage of evolution with 5G. 3G and 4G will need to co-exist with 5G for some time, even if the ultimate aim is for standalone (core plus radio) 5G in the coming years that also caters for 3G/4G traffic. Openet’s 5G Data Bridge is designed to rapidly ease this transition.
The main requirement for 5G Data Bridge is to translate all possible Diameter requests for 3G / 4G Policy and Charging to REST requests for 5G CHF/PCF while also enabling a customisation point for translation variations for various interfaces supported. With Openet’s 5G Data Bridge, both 4G and 5G traffic are assuredly handled with ease and with optimal efficiency.
When it comes to 5G we know standardised functions matter. They are what makes interoperability more effective and standards are what prevent improvements from becoming dysfunctional. It is why Openet is an active participant in 3GPP. For 5G however, standards will only get service providers so far. Cloud-driven flexibility beyond standard functions, enabled by non-stack, more focussed Openet will be the essential drivers of competitive value. Flexibility as defined by Openet is in fact made up of a set of “ilities” proven and benchmarked within our deployments.
Openet Solutions have long been developed in a modular fashion, with modules and components integrated in a flexible manner which allows for multiple deployment scenarios both for multi-phase migration and final architecture. A number of core solutions (i.e. Profile Manager, Balance Manager, Offer Catalog etc.) are common to the entire Openet portfolio, meaning that future expansion and enhancement projects with Openet are simplified. Openet has been building from the ground-up as a set of microservices, where the fundamental principles of a microservice architecture allow for our services to be independently deployable and manageable. This separation of the solution into discrete services allows us to provide a higher level of availability through being able to manage the lifecycle of each microservice separately. This allows evolution to discrete updates, with zero downtime, rather than disruptive upgrades.