5G charging standards: contributors and implications for service providers
5G is the focus of a significant proportion of telecoms operators’ investments and is directly influencing how telecoms service providers are planning to evolve their operations and monetisation environments. These environments need to be prepared in advance of 5G deployments to capitalise on the compelling and sophisticated uses cases that are prompting industry analysts to predict that 35% of mobile connections and 60% of total mobile service revenue worldwide will come from 5G networks and services in 2026.
The predictions depend on service providers unlocking a range of new services that are being defined within the 5G standards. Monetising these services requires a new converged real-time charging architecture that is purpose-designed to monetise 5G services.
The new capabilities being unveiled in recent 5G standards releases include network slicing, network functions exposure, and granular quota control on any service or API-exposed function. The standards also account for all the typical operations of a mobile network as well as backward compatibility issues, so that 5G charging architecture can still interoperate with legacy billing processes.
Service providers’ major strategic suppliers, such as Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia, are contributing most of the effort, expertise, and work items that are necessary to agree on every aspect of each standard. The closer these suppliers are to the standards, the more able they are to align their own development pipelines, and those belonging to their customers, with the latest standard release while it is in development. The better the alignment, the faster adoption happens, and the more a service provider can remain at the leading edge of new 5G service offerings.
Service providers that want to continue to understand, and futureproof investments in, 5G charging architecture, should monitor the 5G working groups, such as Technical Specification Group SA Working Group 5 (TSG SA WG5). This group sets the standards and agenda for 5G charging, as well as service management and orchestration. Service providers should follow the development of the standards because monetisation platforms are critical to the success of 5G standalone (SA) services. Observing which of the working group’s participants makes the greatest contributions to the work items behind the standards release provides service providers with a clear view of which vendors may have the fastest path to market to monetise the latest 5G service capabilities.
This report presents our analysis of the Release 16 and 17 phases, which defined much of the baseline for monetising 5G standalone services and use cases like network slicing, and assesses the contributions that vendors, such as Amdocs, Ericsson, Huawei, Matrixx, and Nokia made to the 5G charging standards.
5G charging standards: contributors and implications for service providersDownload
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