Building a best-in-class network for competitive advantage

22 April 2021 | Research

Caroline Gabriel

Perspective | PDF (13 pages) | Cloud Infrastructure Strategies

"CSPs that master service-based architecture (SBA) integration for best-in-class network functions will be well-prepared for the next wave of network service innovation that will arise from the ability to extend such network functions with new IT service logic to support emerging consumer and enterprise use cases and network slicing."



This paper makes the case for building a best-in-class network based on disaggregated and modular network components that can be procured from the vendor(s) with the best network function(s) to meet a CSP’s commercial goals, such as the ability to offer differentiated services and meet new customer requirements. Best-in-class network functions are especially critical in areas of the network where superior performance, security and resiliency are required, such as in the mobile core and the signalling core, and to support policy management. The service-based architecture (SBA) of the 5G network is opening up an exciting new chapter in network disaggregation; it gives CSPs a greater choice of function vendor and means that they do not have to compromise on the capabilities of individual functions as a result of having to buy all functions from a single vendor as part of a monolithic system.

There is a clear imperative for building a best-in-class network. CSPs face unprecedented competition for 5G connectivity from a host of assailants because the software-based nature of the 5G network is making it easier for highly agile competitors from IT backgrounds to target this market. These competitors are attracted to 5G because of its potential to open up lucrative consumer and enterprise markets by supporting use cases that are currently beyond the capabilities of fixed and Wi-Fi-based connectivity. To succeed in these new markets, any service provider will need to assure customers of very high service quality, availability and attractive pricing. A best-in-class network can equip CSPs to win new business that recoups the cost of 5G deployment and extracts full business value from the technology.

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Building a best-in-class network for competitive advantage

Perspective (PDF)


Caroline Gabriel

Research Director, expert in network and cloud strategies and architecture