Multi-vendor network management: bridging legacy and 5G networks

18 October 2021 | Research

Andrew Killeen

Perspective | PDF (16 pages)


"Communications service providers can achieve greater opex and capex efficiencies and reduce the network TCO by combining network management systems."

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Communication service providers (CSPs) have traditionally used expensive and proprietary networking solutions that are built for purpose, and new solutions and applications are often integrated discretely over time. Further, digital transformation and network disaggregation have fuelled CSPs’ approach towards multi-vendor networks. This shift away from expensive and proprietary networks offers greater control and flexibility, and allows the CSP to select from best-of-breed products and applications.

However, the legacy element and network management solutions have been built as closed systems, designed to exclusively manage a vendor’s own networking products services and solutions, and require custom integrations with a higher-layer OSS. This proprietary management layer creates individual vendor silos, increases the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the network, and makes 5G network economics unsustainable in the long term.

A multi-vendor, unified network management architecture enabled by software-defined networking (SDN) simplifies operations and paves the way for 5G. CSPs can achieve opex and capex efficiencies by combining management systems, consequently reducing the network TCO. Fujitsu’s online calculator can calculate the TCO of any network based on the user’s parameters. This report includes the results for a hypothetical network configuration operating in the present mode of operation (PMO) and future mode of operation (FMO) over a 10-year period. This hypothetical network configuration maintains 150 000 network elements covered by seven element management systems (EMSs) in the PMO compared to a single, consolidated network management system (NMS) in the FMO. Fujitsu’s calculator estimates that the consolidated NMS and operational improvements reduce the TCO by 33% and can improve energy efficiency by 30%.

Multi-vendor network management: bridging legacy and 5G networks

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