OSS, BSS need to be updated to ensure 5G success, warns TM Forum

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Operators need to undergo the "essential" transformation of both OSS and BSS if they are to take advantage of 5G, a new report from TM Forum has warned.

The new report from TM Forum found that beyond enhanced mobile broadband and fixed wireless access, the two most advanced use cases according to the organisation, 67 percent of total revenue from 5G was reliant upon OSS/BSS transformation.

The organisation said OSS/BSS transformation is crucial to 63 percent of connectivity related revenue and 72 percent of service creation sales.

Catherine Haslam, the report's author and Senior Analyst at TM Forum, said: “The most noticeable result from the survey is how much is still unknown – from the use of network slices, to which channels CSPs will use to take services to market.

“We understand that standards are still in development and a huge amount has been achieved to develop the 5G New Radio (NR), but CSPs must start to plan their IT transformation sooner rather than later. Without it, there will be little scope to turn technology into services, and services into revenue.”

It also recommended operators take the lead of TM Forum's Open Digital Architecture, which it first proposed earlier this year and serves as a blueprint for an agile IT system.

Haslam added: “Operational silos must be consigned to history and services managed end-to-end from network provisioning, through to product creation, billing and service delivery, and back again.

"Automation and specifically AI-powered closed automation will be essential to monetising the service differentiation that sets 5G apart from its predecessors."

[Read more: Mobile infrastructure market will not be saved by 5G, claims new research]

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Broadband Stakeholders Group said UK operators faced legal barriers, uncertainty over business cases and deployment challenges in rolling out 5G.

Matt Yardley, Partner with Analysys Mason and Project Director for the study, said: “The next 12-18 months are vitally important for the mobile industry to prepare for 5G deployment.

"Easing barriers to deploying that result in lengthy delays in site planning, or increase costs of deployment to unrealistic levels, should be a key priority for Government, local authorities and the industry."