It’s not always a blank canvas

It is well understood that operating from the cloud delivers many benefits, but the totality still needs to work with what is already in place

The cloud enables providers to increase service agility, operational efficiency and lower costs, while maintaining carrier grade quality of service, security and performance. But so often what is already in place is the barrier.

With the advent of 5G, a whole world of service and revenue opportunities are available to service providers. But pure 5G service providers are rare. Most have already a complex legacy infrastructure, incrementally developed and implemented along the journey to 4G.

5G architecture is an evolution of current 4G EPC (Evolved Packet Core) architectures but based on a Service-Based Architecture (SBA). The 3GPP defines the SBA for a 5G core network as delivered by a set of interconnected but dynamic Network Functions (NFs). This contrasts with the fixed-function, hard-wired, appliance-based architecture that was the case with the 4G EPC. Fully realising the potential of 5G therefore means moving to a software and cloud-based open platform for 5G, but it is essential that this is engineered to operate within and is complimentary to the (4G and earlier) environment.

There are many providers of 5G Operations/Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) offering 5G ready Converged Charging System (CCS) solutions. Compliance with the 5G standards is mandatory, however in the decision process, it is important to establish if the 5G OSS/BSS solution can operate within the existing environment and if the vendor has the necessary resource and expertise to expedite this.

Lifecycle Software has a 20-year history of delivering OSS/BSS to communications service providers of all types and through many technology phases. We have successfully engineered both on-premises and fully hosted solutions that accommodate the established services and future needs. Continuity of service, customer satisfaction and uninterrupted revenue generation are the priorities for our customer deliveries.

Lifecycle’s OCS is hosted in the cloud and can be deployed over the internet as a standalone module for real-time charging and associated control. Our published, open APIs enable service provider/3rd party platform integration. This provides operators with a rapid route to integrate their own services and also to onboard partner service providers with their own BSS/OSS.

Lifecycle can also provide access to their OCS simulator which enables all aspects of new propositions to be designed and tested prior to live launch. This helps de-risk the integration and interworking with legacy systems, identifying both impacts on those systems and opportunities for improvement. As an example, a major UK network achieved a transaction throughput improvement of 200% following the launch of Lifecycle’s OCS as a hosted and managed service.

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