Kazakhtelecom JSC presented its involvement in the digital transformation and 5G technological trends at GSMA Mobile 360 – Russia & CIS
Kazakhtelecom JSC acted as a Headline Mobile Sponsor of Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS, which was held in Moscow on October 30-31, 2018. Technological trends and innovations designed to make a basis for the Kazakhstan National Operator’s business were presented at the special booth. The information presented concerned the most urgent and challenging tasks of digital transformation, causing the most specialists’ interest due to systemic crisis in telecom industry and stimulated by the introduction of 5G. In addition, the Operator provided information about the tests carried out with technologies and products used to build 5G network, as well as the Operator’s vision of its role as a cloud provider in the new digital 5G ecosystem.
As part of pilot testing, 5G information was presented in groups: targets, frequency ranges, services and technologies, testing and pilot implementation phases, candidate solutions, and expected results. Kazakhtelecom JSC determined targets for testing as follows: to check the availability of 5G technologies and products, to determine the quality characteristics of 5G communications which promote new service opportunities, and to identify restrictions that impede or constrain the 5G implementation.
In accordance with the GSMA recommendations and 3GPP specifications, for testing and pilot implementation, Kazakhtelecom has selected bands specified by the equipment manufacturers as the most readily supported: the 3.5 GHz centimeter band and the mmW millimeter wave band. The application scenarios presented in “Services and Technologies” group included: fixed wireless access (FWA), eMBB, URLLC, NB-IoT, network slicing, as well as technological domains: 5G and non-5G radio access, 5GC, data center (SDN / NFV / LSO), wired and wireless transport.
The “Testing Phases” group provided information regarding three phases into which the testing and pilot implementation process was divided. Within the period from 2019 to 2021, during the first two phases, the testing and pilot implementation of FWA in the 3.5 GHz and mmW bands are planned. The third phase will include testing of advanced 5G applications such as network slicing, URLLC and NB-IoT, and pilot implementation of eMBB and vRAN. As candidate solutions, the information was presented on the planned testing of Samsung and Nokia solutions. As a result, the Operator expects to obtain coverage characteristics of 3.5 GHz eMBB and mmW FWA comparable to those capabilities of LTE networks using lower frequency bands. In phase 2, Kazakhtelecom JSC expects to receive an open solution for radio access equipment virtualization with maximum use of software products running on universal x86 servers.
The 5G implementation will create new opportunities for fixed-line operators, who view their future through the prism of digital transformation. According to Kazakhtelecom JSC, the 5G architecture and technologies developed on the basis of digital transformation and the digital transformation itself create opportunities for the platform cloud business, that go far beyond the traditional sharing, practiced by the mobile operators within the networks of previous generations.
The National Operator also presented at its booth information on the prospects for a new economic model of a digital open 5G ecosystem using the separated business roles. Kazakhtelecom sees its participation in the 5G ecosystem as a cloud provider rendering platform services on the basis of appropriate physical and virtual resources with the use of cloud network functions, applications, and full-fledged virtual mobile networks – network slices. According to Kazakhtelecom JSC, when turned into a cloud provider, it will be able to provide a full range of cloud services to allow the partner operators and business clients for the creation of fixed-line and mobile communication end-services.
The information presented at the booth shows that the Operator analyzes work of various standardization communities and organizations that develop the 5G architecture and the business roles separation models within the 5G digital ecosystem in order to select architecture of the cloud platform model, as well as to shape the business plans. According to the Operator, the industry as a whole is still not certain about these issues. Thus, Kazakhtelecom JSC is forming its own vision of a promising model of business roles separation in the 5G digital ecosystem using the example of network slicing, to define possible options for developing a cloud provider’s business and its interaction with customers and partners.
The model of business roles separation presented at the booth unites 5G-PPP and 3GPP models and, according to the Operator, eliminates their partial discrepancy by proposing a single generalized model. There is no doubt that a single model agreed upon by all standardization organizations will appear in the future, however, the Operator expects that the Company’s own model, which does not contradict both 5G-PPP and 3GPP, will allow shaping business plans and evaluating the prospects of the new market right now.
In addition to the basic model of business roles separation for the 5G ecosystem, the information was presented in the booth regarding possible business scenarios with different levels of Operator’s involvement in the provision of platform services up to the provision of network slices as a service, which, according to the Operator, do not impede competition, but stimulate it. Besides, Kazakhtelecom JSC has identified tasks to be resolved in order to become a full-fledged slice provider, such as: operating slices, ensuring scalability, resource isolation and planning, orchestration, creating business processes, and ensuring security.
The views and opinions expressed in this piece belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the GSMA.