Simplicity is key to 5G business services success, says BT exec

  • DSP Leaders World Forum session focuses on the 5G enterprise services opportunity
  • BT exec Neil McRae notes that “the Kryptonite of telcos is complexity”
  • Automation key to achieving 5G goals 
  • Network slicing proves to be a contentious subject

Avoiding complexity and enabling automation will be absolutely vital if telcos are to drive new revenues from 5G services tailored to te needs of business users, according to the panel of speakers participating in the DSP Leaders World Forum 2020 discussion 5G as a Driver for New Business Services.

Service providers have spotted a pot of gold at the end of the 5G business services rainbow, with network slicing regarded as the prime way in which operators can meet the needs of enterprise users, but there are plenty of obstacles between the CSPs and those riches, particularly complexity.

“The Kryptonite of telcos is complexity – the minute we make network slicing too complex it will become very challenging,” noted Neil McRae, Managing Director Architecture & Technology Strategy and BT Chief Architect, BT. He added that a lot of work went into developing network slices in the fixed network and, ultimately, that became unworkable. 

For McRae, the 5G standalone core will be key to helping CSPs make the most of their enterprise service opportunities in a flexible and manageable way, as it will enable the scalability and automation needed in the future. “Moving towards full-fat, standalone 5G core is a really important step for us all,” added the BT man. 

Both Folke Anger, Head of packet core solutions at Ericsson, and Soumen Chatterjee, Senior Director, Product Management and Solutions at Blue Planet, a division of Ciena, also highlighted the importance of automation, with Anger stressing the importance of cloud-native capabilities in enabling automated processes and Chatterjee noting that introducing automated will help operators to avoid the complexity that could trip them up.  

But all three provided some level of caution about the potential ubiquity of network slicing, which has received a great deal of hype in the past few years. 

“I am a slight sceptic on network slicing in the form of having hundreds or thousands of slices… there are clearly use cases that make sense, one example would be emergency service networks… but do I think Geoff the baker will have a network slice? Probably not,” opined McRae. (Editor’s note: Geoff should stick to other kinds of slices, right?) 

Check out the full panel discussion, which also delved further into cloud-native developments and the importance of collaboration to unlocking the enterprise 5G market, here.  

The development of the 5G enterprise services market will also be discussed during our upcoming Extra Shot programs, which will look back at the highlights of the online DSP Leaders event, include the views of special guests and take a serious look at how coffee and cocktails can help us all through the ongoing lockdown. Look out for further details of the Extra Shot programs. 

  • Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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