Netcracker takes a smart route to telco transformation

  • Netcracker introduces a cloud-native platform for mobile operators
  • It believes telcos can make their networks more agile and services more engaging through the use of AI- and ML-enhanced tools
  • The company claims to already have double-figure telco engagement

Netcracker has unveiled a cloud-oriented, modular, AI-enabled software stack, dubbed the Netcracker Digital Platform, that designed to help mobile operators modernize their day-to-day processes, improve their time-to-market and agility, and enable business growth – in essence, help them get a return on their 5G investments.

The open, modular cloud-native platform, as the company describes it, encompasses “key aspects” of its digital business support system (BSS) and orchestration tool portfolio, and sports “extensive artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities across the entire platform from the business side, right through to operations and helping with all sorts of things in terms of recommendations for optimising the network in different ways,” explained Susan White, Head of Strategy and Portfolio Marketing at Netcracker.

She explained the company has poured a significant investment in AI and ML to make the platform “very intelligent.” In essence, she noted, the idea is for the platform to help telcos monetise their 5G networks, find ways to expose parts of their network which can then be used by their partners, and deliver on-demand services.

As the digital platform is decomposable, operators will be able to pick only the components they want. “What we’ve done is basically taken parts of our portfolio and a lot of the new enhancements, and focused on helping service providers grow the business and also accelerate everything they’re doing across the business in terms of digitalisation across everything – their network and their own internal organisations,” White noted.

Apart from cloud, AI and ML, the solution also focuses on open APIs and security features, with the goal to stimulate innovation and speed up business agility and efficiency.

White noted that operators are making hefty investments to transform their networks, but they encounter many challenges on the way. These include the relative immaturity of 5G,  a slow and complex transition to the cloud, and lack of agility and the required skillsets to help telcos grow their B2B businesses.

To address this, Netcracker’s offering is bringing immersive content options, including the so-called “loyalty gamification” feature, which aims to boost engagement among operators’ customer base by providing points for a greater use of telco services.

Another highlighted area is the possibility for operators to introduce recommendations with the help of hyper-personalisation tools within the platform.

The company also pledges to help operators move towards on-demand processes and monetise their ability to work with partners.

“If you start wanting to bring in offers from the business community, especially if you’re going into more vertical markets, it’s really hard to work out all the business models that will be in play, let alone the technology integrations that are needed and what the partner sees and how they manage their offering into that enterprise”, White noted.

The digital platform also targets increasing network agility and efficiency through moving to the cloud and automation across all areas of the network.

Netcracker believes its solution can reduce costs associated with mobile network management and other operations.

The US-based software company, which has been part of NEC since 2008, has partnered with more than 10 telcos around the globe to provide solutions from its digital platform. T-Mobile US, Vodafone Spain, Telefónica and NTT DOCOMO are some of the big-name operators that are already using billing, orchestration, OSS and analytics tools to help automate the radio access network domain. 

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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