Journey to 5G: A Culture Shift in Analytics

As telcos and other industries prepare for the transition to 5G, it is apparent that real-time data analytics is key for organizations looking to capitalize on the promise of 5G. It is true that the current global focus is to get the telco provider infrastructure in place to support 5G speeds and loads as well as new types of rich services. But to operate at scale with high availability, establishing a fast data strategy to leverage 5G to its fullest potential is on every telcos to-do list.

Not too long ago, all telcos and communication service providers (CSPs) were dealing with the emergence of big data, or large data sets; and now there is fast data and streaming data – demanding the application of data analytics to large data sets in real-time.

Industry leaders have already started updating their IT strategies to handle the data speed, high volumes as well as immersive and media rich applications which are being driven by 5G and IoT, be it self-driving cars, virtual reality, smart cities and more. These are interesting opportunities that need the adoption of a fast data strategy for fast insights, and telcos are preparing their analytics capabilities to interact with rich, real-time data streams running through their 5G networks. They are also focused on having greater intelligence to handle events by creating insight-based policies.

Dell EMC worked with research firm STL Partners to study this area so we can help our telco and service provider customers innovate, grow and stay ahead of their competition. The newly-minted analyst report is now published and available here. It concludes, based on empirical studies, that providers with advanced data analytics processing capabilities will have the following strategic advantages:

  • Improve current business offering by quickly detecting declining quality of service in the network and remediating issues
  • Monetize user data by getting a deep understanding of their customer base and use that information to improve their services
  • Enable next-generation solutions based on 5G by empowering their core services and ensuring efficient deployment and roll out of all things 5G.

Telcos are using analytics to improve core business offerings

The bespoke study has concluded that 99 percent of operators are leveraging data analytics to improve ‘business as usual’. They are improving network operations and customer care, leveraging analytics to detect and resolve faults before customers get impacted. The benefits include lower downtime, better customer satisfaction, more precise and automated capacity planning, fewer truck rolls and better efficiencies toward positive operational bottom lines.

Service providers are getting more customer centric and services oriented 

Nearly 3 out of 5 (58 percent) operators also use analytics to get a deeper understanding of their customer base and use that to improve their services, engaging more customers through targeted marketing as well as cutting down on inefficiencies and underutilized operations which may be using expensive resources, and monetizing user data. One example is the efficient utilization of radio resources to match QoE expectations for voice, video or data traffic, leveraging real-time analytics.

Operators are getting ahead in the 5G race

In addition, 2 out of 3 (67 percent) operators are using analytics to improve their core services to ensure efficient deployment and roll out of 5G. Their access and backhaul networks are being readied for drastic increases in data volumes.  They expect 5G to enable next-gen services such as automotive telemetry, but at this point they are looking to optimize their networks in order to facilitate 5G’s delivery. For 5G IoT use-cases, accurately shaping sensor analytics becomes important. This is achieved by leveraging compressed sensing and more amorphous acceleration technologies (e.g. FPGA). In addition, most service providers are looking at ways to significantly reduce OpEx with distributed analytics. In this case a complex mesh-of-bots interwork to optimize 5G operations.

Read more about Dell EMC’s service provider analytics portfolio and contact our experts to learn from our experience about real-world implementations of analytics by leading operators globally. We can help you with benchmarks for what telcos and CSPs can hope to achieve through building analytics capabilities, as well as the steps that are needed to unlock the real value of data analytics.