Virtualisation is a key strategic shift for all operators. While 5G networks will be fully virtualised, operators are gradually evolving their current infrastructure through the addition of new virtual elements and the replacement of legacy platforms. This process will take time, so what does this mean for valuable services? How can you ensure that current, revenue generating services can be compatible with future infrastructure, while offering continuity to legacy connections?
Virtualisation is a key strategic shift for operators globally. It promises to unlock efficiencies, reduce costs and enable greater flexibility in scaling network resources. For many operators, the road to virtualisation has already begun, but it is taking shape not as a revolution, but rather as continual evolution.
While future 5G networks will be entirely virtualised, ahead of its introduction most operators are adopting a gradual process of virtualisation. Typically, this means that, when solutions need to be replaced or extended, the new equipment is deployed as virtual elements or solutions. It will take some years, but bit by bit, networks are moving inexorably towards fully virtualisation.
This will have a profound impact, not only on network infrastructure, but also on services. Future services will likely be exclusively delivered as virtual elements from the outset, but this also means that existing services must also migrate to virtualised architecture. In addition, it means that service that are deployed in virtual environments must also be capable of meeting the needs of users served by legacy physical infrastructure. While new services can promise new revenue, existing services cannot simply be switched off – not only would that kill revenue streams, it could also create significant customer dissatisfaction!
As a result, operators need to know that, not only can their service estate exist in the virtual world, but that it can also address hybrid environments and customers on legacy infrastructure. This means that virtual services must be capable of delivery across virtual networks, IMS, PLMN and PSTN connections. Not all service enabling technology is capable of this flexibility, so as operators move towards virtualisation, they must also ensure that their service enabling solutions can move with them, without leaving the legacy behind. Or, they must replace inflexible solutions with ones that are capable of offering the right performance, across all environments, virtual, legacy and hybrid.
That’s what our solutions offer. They’ve been optimised for virtualised environments for many years. As our customers have shifted to virtual infrastructure, we’ve been able to ensure that their service portfolio remains compatible with both the legacy and virtual environments, ensuring service continuity and smooth delivery across VoLTE, IP, PLMN and PSTN networks.
This means that valuable revenue is protected while investments are directed towards network evolution. Nothing is left behind when embarking on the virtual journey. So, as operators make investments in virtual infrastructure, they must also pay close attention to their services, both existing and new – and ensure that they are compatible with all of their networks, not just their future virtual environment.