Gathering activity around 5G suggests that we are shortly to see real progress rather than the marketing fuzz of recent years. For example, the UK’s regulator, Ofcom, and standards organisation 3GPP have both made recent moves that send positive market signals, as have several vendors. Ofcom announced recently that it plans pursue global harmonisation of the technology in at least one frequency band, while the 3GPP has recently unveiled the official ‘5G brand’.
Smart applications are proliferating, but only now is the difference between a service that people rely on and a service that provides non-essential information being translated into a real understanding of how service assurance needs to evolve to meet new use cases and deliver new services.
Over the last couple of years, we’ve been working increasingly in the field of smart cities, helping our customers to understand opportunities, define offers and to promote them to the relevant audience. It’s been an interesting time and was both a logical extension to the fields we have been working in, as well as a slightly serendipitous shift. Let me explain the latter point. For some time, we had been working on OSS service assurance for classical networks, but one of our customers began to become involved with the application of standards, such as TMF’s Frameworx, in the emerging field of smart digital services.