The global 5G Core market is experiencing an extraordinary surge and is poised to grow at a remarkable CAGR of 72% from 2021 to 2025. This exponential growth presents an unparalleled opportunity for communication service providers (CSPs) to meet consumer demands and redefine their roles in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape.

Traditionally, the core network has always been proprietary to the OEM, deployed in-house, on-premise, and owned by telcos. Such core networks don’t have the flexibility to expand on a short time horizon. They also invite hefty CapEx investments and remain largely OEM-dependent. Telcos lack significant power to negotiate pricing; nevertheless, incremental expansion calls for working with the same OEM repeatedly.

Mobile Core Platform as a Service (MCPaaS) can substantially enhance an existing installation by offering much simpler cost control, faster time to market, and more significant support for new service creation.

MCPaaS represents a paradigm shift in core networking. Its core capabilities encompass authentication and provisioning, voice, messaging, data services, charging and billing services, and monitoring and management services. This revolutionary approach offers a simplified core network delivered on the public cloud and paid for through subscription models. By deploying MCPaaS, CSPs can position themselves at the forefront of innovation, offering a dynamic and responsive network infrastructure to meet the demands of the 5G era.

5G presents immense opportunities to transform CSP offerings and revenue streams. The path forward has challenges, but open-core networks will bring noticeable flexibility, efficiency, and agility benefits. CSPs can gain a competitive edge by transforming the 5G core and embracing cloud-native technologies like MCPaaS.

The Challenge of Transitioning from Closed to Open Core Network Systems  

As they move from closed to open-core network systems, CSPs will need to confront the following challenges:·      

  • Transitioning from a closed, OEM-centric model to open systems: Historically, telcos and related network services operated with limited options due to locking to specific OEMs. When moving to an open system, telcos must ensure stringent security and develop the capabilities to integrate open components from multiple vendors.
  • Limited proven deployments and industry experience: Open mobile core deployment is more effective for smaller CSPs and has yet to be adopted at scale. Telcos are looking towards system integrators (SIs) to establish firm credentials before deploying at scale.
  • Adapting to a new mindset and embracing the concept of openness: Shifting from traditional systems to deploying an open system requires a change in attitude for CSPs, given that industry leaders have been protective of their in-house core systems. They must embrace the concept of openness and collaboration while addressing issues such as interoperability.
  • Navigating the evolving ecosystem of vendors and partners: With the shift towards open systems, many new vendors and partners emerge, offering a wide range of solutions. CSPs must evaluate and select partners and vendors that align with their strategic goals and can provide the necessary support and expertise.

Embracing Cloud-Native Technologies

CSPs must embrace cloud-native technologies to address the challenges posed by open-core deployments. This departure from traditional models allows for greater network agility, efficiency, and scalability. At the forefront of this transformation is the concept of MCPaaS. MCPaaS streamlines CSP operations and significantly increases efficiency, providing a strategic solution to the challenges associated with the 5G core.

An MCPaaS model allows CSPs to transfer more of the core’s ownership and operations to SIs. As SIs take on more responsibilities, CSPs spend less effort running the physical data center and infrastructure, which will free telco leaders to focus on the core business. An MCPaaS model also allows CSPs to manage costs related to electricity and security more efficiently.

The transition from closed and proprietary systems to open, cloud-centric, and software-defined environments signifies a profound evolution in the telecommunications sector. This evolution demands proactive adaptation, collaboration, and a commitment to shaping the future of communication services.

About the Author

Anurag Shrivastava

Senior Leader and Domain Expert-Network Services

Anurag is a senior leader and domain expert in network services with over three decades of global experience. He specializes in building network solutions, engineering services, ops transformation, network automation, sales support, talent management, and more. He is experienced in managing network transformations, developing partner ecosystems, and driving GTM strategies. Anurag's technological expertise includes mobility, fixed line, broadband, ORAN, open networks, SDN/NFV, and network analytics. With his extensive knowledge, Anurag is dedicated to enhancing network service offerings in the next generation of network services.