Operators ‘uniquely placed’ to serve Industry 4.0 market, claims NGMN report
Mobile network operators are “uniquely placed” to provide a fully integrated solution for ‘verticals’ that encompasses networking, edge and cloud-based compute infrastructure, and data and device management platforms, according to the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance.
The alliance, representing mobile operators across the globe, said the carrier community must make the most of its dynamic customisation, partnerships, end-to-end management, carrier-grade security, and corte spectrum holdings to underpin digital change in the broad enterprise market.
A new NGMN white paper — the group’s second, after a key 2015 study, which laid out requirements for the cellular development, standardisation, and strategies — sets out a number of key development paths, which major on the role of 5G in the Industry 4.0 space, as well as on the need for a “common operator platform architecture” to allow edge computing to be used on a global scale.
The NGMN paper also makes reference to “further improving energy efficiency, sustainability, social wellbeing, trust, and to digital inclusion”.
Nan Hu, manager of 5G standardisation for China Mobile’s research institute, and co-editor of the paper, said: “Engagement with verticals is identified and highlighted to fully realise the NGMN’s 5G vision. This document further describes the unique and expanded role of the mobile network operator as a network and services provider. It is worthy of being the reference for producing 5G specifications and promoting the 5G ecosystem.”
The alliance has launched two separate projects, as well, on Future Networks Cloud Native Platform, to create a holistic view on how network cloudification should be exploited, and on Future Green Networks, to drive energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction.
The group stated: “There is much more underway to realise the full potential of 5G. The white paper lays out how 5G is expected to increasingly enable new business models and many new use cases, and gives its recommendation on how to realise the full benefits of virtualisation, cloud, edge computing and more. One of the obvious conclusions is the industry must avoid fragmentation by adopting global standards with open, interoperable interfaces and application programming interfaces, thereby delivering the promise of agility and scalability.”
Nick Sampson, director of wireless access and core network standardisation at Orange, and co-editor of the paper, said: “This document emphasises key actions to support the continuing delivery of the 5G promise, in terms of enabling new business models and opportunities, and achieving the required agility to meet a myriad of requirements from existing and new users.”
Javan Erfanian, from Bell Canada’s ‘technical staff’, and co-editor of the paper, said: “The paper… outline(s) key requirements and success factors, including the new and extended value created and delivered by the mobile network operators working together with a broad partner ecosystem.”