LIVE FROM CCA ANNUAL CONVENTION, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND: Ericsson North America’s CTO for regional operators G.S. Sickand (pictured, second from left) flagged roaming as a major challenge for network slicing, noting operators will need to rethink their network sharing arrangements to get the most from the technology.
During a panel session, Sickand said the technology is absolutely necessary for 5G but noted slicing across networks will be “extremely complicated” because it will require operators to open their RAN, transport and core to orchestration. He added it will likely take months for operators to set up the interfaces and APIs necessary to allow orchestration to work across different network domains.
It will also open up questions about who really controls the network, he said.
“People need to rethink this whole roaming question because I don’t think the normal classic roaming business arrangements are going to make slicing between networks work.”
Finding the right fit
C Spire CIO Craig Sparks (pictured, second from right) noted network slicing will help regional operators generate revenue from new services they might otherwise miss out on. He said the key to success will be figuring out how to connect customers with the right capabilities to provide meaningful new experiences.
“This is one of the problems with product development in general. When you have brand new technologies, you can’t ask them what they want because it seems like science fiction. They don’t even know to ask.”
He added chasing customers with a technology can also be problematic because it offers solutions to problems they don’t have.
Sparks pointed to automation and orchestration as solutions, which could in future enable an Airbnb-like self-serve model which allows customers to find the right fit and rapidly create new slices tailored to their needs.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back