Justifying the Cost of 5G: The Search for a True Business Case

The instrumental role of analytics in honing data-driven investment decisions

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Communications service providers (CSPs) are spending big to bring 5G to market. A recent industry report found that over the past five years, the wireless industry has invested more than $100 billion in private capital in 5G connectivity. 

Along with the steep price tag of this investment comes a growing pressure to find new revenue opportunities that justify the costly buildout of 5G infrastructure. Dynamic new services made possible by 5G and its cloud-native architecture offer the prospect of promising revenue opportunities. However, dialing in the best investment decisions in search of lucrative business cases will take critical insights that only the deepest and most accurate analytics can provide.

The simple fact is that CSPs are sitting on a massive volume of data from their networks, which can potentially be harvested to make more-effective data-driven investment decisions. Careful analysis of this data can provide invaluable insights into service performance as well as customer experience, usage, and behavior. Such analysis is crucial for achieving critical monetization and service performance goals. Ultimately, the quality of the data and precision of the analysis is key to determining the most promising business cases for 5G. 

Data Analytics Is Key to Delivering on SLAs

The delivery of multi-access edge computing (MEC) and network slicing offers the promise of discrete services, which will be important revenue opportunities for service providers. Network slicing will open the door to robotics, telemedicine, manufacturing, and autonomous vehicles—just to name a few applications—but ultra-low latency, ultra-reliability, and high bandwidth will be required. In order to deliver on service level agreements (SLAs), CSPs will need to be able to manage the inherent complexities involved, monitoring, maintaining, reporting, and analyzing issues that could negatively impact customer experience. 
Being able to continuously monitor for performance anomalies and identify changes through the orchestration layer will be essential for achieving much-needed automation, which will then enable CSPs to stay aligned with SLA-defined service conditions. 

Dealing with the Complexity of Data: Automated Analytics

Due to the vast amounts and complexity of data gathered from traffic traversing networks and the low latency required by 5G and MEC, CSPs will need ways to analyze data that don’t rely on cumbersome human-based methods. NETSCOUT’s Omnis Automation solution harnesses 5G data packet intelligence at scale, creating Smart Data. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning informed by network domain expertise, this automated analytics solution is perfectly suited to identifying issues impacting customer experience, as well as gathering critical insights into what services are working effectively and how customers are interacting with them. 

Armed with these invaluable analytic insights into network data, CSPs will be better able to understand the consumption and use of services. Real-time information will inform on orchestration, enabling CSPs to spin up and spin down resources in response to traffic needs. Beyond achieving greater automation and efficiency, multifaceted applications of analytics hold the key to identifying business cases that justify 5G investment, fulfilling the vital need for monetization of such major investments.

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