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NGMN ODiN White Paper Cover

ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks

With network disaggregation, mobile network operators along with their partners are facing a major paradigm shift.

It promises a great deal of prospects, including the mere ability to respond to new demands of socio-economic transformation, of increasingly mobile, connected and smart societies, and automated industries. This paradigm shift, however, comes with a wide range of challenges.

This publication explores the appealing opportunities and the expected challenges arising from the disaggregation of mobile networks.

We put an emphasis on the perspective of mobile network operators and expected benefits such as:

  1. lower barriers to enter the market
  2. a more resilient ecosystem and supply chain
  3. enabled increased competition and innovation
  4. agility and flexibility

As well as expected challenges such as:

  1. increasing complexities in interoperability and in
  2. system integration and
  3. in achieving efficient and resilient operation

All these aspects lead to the need for a significant operating model transformation.

Going forward, we will develop blueprints for end-to-end operating models, enabling operators to make their individual right choices, and to address the industry to develop solutions for identified gaps.

With our ODiN project we invite the entire NGMN Partnership – vendors, system integrators and other interested parties – to jointly work on operating model requirements, analyse potential gaps and work on industry solutions to resolve the identified challenges. The project will also work with other relevant organisations and submit requirements to the industry.

01_Disaggregation

NGMN is Paving the Way for Effective End-to-End Operation of Disaggregated Networks

Frankfurt, Germany, October 5, 2021: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance released a new White Paper: “ODiN – Operating Disaggregated Networks” – which explores the appealing opportunities and the expected challenges arising from the disaggregation of mobile networks. NGMN puts an emphasis on the perspective of mobile network operators for the expected benefits and challenges of Network Disaggregation: a more resilient ecosystem and supply chain, lower barriers to enter the market, enabled increased competition and innovation, agility and flexibility, hand in hand with expected challenges such as increasing complexities in interoperability, system integration, efficient and resilient operation. All these aspects lead to the need for a significant operating model transformation. Going forward, NGMN will develop blueprints for end-to-end operating models, enabling operators to make their individual choices, and to address the industry to develop solutions for the identified gaps. This White Paper is NGMN’s first deliverable on this topic. NGMN invites parties across the whole value chain to collaborate in its ODiN project on solutions for this extremely important subject.

Disaggregation demands a new way of working, most likely significant additional integration efforts, changes to the operational model to embrace new processes as well as new skills and tools. All such efforts are required to eventually ensure the expected service levels, operational efficiency, performance, resilience and security, plus the opportunities to offer new and affordable services in order to meet an ever-increasing demand for high performing and cost-effective mobile networks. Whether the benefit of lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) can be achieved for operators, is yet to be proven.

Carlos Fernandes, VP Group Technology, Deutsche Telekom and NGMN ODiN project lead says: “Disaggregation is the biggest challenge and opportunity mobile operators face today. Eventually, each individual operator will need to make its own choices, depending on its strategy, its starting point – greenfield or brownfield, its geolocation, local competition and many more. However, there are many topics which need to be analysed and solved, which are possible and worth being addressed jointly in the pre-competitive area, to support global standards, economies of scale and hence to enable competition for the benefit of the end-user.”

Arvin Siena, Vice President & Head – Technology Strategy and Transformation Office, Smart Communications, Philippines adds: ”We are very excited to work together with the operators and the entire value chain on industry solutions, paving the way for disaggregation’s success.”

The NGMN ODiN project invites the entire NGMN Partnership – vendors, system integrators and other interested parties – to jointly analyse potential gaps and work on industry solutions to meet the identified challenges. The project will also work with other relevant organisations and submit requirements to the industry.

TelecomTV ODiN Panel

Managing the Route to Disaggregation

Disaggregation is a key topic for mobile network operators and the entire industry. For MNOs and their CTOs, one of the most burning questions is how to master the operation of disaggregated networks.

Therefore, one of our core projects of this strategic pillar is “Operating Disaggregated Networks” – ODiN. This pillar also embraces network automation as well as cloud native projects.

The objective of this project is to focus on the end-to-end operating model. The project ODiN will consider, amongst others, the following key aspects: processes, technology/tools and skill requirements. It will also provide guidance towards the industry players regarding roles and opportunities provided by disaggregation.

 

CTOs need to start preparing now for future-proof operating models that are built on:

  • Orchestration of powerful ecosystems of solution partners
  • Openness and flexibility to integrate new partners and technologies
  • Highly diverse set of skills and capabilities to drive innovation and efficiency

 

Why? Because disaggregating or breaking the network components into more parts and opening the interfaces will allow more companies, new and smaller ones, to develop solutions as well as hardware and software products. This will allow faster development cycles as more minds, teams and companies are working towards one goal – improving solutions, performance, making the network more efficient and ultimately improving customer experience. This implicates faster development and quicker time to market of new functions, features and products.

However, to master disaggregation, including to master most efficient and performant operation of disaggregated networks, requires the introduction of new processes, skills and tools, among other.

Collaborating in the pre-competitive environment, our ODiN project will generate valuable input for MNOs and the entire ecosystem to master that challenge and also support the selection of most fitting operating models,  related to MNO’s specific situation.

The NGMN projects will enable vendors to develop better and more efficient products. Operators will extremely benefit as technology will keep on getting better in a shorter span of time. In addition, disaggregation will also allow more and better customisation of products based on the specific needs of each operator.

For additional insights, please listen to three of our member project leads representing the regions of Americas, Asia and Europe and what they share on #DisaggregatedNetworks and #NetworkAutomation and their regional characteristics. Our „Operating Disaggregrated Networks” Panel Discussion with Carlos Fernandes (Deutsche Telekom), Lennart Olaivar (Smart/PLDT) and Sebastian Thalanany (UScellular) was streamed on Wednesday June 30th on TelecomTV. Please find the on demand recording here:

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Press and Industry Briefing 2021

NGMN Press And Industry Briefing

During the last year, NGMN went through a significant transformation – jointly driven by our new Chairman of the Board Arash Ashouriha from Deutsche Telekom, our new CEO Anita Doehler, as well as by the entire NGMN Board.

Disaggregation, cloudification and virtualisation, amongst others lead to significant changes in the industry and the whole ecosystem requiring operators and the entire value chain to change in order to successfully manage these challenges. Hence, we felt a strong need to transform our strategy and focus topics.

We decided to build upon our strengths and remain operator driven with a focus on requirements level.

Together with the entire NGMN Board, we actively developed and approved our New Strategic Focus Topics, addressing the industries’ main challenges today and in the next years.

Alongside with projects supporting 5G’s full implementation, the focus of the NGMN Work Programme in 2021 and beyond is on three main equally important pillars with different time horizons:

 

1. Mastering the Route to Disaggregation with a focus on the End-to-End Operating Model

Disaggregation is a key topic for mobile network operators and the entire industry.

For MNOs and their CTOs, one of the most burning questions is how to master the operation of disaggregated networks.

Therefore, one of our core projects of this strategic pillar is “Operting Disaggregated Networks” – ODiN. This pillar also embraces network automation as well as cloud native projects.

 

2. Green Future Networks

Sustainability is a topic of general and global concern gaining increasing attention from many companies.

The “carbon handprint” or “enabling effect” provided by the ICT sector can efficiently contribute to lower the “carbon footprint” of a high impact industry. ICT represents 2% of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions according to the ITU with mobile and fixed networks representing 24% out of the ICT emissions.

Our Green Future Networks project focuses on the identification and mitigation of environmental impacts generated by the network part of the ICT sector such as:

  • Sustainability Challenges, Initiatives in Mobile Networks and End-to-End Service Footprint
  • Network Equipment Eco-Design
  • Network Energy Efficiency and
  • Metering

 

3. 6G

NGMN has a proven track record in substantially paving the way for 4G’s and 5G’s success, its mass-market and end-user adaptation. We are determined to provide the same impact for 6G, in order to achieve harmonised global standards and to contribute to a healthy global ecosystem for the benefit of end-users.

As a global organisation representing the entire value chain, NGMN is set to take the lead in providing impactful guidance for global 6G activities responding to the needs of end users, societies, mobile network operators and the ecosystem as a whole.

We published the first 6G White Paper focusing on the 6G Drivers and Vision in April this year, in which NGMN Operators identify the key drivers for 6G and outline our vision for 6G and the future transition of networks enabling differentiated services with expanded market opportunities and novel experience. Furthermore, the paper outlines the key challenges to be considered in a journey towards 6G, and emphasises the need for a healthy and unified global ecosystem and for global standards.

This is the first of a series of deliverables that NGMN will publish within the next years. In the next steps, use cases and end-to-end system requirements will follow.

 

Our New Brand

In addition, we have introduced a new NGMN brand that builds upon and extends our new strategy.

The new NGMN is fresh and energetic, standing for the duopoly of our brand idea of unity and practicability. The dual colour scheme symbolises human touch (red) and technology (blue). We unite our human touch with technology! Our new logo contains several nice features, underpinning our new way of working. Curious to find out more?

 

Discover our transformation and access the TelecomTV recording of the „NGMN Press & Industry Briefing“ with the following NGMN Board member participants:

  • Arash Ashouriha (SVP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Chairman of the NGMN Board)
  • Carlos Fernandes (VP Group Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom)
  • Anita Döhler (CEO, NGMN Alliance)
  • Yuhong Huang (Deputy General Manager China Mobile Research Institute, China Mobile)
  • Luke Ibbetson (Head of Group R&D, Vodafone)
  • Michael S. Irizarry (EVP and CTO Engineering and Information Technology, UScellular)
  • Emmanuel Lugagne Delpon (SVP Orange Labs Networks, Orange)
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For further information please download the NGMN Press & Industry Briefing presentation here.

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The Linux Foundation and NGMN Collaborate on End-to-End 5G and Beyond

Frankfurt, Germany, May 10, 2021: The Linux Foundation and the Next Generation Mobile Network Alliance (NGMN), today announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for formal collaboration regarding end-to-end 5G and beyond.

NGMN’s mission is to provide impactful industry guidance to achieve innovative and affordable mobile telecommunication services for the end user, placing a particular focus on Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Sustainability and Green Future Networks, as well as on 6G and the continuous support of 5G’s full implementation.
This mission is complementary to the efforts of the Linux Foundation’s LF Networking and LF Edge umbrella projects, as well as others like LF Energy operating within the telecom, IoT, and networking spaces.

Creating and providing open, scalable building blocks for operators and service providers is critical to the industry adoption of 5G and beyond. Therefore, the collaboration between NGMN and the Linux Foundation will focus on end-to-end 5G architecture and beyond 5G. Specific areas of alignment may include sustainability, network automation and network autonomy based on Artificial Intelligence, security, edge cloud, virtualization, disaggregation, cloud native, and service-based architecture, to name a few.

“We very much look forward to a mutually inspiring and beneficial collaboration with The Linux Foundation. Open Source is gaining increasing relevance for the strategic topics of our Work Programmes such as Mastering the Route to Disaggregation, Green Future Networks and 6G. We are delighted to partner with The Linux Foundation to jointly drive our mission for the benefit of the global ecosystem”, said Anita Doehler, CEO, NGMN Alliance.

“We are thrilled to be aligning with such an innovative, industry-leading organization,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager, Networking, Edge and IoT, the Linux Foundation. “Integrating NGMN’s expertise across pivotal areas like Disaggregation, Green Future Networks, cloud native, automation, and early work on 6G into LF Networking’s 5G Super Blueprint initiative is a natural next step for the industry.”

The Linux Foundation’s vision of harmonizing open source software with open standards has been in effect for several years, including collaborations with ETSI, TMF, MEF, GSMA, the O-RAN Alliance, and more. NGMN also maintains longstanding co-operations with all of these organisations. The alignment between The Linux Foundation and NGMN represents the latest in a long-standing effort to integrate open source and open standards across the industry.

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NGMN Claims Pole Position in Disaggregation Operating Model, Green Networks and 6G

Frankfurt, Germany: Today, the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance announces its new strategy and claims pole position in addressing the key major Operator & Ecosystem challenges in the coming years.

As an operator driven organisation, NGMN is in a unique position to provide value, guidance and leadership to its members and the whole ecosystem in:

  • Mastering the route to Disaggregation
  • Sustainability / Green Future Networks
  • 6G

Anita Doehler, CEO NGMN, says: “Operators are facing challenges on their route to disaggregation, cloudification and softwarization. One burning topic in this area is the design and execution of effective new E2E operating models. Green Future Networks is another highly important topic the industry ecosystem needs to jointly approach. In addition, early work on 6G has started. Therefore, we have streamlined our Work Programme to focus on these three extremely relevant topics to deliver significant impact in 2021 and beyond. At the same time, we remain committed to further support 5G’s full implementation.”

Mastering the Route to Disaggregation

For mastering disaggregated, cloud- and software-based networks, Mobile Network Operators need to start preparing now for future-proof operating models that are built on the orchestration of powerful ecosystems of solution partners, openness and flexibility to integrate new partners and technologies, highly diverse set of skills and capabilities to drive value and efficiency. NGMN’s new Work Programme will thus focus on the end-to-end operating model, considering, amongst other, the following key aspects: processes, technology, tools and skill requirements. NGMN will provide blueprints as well as relevant guidance towards the industry players and lay out roles and opportunities provided by disaggregation. The initiative aims to shorten time to market and to provide support in the selection and deployment of efficient operating models by Mobile Network Operators.

Providing Impactful Guidance for Green Future Networks

The application of various techniques to improve network energy performance is one fundamental objective for Mobile Network Operators since the number of users, connected devices and general usage continue to grow. The ICT network consumes the most energy in the content delivery process and electricity represents our principal source of greenhouse gas emissions. An additional objective is waste reduction, amongst other enabled by the eco-design of products and equipment. To tackle such important topics, this well-established NGMN project focuses on four major aspects: end-to-end services footprint, eco design, network energy efficiency and on-board metering. Consolidating a common view amongst operators and collaborating with equipment vendors and other industry players enables NGMN to provide a significant industry contribution in achieving UN and GSMA sustainability goals. NGMN plans to release frequent impactful guidance on sustainability to the ecosystem.

 Driving Successful Implementation of 6G

Work focusing on beyond 5G has already started worldwide. The NGMN Alliance strongly believes that societal and operational requirements need to be considered in the development of a new generation. Operators are in a unique position to engage with end users, including vertical industries as well as user groups representing societal needs. The NGMN Alliance is determined to provide early and timely direction for global 6G activities. Its 6G Work Programme currently focuses on vision and drivers, including societal and operational aspects for 6G. This will be followed by use cases and end-to-end system requirements. Actively engaging with different stakeholders and facilitating multilateral cooperation with the wider ecosystem at the right time will support in developing a meaningful vision and drive a successful implementation of 6G in the future. NGMN plans to publish the first version of its “6G Vision & Drivers” White Paper around the end of Q1 of 2021.

Interested industry players are invited to join NGMN in these important initiatives.