Omdia observation: Tip open core network project is in slow progress

C114 news on March 15 (ACE) according to the latest report from omdia, a market research company, the tip open core network group (OCNG) is developing open, cloud native and integrated core network specifications for 4G, 5g, WiFi and shared spectrum networks. Chris Nicoll, senior chief analyst at omdia, pointed out that in the context of 5g deployment in more than 130 countries, these specifications lag behind market development and lack of support for 2G and 3G networks, thus hindering emerging market applications.

Open core is a long way off

Tip has extended the scope of open network to all elements of network, including mobile core network. However, in the V1 specification of 4G / 5G open core network plan updated in September 2020, nearly two-thirds of the global mobile market relying on traditional 2G and 3G technologies is not included at present.

Tip is a late move for Rakuten. Rakuten is the pioneer and representative of the development of open network. The company has cooperated with NEC to design and develop an open cloud native core network. Rakuten will push its work to OCNG, but tip has lost a key opportunity in developing open core network specifications.

According to omdia’s 5g tracking report, as of the fourth quarter of 2020, 132 countries around the world have deployed 5g networks. Although this is only a small part of the 742 operators operating 4G networks, the question remains: what is the target market of the open core network plan? The number of 5g networks in North America (8) is almost the same as that in Latin America and Africa combined (10), so there seems to be an opportunity to change the way 5g networks are deployed in Latin America, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. These countries need to integrate their traditional 2G and 3G networks (which usually provide considerable roaming and Internet of things revenue) with 4G and 5g.

At present, 15 companies have announced 5g core network (5gc) solutions, so this is not an emerging market. Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and ZTE are all shipping 5g core network products. Microsoft’s confirmed, metaswitch and other smaller manufacturers are also shipping. Tip will need to quickly summarize its specifications to meet the needs of the next wave of 5g network upgrade and deployment.

Tip needs to show a complete solution

Operators need to understand the ultimate goal of virtualization and cloud network, so as to make planning and investment decisions. The challenge is that tip’s open network plan (including OCNG) seems to be a collection of various elements, rather than an operational vision of what the telecom operators’ open network will look like (and how it will operate) after all the specifications are completed.

Tip’s leading position in the field of open network is being challenged by the open network foundation (onf). Onf has formulated competitive specifications on access, MEC and EPC, and has won the support of T-Mobile Poland and sprint / T-Mobile of the United States for its open enhanced packet core. Compared with tip, onf does not provide a comprehensive combination of open network specifications, but focuses on access / edge networks. Onf has not yet announced 5g core network specification.

Tip’s open core network plan is still in the 1.0 stage of technical requirements. Omdia expects that future updates will greatly refine the technical and market concerns, including 2G / 3G integration opportunities. Operators and suppliers in these markets will certainly notice this and incorporate the open core network specification into their plans.

However, tip needs to integrate these elements to show what open networks will look like in the future. Virtualization and cloud break the isolated island of hardware and software products, thus creating a more agile network in a broader supplier ecosystem. However, to achieve the best results, we need to break the horizontal solution Island (not just the vertical product solution Island). Tip should provide a vision for the industry, and provide an overall platform to guide the development of tip program towards the common goal of open telecommunications network. And it needs to be very fast.

[Note: omdia is a leading technology research organization in the world, which is formed by the merger of informa Tech’s research departments (ovum, heavy reading and tractica) and the acquired IHS Markit technology research department. 】

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