Skip to main content
Published on

Telecom service assurance market and the transition to 5G services

In a presentation to the EXFO sales team in September, William Nagy, analyst with the Telecom Software and Networks Research team at Analysys Mason, shared a number of insights with EXFO’s account managers regarding the automated service assurance market for communication service providers (CSPs), particularly in the context of the transition to 5G services.

Challenging for market leadership while growing

In Analysys Mason’s latest automated assurance market share report, which provides the vendor market shares across Analysys Mason’s assurance subsegments for 2019, EXFO ranked as the second-place vendor in the probes systems product segment. Furthermore, Analysys Mason attributed some significant growth to EXFO despite a slowly growing market, thanks to the 2018 acquisition of Astellia and the portfolio of service assurance solutions that it brought with it.

5G drives the need for broad service assurance capabilities

As part of his conversation with EXFO, Mr. Nagy discussed the most pertinent drivers of the telecom service assurance market. These are:

  • Evolution to a cloud native assurance platform
  • Migration to service operations centers (SOC) and customer experience assurance
  • Machine learning and AI-based assurance automation
  • Intelligent workflow automation
  • 5G standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA)

According to Mr. Nagy, “A unified assurance platform is the basis for assuring the next generation of dynamic networks and services. There has been a noteworthy shift in CSP strategy with 5G as they are increasingly considering assurance at the front end of planning their 5G networks rather than leaving it as an afterthought as they have tended to do with previous generations of networks.”

Analysys Mason’s take on EXFO’s Nova Adaptive Service Assurance (A|SA) platform

Analysys Mason offered the following analysis of EXFO in its report on automated assurance: “EXFO’s Nova service assurance platform is a comprehensive platform for network, service and customer experience visibility. It ingests diverse real-time data sources (EXFO and third-party passive and active monitoring data) to perform AI-powered analytics and automated diagnostics. The Nova A|SA platform uniquely orchestrates monitoring functions to adapt data collection and analytics to the current context, targeting the assurance of dynamic services and 5G SA. EXFO has established partnerships with major SIs and key vendors to integrate its solutions with SDN/NFV. EXFO is active in industry forums, and is installed in virtualized mobile networks and early 5G deployments.”

5G adaptive service assurance is essential

5G service assurance is an entirely new and highly dynamic network paradigm and existing, static assurance solutions are not fit-for-purpose options.

With mobile traffic growing by more than 50% compounded growth through 2025 (see 2019 GSMA Mobility Report), big data monitoring methods are reaching their limit. Storing massive amount of ‘big data’ for post-processing is quickly becoming unaffordable and of limited value, since most of this data represents normal behavior. Consequently, many mobile service providers have started scaling back this approach—something they acknowledge will lead to as little as 20% of their network and services being monitored by 2025 (see North America CSP CTO interviews, 2019).

The Nova A|SA platform and 5G

Nova A|SA is the only service assurance platform that delivers true core-to-customer visibility, including the ability to monitor quality of experience of every mobile handset and 5G device. It automatically identifies service quality issues affecting 5G customers, without exception.

The Nova A|SA platform overcomes the big data barrier by using active assurance and artificial intelligence to monitor, store and analyze 5G performance data adaptively. It delivers critical, prescriptive insights instead of lakes full of metrics and alarms. Having the right data at the right time, and in context, means it can detect and diagnose—or predict—customer-impacting events up to 90% faster than existing tools and processes. This helps MNOs make the most of scarce resources by automatically uncovering service degradations, assessing customer impact and prioritizing action to optimize user experience, operational efficiency and the bottom line.

Nova A|SA is unique in its ability to deliver integrated quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE) visibility across all layers (infrastructure to services) and domains (fiber, core, cloud, RAN and transport), correlated with dynamic 5G service and network topology that puts everything in context. Integrated AI and analytics deliver near real-time insight on customer QoE. Open APIs and automation capabilities allow Nova A|SA to extract new insight and value from existing systems, tools and infrastructure.

Because 5G networks are highly dynamic, complex and scalable, the Nova service assurance platform adapts automatically to deliver the continuous visibility and insight needed to manage customer QoE and service performance.

Learn more about EXFO’s suite of automated service assurance solutions: