Rakuten calls for operator 5G strategy overhaul

Rakuten calls for operator 5G strategy overhaul

LIVE FROM QUALCOMM 5G SUMMIT, SAN DIEGO: Azita Arvani, GM Americas with Rakuten Mobile (pictured, second from right), argued operators must begin shifting their 5G focus from use cases to business disruption during a panel exploring how the market could develop over the next three years.

Arvani noted operators traditionally focused on ARPU as a measure of subscriber engagement, but believes such approaches must now evolve.

“We need to put that aside and see how we can use this open, cloud-native, massively automated network that we have,” she said. “It’s so flexible that if an application wants a slice, that slice is only going to last for five minutes, and then you’re gone.”

The challenge is to make services and applications cost-effective across all domains, including the core network, transport and RAN, Arvani explained.

Due to potential future business model disruption, Arvani said customers need to understand the flexible nature of the underlying networks.

Microsoft CVP Martin Lund (pictured, far right) said while 5G was a massive generational change for the core network, customers currently aren’t reaping all the benefits of automation and cloud-native approaches.

Going forward, operators will deliver more optimised services across their 5G networks which will increase the number of use cases.

“Over time, we’ll see more enterprises that can utilise and consume these services, but it requires this generational change away from the monolithic, stovepipe silos of networks into something that is disaggregated and open,” Lund asserted.

The Microsoft executive noted operators are likely to soon complete shifting core networks to 5G, “because networking that’s safe, secure and reliable will always be in massive demand”.

Durga Malladi, SVP and GM for cellular modems and infrastructure with Qualcomm Technologies (pictured, far left), said the industry needed more open interfaces and end-to-end orchestration was a key component going forward.

“In the end, when you have a disaggregated network someone has the job of putting it all back together.”