The next generation mobile platform, 5G, brings the anticipation of a more connected world with the ability to handle a diverse range of mobile devices that are connected to a highly accessible wireless mesh of 5G access points. Along with this hyper connectivity, 5G also brings the abilities to handle massive amounts of data that can potentially be transmitted by an ever-growing number of devices ranging from household appliances to cars, planes, and mass transit; to smart cities with connected meters and other utilities that help to modernize society.
5G Roaming Challenges
This new platform—while promising—brings a multitude of challenges that operators must navigate. Specifically, there is the need for expanded testing to ensure the addition of new infrastructure and the ability to interoperate are fully vetted and ready to support not only the initial implementation of 5G non stand alone (NSA), but also the next step of 5G standalone (SA). Like the issues operators faced with the roll-out of 4G, operators must also consider device support and availability, the ratification of new standards to support more cohesive relationships across borders, and network readiness.
Voice capabilities are also a known 5G roaming challenge for operators. When approaching the move from 5G NSA to 5G SA, operators will benefit by taking carefully planned steps rather than leaps using LTE as an anchor delivering high-quality voice services. As they transition closer to SA, operators can offer Voice over 5G New Radio (VoNR) fully utilizing the architecture of 5G SA networks and providing lower latency and improved sound quality, while delivering 5G speeds for data-driven activities throughout the duration of the voice calls.
Ultimately, operators want to generate newfound revenues from 5G roaming. Monetizing roaming services through 5G will be different as billing moves away from foundational TAP services to the more modern Billing and Charging Evolution (BCE). BCE is better equipped to handle the extended needs of 5G, helping operators justify the 5G business case while supporting new commercial parameters for charging and clearing, slicing, potential SLAs, and data exchange.
Watch Now: 5G Roaming Webinar
In a recent webinar “Realizing the Potential and Challenges of 5G Roaming” hosted by Mobile World Live, I was joined by my colleagues, Pradeep Bhardwaj, Sr Strategy Director – Head of Industry Standards, and Derek Rapaduski, Senior Product Development Engineer – Global Inter-Carrier Services, AT&T, to discuss the core challenges, key implementation steps, and lessons learned while rolling out 5G roaming services. I encourage you to watch that webinar, available on demand and at your convenience, to learn more.
Terry manages the Solutions Engineering team at Syniverse, responsible for driving strategic initiatives, recurring revenue and new business for the North America Sales team. He also assists with product creation and enhancement, strategy and integration of solutions, and provides technical pre-sales subject matter expertise and sales support to the North America account teams throughout all stages of the sales cycle for multiple solution areas.