Importance of System Integration in Next-Generation Telecom Networks

The telecom industry is pitching up for digital transformation with the latest cutting-edge technologies such as virtualization, Software Defined Networking (SDN), network disaggregation, cloudification, and more. The rising gush for higher speed and reliable connectivity has brought surfs of innovations in the telecom industry. The 5G and IoT technology revolution is envisioned as one of the significant advances in the telecommunication industry. 5G together with IoT can realize many futuristic industrial applications such as driverless cars, smart factories, robotic healthcare, and more. The key focus of the telecommunications industry is to realize these services with seamless, reliable, and efficient connectivity, excelling the customer experience.

In this instantly progressing telecom industry, system integrator plays a vital role in seamless operations and efficient connectivity.

What is System Integration and Why it is Important?

System integration incorporates virtual and physical elements into a unified infrastructure, to guarantee that all these elements of an enterprise work together. The physical elements indicate the proper hardware components whereas the virtual elements include data in software applications. The fundamental purpose of system integration in enterprises is to ensure that all the modules in a system work together collaboratively, realizing better productivity and high-quality services. This streamlining and simplifying the communication is also possible with third parties or external systems. A system integrator focuses on involving internal and external distinct applications, cloud-based software solutions, systems, and data storage.

The emergence of key technologies like virtualization, software-defined networking, and cloud have transformed the telecom industry, making seamless integration complex in telecom. Network-managed services are a crucial part of the telecom sector. The digital transformation and the influence of cutting-edge technologies in the telecom sector help system integrators gain a solid position in the overall telecom service market.

In the telecom industry, a system integrator refers to an expert or an organization that specializes in the integration of various modules and technologies to provide wide-ranging solutions for mobile communication networks. System integrators in telecom are accountable for designing, executing, and managing systems that connect various components in the telecom infrastructure. System Integrators realize seamless operation of the telecom networks through hardware and software integration, network configuration, and optimization, leading to higher efficiency and service availability. System Integrators support telecom SPs or operators to realize a scalable, and flexible network, employing innovative services to meet the varying customer demands.

The advent of the next-generation mobile communication network 5G is estimated to generate capable prospects for system integrators. The 5G services and their requirements are new, which increases the demand for system integrators and steers market growth. The increasing distribution of 5G devices such as smartphones, tiny sensors, machines, and more opens innovative opportunities in the market. The introduction of 5G and beyond technologies in the telecom sector puts the system integrators in charge of cloud services, advanced integration, security, design, implementation, and network testing. These services ensure seamless network connectivity and availability.

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) in 5G networks, enables network automation, enhancing the user experience and developing novel industry models that present telecom operators a competitive edge. However, developing compelling business models demands wide use of software skill sets, incorporating virtualization, softwarization, orchestration, and automation.
There are various steps to implement system integration. Let’s have a look at it.

  • Network Planning and Design: The primary step is to determine the requirements of the integrated systems to get the best output. Once, the requirements of the telecom Service Providers (SPs) are identified, it is necessary to create network designs to realize performance optimization. This stage of careful planning and architecture designing indicates the development, setting up, and strategy of telecommunication services. Planning comprises working out the technical specifications, compelling factors, coverage, and implementation blueprint.
  • Hardware and Software Integration: The diverse hardware and software modules needed to be combined to realize unified solutions. System integrators should ensure the compatibility of various systems in the network, such as routers, servers, and more.
  • Configuration and Optimization: The network configurations need to be optimized to ensure proper resource utilization, better capacity, and continuous connectivity.
  • Testing and Troubleshooting: To maintain quality assurance and stability, it becomes important to perform complete testing to detect any potential threats or issues.
  • Security Implementation: To cope with cyber threats, system integrators should implement strong security methods to prevent illegal access.
  • Maintenance: To underpin seamless operations, regular maintenance is crucial. Any threats or errors should be monitored continuously to ensure high-quality service.

Let’s explore what functionalities of system integrators add value to the evolving telecom industry

  • Operational Efficiency: This is achieved by validating that the network functions are operating optimally, realizing enhanced performance, lower downtime, and reduced cost of operation.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: The solutions are designed by system integrators in a way to adapt to the changing customer demands and technological innovations. This introduces flexibility and scalability for telecom operators to scale the networks to provide futuristic services.
  • Cost Optimization: System integrators support cost-effective solutions with enhanced resource allocation and utilization, and modernizing operations, leading to high-quality network performance.
  • Enhanced User Experience: The seamless integration of different components and technologies enables system integrators to underpin reliable and enhanced user experience.
  • Consulting Services: System Integrators offer consulting services to telecom SPs, by making telco operators aware of the market strategies, openings, and constraints. In consulting services, system integrators identify budgets, improvement opportunities, and investment constraints, and conduct cost-benefit analysis. Such services support telecom businesses to get a quick idea about the market prospects, hence grasping a competitive verge over the market. In addition to the above services, consulting realizes quality assurance, network architecture, and planning, are liable to the agreement between the two partners. System Integrators rely on superior software, historical data, and emerging technological trends to estimate the market opportunities and growth. Calsoft’s DevOps consultants have created a dedicated Center of Excellence (CoE) to accelerate DevOps implementations and improve the speed, quality, and security of application delivery for customers.
  • Design, Build, and Deploy: The 5G network architecture includes different elements in the network such as small cells, access points, data centers (edge/cloud), transport framework, and more. These elements work together to realize reliable network services. The system integrator plays a significant role in designing, developing, and deploying the expected network architecture. The integrator supports telco operators to map and find areas or regions where network coverage is good to realize disturbance-free networking. The integrator builds a network condition that maintains the development of 5G networking. Several tests and quality tests are undertaken during production to ensure the quality, reliability, and timely delivery of the network services. After deploying the planned design, numerous tests are performed to determine synchronization between all components in the network to ensure seamless network operations. In case of any faults, modifications are made in the design and components to realize reliability and ensure seamless operation.
  • Network Management and Maintenance: System Integrators take the role of managing and maintaining the network projects. This includes the deployment of necessary resources or workforce to plan, design, and implement the network projects, considering the specific requirements. Telecom operators or SPs can outsource these requirements, saving time, cost, and workforces, and focusing on core functionalities. System Integrators carry out these operations with expertise in the design, build, and deployment of such projects.
  • Cloudification: 5G technology brings new possibilities for cloud networking, initiating a promising opportunity for system integrators. Integrators offer cloudification, enabling innovative and enhanced services that can efficiently implant novel networking services into the existing model.
  • Network Migration: Network migration implies to the slow and stable migration of existing networking into next-generation networking while delivering both network services at the same time. For instance, to introduce 5G technology while persisting the 4G, 5G RAN works together with the existing 4G core. This enables 5G coverage without interrupting 4G coverage. System Integrators provide the necessary infrastructure and equipment services for this slow and stable migration, facilitating planned and proper coverage of 5G while simultaneously providing 4G networking services.
  • Advanced Integration, Security, and Testing: Advanced integration services embrace Gateway Integration, API integration, Billing Application Integration, and more. The testing and security process observes for any faults that can affect the market growth. Telecom operators need to implement holistic and robust security capabilities to realize next-generation 5G services, which have demand in terms of reliability, latency, and connectivity. System integrators examine and detect impending defects that affect reliable services.

To steer new revenue streams by introducing new products and services, delivering extreme user experience, and increasing the value chain, telecom operators need to attain system integration competencies within or through the right partners or third parties. Private Networks (5G) are foreseen as one of the key advancements in the market for industry verticals such as manufacturing, healthcare, public safety, and more. Different enterprises from various industry verticals looking to realize Private 5G networks to enable their service requirements. To know more about Private 5G, read our eBrief Private 5G Networks.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is another advancement that opens ample opportunity for system integrators. Every IoT use cases has different and specific technical requirements. Telcos can play a role in integrating IoT devices to underpin diverse use cases from various enterprises. Telcos can foster the substantial opportunities of Private 5G and IoT only if they collaborate with appropriate system integration expertise.

In Summary

The introduction of next-generation technologies and networking paves enormous opportunities for system integrators in the market. Particularly in the telecom, system integrators can help telcos enhance their capabilities to realize innovative business models and ever-evolving customer demands. System Integrators offer cost-effective, scalable, and flexible solutions with their expertise in software integration, security implementation, network optimization, and more. With these capabilities, system integrators become instrumental collaborators in the evolving telecom industry.

Calsoft, a leading pioneer in software product engineering services, helps customers in the digital transformation journey. Calsoft’s expertise in automation and integration services helps customers speed up their time to market, with better efficiency and less cost, extending the capability to quickly respond to changes in the market.

 
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