Home5G & BeyondTelcos are all data and no insight - report

    Telcos are all data and no insight – report


    Who can do 5G Network Analytics? The six billion dollar question

    Telcos stand accused of having too much data and too little insight by a new report from ABI Research. Its prediction, outlined in the 5G Network Analytics and NWDAF report, is that telcos will spend $6.4 billion on network analytics by 2026. The first investment will be $4,500 on the full report.

    Analytics specialist Sandvine was one of the vendors selected in the report, along with ClouderaGuavus and Oracle. The threat is that telcos won’t get the best out of their 5G services unless they can instantly understand what customers are experiencing, Alexander Haväng, Chief Technical Officer at Sandvine told Mobile Europe.

    Data deluge

    In a blog Haväng said that analytics that tap into 5G call flows will overwhelm data scientists and engineers. He warned there will be “too much data and too little insight” as streams of incomprehensible numbers and coded characterisations shoot at them from core, transport and edge domains. “The data volume is expected to grow as the dimensions that define customer experience also grow, through mashups, multiplexing, features, devices, locations, OTT services, and network topologies,” said Haväng. 

    Managed expectations

    Telcos may have higher net promoter scores (NPS) and satisfaction rates, but that’s because they know what customers want even before customers do, according to Haväng. This could be a problem as it sets a high expectations bar for digital engagement and digital experiences. “Higher customer expectations will be a huge component of 5G services, especially those with service guarantees,” said Haväng.


    There are many such eventualities to be covered, like network slicing, IoT-driven autonomous and smart services, fixed wireless access and enhanced mobile broadband. Those are just a few of the many plates that data scientists must help to keep spinning, said Haväng. One criticism of data scientists is that they know how to search, but they don’t know what for. They have no experience or context, just knowledge of numbers. A data scientist knows that that red thing is tomato. A search tells them it’s a fruit. But they don’t have the wisdom to leave it out of a fruit salad. 

    Head in the clouds

    The growing network complexity is explored in Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena said Haväng, who urged telcos to cut through that complexity. “Predictive analytics platforms must be sophisticated enough to examine data from 5G core networks and fuel insight-driven decision making” said Haväng.  The problem is that for too long, service providers have had to integrate proprietary solutions. Each had its own sets of key performance integrators and characteristics, which they use for their own overlays of stats and analytics. “A true service-assurance approach to 5G will require analytics throughout every domain of the network,” said Haväng. With a huge workload and looming deadlines, can telcos afford to waste time diffusing all the proprietary traps set by NIMBY vendors? Will this mean that all network analytics will have to be done by cloud service operators?