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5G Factor: MWC24 Preview – P5G and API Alliances Flourishing

5G Factor: MWC24 Preview – P5G and API Alliances Flourishing

In this episode of The 5G Factor, our series that focuses on all things 5G, the IoT, and the ecosystem as a whole, I look at the major 5G ecosystem moves and what’s going on that caught my eye in the lead up to Mobile World Congress 2024. Key alliance developments include Dell and Nokia teaming up to advance private 5G network use cases and network cloud transformation, Intel enlisting an array of major partners, such as Cisco, NTT Data, AWS, Ericsson, and Aramco Digital, to accelerated private 5G network adoption by businesses, and Ericsson’s Vonage and AWS bringing together Vonage’s platform – based on communications Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and network APIs – Ericsson’s 5G network capabilities and AWS services to catalyze the availability of new solutions to millions of AWS developers through AWS Marketplace.

My analytical review highlighted:

Dell and Nokia Commit to Advancing Network Cloud Transformation and P5G Use Cases. Dell Technologies and Nokia announced the extension of a strategic partnership to use each company’s expertise and solutions, including infrastructure solutions from Dell and private wireless connectivity from Nokia, to advance open network architectures in the telecom ecosystem and private 5G use cases among businesses. As part of the agreement, Nokia will adopt Dell as its preferred infrastructure partner for existing Nokia AirFrame customers, offering Dell’s technology as the infrastructure of choice for telecom cloud deployments. I delve into why the extend alliance is a sales and marketing boost for both companies as Dell gains valuable mind share and presence during the early stages of private 5G adoption and Nokia taps into Dell’s extensive hybrid cloud channels as Nokia Digital Automation Cloud private wireless solution becomes Dell’s preferred private wireless platform for enterprise customers’ edge use cases.

Intel Ready to Power Private 5G with Partners. Intel is teaming with partners to further enable and grow the private network market. Intel-powered private 5G solutions are deployed globally with major partners such as Cisco, NTT Data, AWS, Ericsson, and Nokia. Key partnerships include Cisco and NTT Data collaborating to transform RAI Amsterdam into the first smart venue in Europe, Aramco Digital, part of the world’s largest energy company Aramco, in collaboration with Intel, is developing private 5G for the industrial sector, powered by Intel-based open RAN technology, and the addition of Amdocs as a system integrator for the Integrated Private Wireless (IPW) on AWS program. Through the program, AWS customers can access Amdocs Mobile Private Network (MPN) services, and the infrastructure, built on AWS Outposts servers, which is powered by Intel Xeon processors. I examine why Private 5G networks are in high demand in 2024 and how Intel and partners are well-positioned as enterprises look for scalable compute solutions to power the next wave of AI applications running at the edge that drive their digital transformation missions and improvement of business outcomes.

Ericsson and AWS Ready to Unleash Communications and Network APIs. The collaboration between Ericsson-owned Vonage and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will bring together Vonage’s platform – based on communications APIs and network APIs – Ericsson’s 5G network capabilities and AWS services. The collaboration aims to accelerate the availability of new solutions to millions of AWS developers through AWS Marketplace. I assess why network APIs are essential for exposing new capabilities from within the 5G network that have never been available before, allowing existing applications to be enhanced with network information and enabling the development of a new class of applications. The alliance also aligns with the recently released Ericsson Mobility Report Business Review 2024 that cites programmable networks (network APIs) as integral to driving innovation and ecosystem growth by offering access to new value opportunities, allowing application developers to innovate on a large scale.

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Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Transcript:

Ron Westfall: Hello, and welcome, everyone, to The 5G Factor. I’m Ron Westfall, Research Director here at The Futurum Group, and today, I will be focusing on the major 5G ecosystem developments that have caught my eye. And that will include a focus on the emerging 5G innovations in the private 5G and Telco API areas, especially the evolving partnerships that are impacting the 5G ecosystem in 2024, and beyond. With that in mind, Mobile World Congress 2024 is on the horizon. And as such, I’m providing previews of the key mobile industry developments leading up to the event. With that, let’s jump right in.

Now the first thing that has caught my eye is that Dell Technologies and Nokia announced an extension of their strategic partnership to use each company’s expertise and solutions, including infrastructure solutions from Dell, and private wireless connectivity from Nokia, to advance open network architectures in the telecom ecosystem, and private 5G use cases, among businesses and organizations. And with that in mind, as part of the agreement, Nokia will adopt Dell as its preferred infrastructure partner for existing Nokia AirFrame customers, offering Dell’s technology as the infrastructure of choice for telecom cloud deployment, specifically. Now, keep in mind, Nokia and Dell will help transition existing AirFrame customers, over time, to Dell’s broad infrastructure portfolio, including Dell PowerEdge servers, purpose-built for modern telecom network workloads from, the core to the edge, and naturally, to the ran.

Now I see this as a sales and marketing boost for Dell, because against Edge platform rivals that are also targeting private 5G opportunities, such as HPE and Lenovo, this is a way for them to gain valuable mindshare and presence, during the early stages of private 5G adoption. Notably, Nokia has deployed mission critical networks to more than 2,200 enterprise customers in manufacturing, health, transport, energy, large enterprises, ports, web scale, and public sector segments around the globe. And that includes numerous private wireless customers, I believe, at least 600, and counting. Now from my view, Nokia Digital Automation Cloud, or NDAC private Wireless Solution, becomes Dell’s preferred private wireless platform for enterprise customers edge use cases, that can further invigorate enterprise adoption of private 5G itself. As we know today, private wireless, it’s pretty much an established business and use case. However, the vast majority of it is for GLTE, but 5G becoming a larger portion of that. And that number will increase significantly over the next few years, to the point where private 5G becomes the dominant private wireless solution of choice.

In the meantime, the companies will work together to integrate Nokia’s NDAC solution with Dell Native Edge, the Edge operation software platform, that is designed to provide a robust scalable solution for enterprises. So clearly, they’re bringing a lot to the table for these organizations, to not only expand existing private wireless implementations, for example, LTE to 5G transitions, but to simply get on board and adopt this technology, which I think will be very integral to their use cases, including especially security requirements. Now, building on existing research and development efforts around core network functions, the two companies will collaborate on platform and application testing and lifecycle management, in the Dell open telecom ecosystem lab. Now, Dell and Nokia plan to certify workloads on Dell telecom infrastructure blocks that support Nokia Cloud offerings, but also, continuing to collaborate on OEM engagements.

So this is kind of the peace of mind that they can enable, i.e., the certification will give those enterprises that are looking to build out, or to adopt, more confidence to simply do so, knowing that Dell and Nokia have done a fair amount of heavy lifting for them, in terms of certification. Now, this actually leads into the next partnerships that I would like to emphasize, and that is, again, related to private 5G, and this time, it’s Intel teaming with its partners, to further enable and grow the private network market, basically on purpose, as clearly, the previous partnership is capitalizing on it, and it’s certainly going to drive more growth. And here’s Intel chipping in dramatically.

Now, Intel powered private 5G solutions are deployed globally, with major partners such as Cisco, AWS, NTT Data, Ericsson and Nokia. As a result, I see that private 5G networks are in high demand throughout 2024, in case there’s any doubt, as enterprises are simply looking for scalable compute solutions to power, really, the next way that AI applications. There, I got it in. We had to talk about AI on today’s webcast. And this is critical, because the vast majority of enterprises are looking to run at least key AI applications at their edge, and thus, support their overall business outcome improvements, and naturally digital transformation missions.

Now fundamentally, for Intel, these deployments culminate years of investment, development, collaboration, and lab trials, that are now becoming mainstream, and setting an example for more ecosystem support and participation. Now I find that Intel, through its hardware and software products portfolio, which consists of processors, naturally, as well as Ethernet, FlexRAN, OpenVINO, and 5G core software offerings and industry collaborations, are reducing the barriers, to allow operators to monetize their networks and enterprises, to swiftly design and deploy intelligent private networks across the various verticals I’ve touched on. And Intel, in this case, is emphasizing manufacturing, transportation hubs, mining, utilities, healthcare, and education.

Now, this is aligning with the fast expanding enterprise interests in AI. As generative AI has presented new potential for enterprise workloads, businesses are working to leverage the intersection of 5G, AI and Edge computing and private networks, to increase connectivity, data security and efficiencies, relative to their specific industry goals and initiatives. As such, private 5G networks give customers, I believe, a path to delivering the high bandwidth, low latency compute and secure environments that are basically critical for the most demanding edge workloads. And AI certainly comes to mind, especially as we are seeing enterprises looking to not only adopt more AI networking capabilities, but basically, host AI workloads on premise for the usual reasons, i.e., data protection, security, and so forth.

Now, in terms of the specific Intel partnerships, I’d like to focus on a few of the major ones that I see. That includes Cisco and NTT Data. Now, both of them are collaborating to transform RAI Amsterdam into the first smart venue in Europe. And that is naturally the major airport there in Amsterdam. Using Intel technology, Cisco is providing the private 5G core and network hardware, while NTT Data delivers the private network as a service for the venue. The solution running on Intel architecture can provide high speed, low latency connectivity for the large number of smartphones and IOT devices, as well as for processing large amounts of data for real time insights.

Next is Aramco Digital. Now, Aramco Digital Intel recently announced their intent to establish Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Open RAN development center. Aramco Digital, part of the world’s largest energy company, Aramco, in collaboration with Intel, is developing private five-G for the industrial sector, powered by Intel-based Open RAN technology. Now, this facility, I find, is poised to drive that innovation, and foster the tech advancements, that can contribute to the digital transformation landscape in Saudi Arabia. As we know, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very much investing heavily in its overall society-wide digital transformation.

Third is Amazon Web Services, AWS. So this is not too surprising, but I think it’s notable, because AWS’s ongoing collaboration with Intel, which started with the joint experience centers in Europe, as well as the Americas, is helping customers accelerate private network deployments across different vertical markets. The latest example includes the addition of Amdocs, as a system integrator for the integrated private wireless on AWS program. Now, through this program, AWS customers can access Amdocs’ mobile private network, or MPN services, and the infrastructure built on AWS Outpost servers. And this is all powered by Intel Xeon processors.

Now, this solution can provide accountability across all the building box of a mobile private network, including the RAN core security and applications, as well as services for deployment and operations. Combined, I see these elements empowering customers to use mission-critical data and business insights, to accelerate their digital transformation. In fact, at MWC 2024, AWS will be continuing the momentum from this partnership, by showcasing these solutions across a variety of private wireless use cases. So naturally, let’s stay tuned.

Next, I would like to now spotlight the collaboration between Ericsson-owned Vonage, and again, AWS. So I’m pivoting naturally from AWS, and they are looking to bring together Vonage’s platform, which is based on communications APIs and Network APIs. And that is Ericsson’s 5G network capabilities and AWS services. And this has been, basically, coming along, it’s progressing. I think we all understand that for the CSPs, the operators, to really drive innovation, they need to leverage telecom APIs, that is, unleash the developers out there, to be able to tap into the parts of the network that are designed for this purpose, i.e., parts of the core, and so forth.

Now, the collaboration aims to accelerate the availability of new solutions to all the ASW developers out there, through AWS marketplace. And as we can anticipate, there are millions of AWS developers out there. So this, I anticipate, will percolate. This will energize the developer community to pay more attention to, quite simply, Telco APIs. Now, I’d like to commend Ericsson for appointing Nicholas Heuveldop as Vonage CEO, and head of business area global communications platform. Ericsson. As we know, he was successful leading Ericsson North America in terms of, for example, commencing the deal with AT&T, that is over five years and $14 billion, to really advance Open RAN implementations in the US.

Now, he highlighted that by working with AWS, the partnership accelerates their ability to embed communications and network APIs and applications, and deliver new product offerings for AWS and Vonage customers. Now, from my view, network APIs are essential for exposing new capabilities from within the 5G network itself. And that, quite simply, have not been available before. And this I believe, can allow existing applications to be enhanced with network information, and enabling the development of a new class of applications. Now, for example, and this is, I think, useful, what are the practical implications here, is Vonage’s new fraud protection solution, that’s going to be made available in AWS marketplace, and will include the Vonage camera-based API SIM Swap, and its Fraud Defender solution, enhanced by AWS Generative AI services, and its Verify and Number Insights APIs, paired with Amazon Recognition.

Now, importantly, the SIM Swap network API is designed to allow developers to determine whether a phone number has recently changed SIM cards, and if fraud was involved. This is entailing Vonage’s enhanced Fraud Defender API, which can proactively detect fraud signals, as well as Vonage Verify API, which allows for secure silent authentication, and Vonage Number Insights API, that also can provide fraud scoring capabilities. All these, I believe, are going to be important for operators, because, as we know, security and fraud prevention are pretty much paramount, in terms of what is driving their decision-making.

Now, in addition, this initiative is aligned neatly with Ericsson’s mobility business, excuse me, Ericsson Mobility Report Business Review 2024 just being released. And it’s showing that CSPs worldwide are currently offering or exploring services in go-to-market models, to different levels of engagement, and maturity across four major areas. And these four major areas include APIs. So this is something, I think, that’s going to be integral to also the three other areas that I’ll touch on, but Ericsson here is identifying that APIs, again, are going to be critical to driving innovation across the ecosystem, and has the potential to quite simply enable new value propositions, and again, getting more application developers on board involved, and coming up with great new ideas. Now, the three other areas include enhanced mobile broadband, which is fundamentally a more efficient version of 4G mobile broadband. I think all of us, to various degrees, have been on 5G networks, and can appreciate that they are simply faster, and have lower latency.

Next is fixed wireless access. And now, this is rather unique to 5G. This is the one use case that, okay, 5G can be said has delivered, and that is in combination with wireless WAN opportunities. And these are targeting the residential broadband and enterprise segments, offering value pools for service providers with higher ARPU, compared to traditional mobile broadband services. So, quite simply, it’s a way for the operators to make more money, and I think we’re seeing this, for example, playing out, certainly in the US, T-Mobile and Verizon, engage in a horse race to see who can actually add on the most FWA subscribers, because quite simply it’s successful. It’s actually doing what it’s supposed to do, and that is helping, for example, close the digital divides for those hard to reach areas in the rural parts of a country. Next is, again, private networks. That is, differentiated connectivity solutions, and that includes using more network slicing. I expect that will be coming on board, more pragmatically, in 2024. And that is, again, leveraging the public 5G standalone networks, to offer a differentiated service to the customers out there.

And with that, I’m definitely looking forward to Mobile World Congress ’24. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing many of the folks who could be viewing this, at the show itself. And with that, again, I appreciate all the folks who’ve come on board to listen to the webcast. And also, I would like to ask folks to please reserve the webcast on your bookmarks for upcoming takes that we’ll definitely be doing about the show itself. And with that, thank you, everyone, and have a good 5G day.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

5G Factor: MWC24 Preview – Innovations on the Rise

5G Factor: MWC24 Preview – AI and GenAI Percolating

Ericsson, T-Mobile, and Qualcomm Deliver 6CC Breakthrough

Author Information

Ron is an experienced, customer-focused research expert and analyst, with over 20 years of experience in the digital and IT transformation markets, working with businesses to drive consistent revenue and sales growth.

He is a recognized authority at tracking the evolution of and identifying the key disruptive trends within the service enablement ecosystem, including a wide range of topics across software and services, infrastructure, 5G communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, security, cloud computing, revenue management, and regulatory issues.

Prior to his work with The Futurum Group, Ron worked with GlobalData Technology creating syndicated and custom research across a wide variety of technical fields. His work with Current Analysis focused on the broadband and service provider infrastructure markets.

Ron holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from University of Nevada — Las Vegas and a Bachelor of Arts in political science/government from William and Mary.

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