TEOCO: Supports the 5G Innovation Center, but Backing Does Not Alter Portfolio Limits

Ron Westfall

Ron Westfall

Summary Bullets:

  • TEOCO unveiled its support for the 5G Innovation Center in a bid to elevate its ecosystem influence in the nascent development of 5G technology, especially with starting gate inclusion of SON capabilities.
  • TEOCO needs to develop or acquire orchestration platforms to ensure it can play a pivotal role in operator adoption of 5G technology, particularly in relation to OSS transformation aspects.

TEOCO’s decision to back the 5G Innovation Center (5GIC), located at the University of Surrey (UK), yielded a sales and marketing opportunity to promote its network planning and optimization portfolio for use and application at the 5GIC. The TEOCO portfolio assets include:

  • Helix, its cloud-based platform designed to provide service assurance with real-time analytics and machine learning;
  • ASSET, its radio planning product which includes small-cell planning; and
  • DIMENSION, developed for end-to-end visualization and capacity planning.

The move to support the 5GIC represented a logical extension of TEOCO’s status as a founding member of the original 5GIC project. TEOCO’s prime objective in backing the 5GIC is to ensure that self-organizing network (SON) capabilities are baked in as an essential component of 5G technology from its inception. This follows on TEOCO initially contributing radio planning and dimensioning tools and then deploying the Helix service assurance solution for the Internet of Things (IoT) 5G lab.

How can TEOCO use the 5GIC support to bolster its influence in the network optimization sphere and improve its competitive prospects?

  • Hone 5G IoT Targeting: TEOCO states it believes the backing of the 5GIC will enable researchers to use the test network to study and plan for the impact of new services and use cases for mobile networks, including IoT and 4K video apps. TEOCO would benefit from conserving its marketing resources to pinpoint which IoT verticals would likely benefit the most from the advent of 5G technology. This includes producing a honed definition of its focus on the IoT space, including consumer and/or enterprise perspectives, to avoid saturating and overextending its nascent messaging in pursuing emerging 5G IoT application implementation.
  • Heighten Ecosystem Influence: The 5GIC backing reinforced TEOCO’s commitment to expanding its influence in the digital and mobile ecosystems through 5GIC-generated innovation (the center has already filed fifteen patents). Through advocating the integration of SON functions into the initial iteration of 5G standardization, TEOCO advances its mind share capital among operators committed to using SON to improve the operations and management (O&M) efficiency of their mobile broadband networks today and in the 5G future. While TEOCO is hardly alone in supporting SON, it scored sales and marketing points in promoting the technology’s requisite linkage into the genesis of 5G technology.

As TEOCO advocates for the integration of SON capabilities into nascent 5G development, what does the company need to address to expand its capacity to influence 5G evolution to its competitive advantage?

  • Expand Portfolio Balance Mix: Currently, the TEOCO portfolio mix consists of service assurance, customer analytics, financial analytics, and planning and optimization products. TEOCO confronts the continual risk that its existing combination and blend of products may diminish its potential to drive operator OSS/BSS transformation objectives, let alone SDN/NFV implementations. In relation to top-tier rivals, the company lacks the assets to counter the pre-integration of essential operator requirements, such as service fulfillment and service billing, with assurance, analytics, and optimization products. How can TEOCO remedy its portfolio shortfalls while avoiding multiple costly acquisitions?
  • Target Orchestration Platforms: TEOCO will likely become obliged to either develop or acquire orchestration platforms in order to play an essential role in operator optimization priorities. This includes service and network orchestration platforms as well as NFV and application orchestration platforms that are purpose-developed to support hybrid physical/virtual network environments. Without a robust orchestration proposition, TEOCO risks rendering its distinct OSS/BSS-centric portfolio blend as secondary factors within operator optimization strategies, since all of TEOCO’s existing product lines must align with orchestration platform implementations and not necessarily vice versa.

Overall, TEOCO needs to pay more development and marketing heed to the NFV and orchestration aspects of 5G technology. Suppliers that can provide orchestration capabilities will play a central role in driving operator OSS/BSS transformation goals. Otherwise, TEOCO risks becoming stuck in the middle with a portfolio that only meets a subset of operator 5G needs. As a result, TEOCO could end up missing out on driving end-to-end transformation deals while becoming harder-pressed to compete against start-up specialists and top-tier suppliers on a best-of-breed basis.

About Ron Westfall
As the Research Director for Service Provider Infrastructure, Ron is responsible for tracking the evolution and key developments within the global service provider infrastructure and service enablement ecosystem markets, including back-office, infrastructure, regulatory, revenue management, and digital ecosystem issues.

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