Imagine that on a beautiful Friday evening, while sitting in the big cricket stadium, you are enjoying this last over of the cricket match.
It is the super over of the world cup final match, and you are thrilled as the seamer from the opponent team gears up for his next delivery. He starts running from the Pavilion end and puts his all energy for the evening into this ball. Seemingly, on a yorker delivery, your team batsman – who also happens to be your favourite skipper – hits the ball with all the power. And guess what, the ball lands straight outside of the boundary – a massive six!
You cannot control your emotions; the victory seems near now! But you did not realize this delivery and want to enjoy it from the bowler’s view and also the batsman’s view, those great looks of the batsman when he hit that six…
What comes for your relief is that the big stadium that you are sitting in, happens to be a smart stadium. So now, you actually have this liberty to see your favourite shot, from different angles, including the statistical information like the time duration of the delivery, yorker length, speed of the ball, angle of the bat, speed of the bat and so on.
You can have these views using the AR and VR technology and as many times as you would want to see it, in the stadium itself. Thanks to 5G!
When converting the stadium in a smart stadium the most important aspect was the 5g wireless network connectivity offering for the stadium. Multiple stakeholders and financial aspects being involved in this enablement, let’s take a look at the facts that you need to consider while modelling the core 5G connectivity offering.
5G is the fifth generation for the cellular network technology. Every decade usually brings a new generation of the network technology that is better than its all-previous generation, in many aspects and a revolutionary one.
5G is set to bring the 4k video streaming, faster browsing capabilities, Augmented reality (AR), Virtual reality (VR) and Mixed reality (XR) which are incredible for the self-driving cars, gaming, education, medical science and so on.
This is also going to enable Internet of Things (IoT) where multiple smart devices can communicate through the network.
Multiple different devices try to communicate through the same network, but their communication requirements are different. E.g. The latency acceptable by the robotic arm performing a patient surgery is almost nil and different than the gamer playing a video game, where some level of latency is acceptable. Thus, the concept of network slicing comes into the picture where the same network is divided into different slices and can have different bandwidth and connectivity requirements as per the business contexts.
Persona for your 5G offering
As a CSP (Customer Service Provider) when you propose to convert an ordinary stadium into a smarter one, the persona interested in your offering can be either the stadium owner or the event broadcaster. The 5G connectivity will in turn be used for enabling the end users to enjoy different camera views, player statistics and so on.
This means that the 5G connectivity offering is essentially the B2B use case in this context. These offerings can be provided through the CPQ (Configure, Price and Quote) applications or the B2B marketplaces.
Diagram 1: Broadcaster user – the persona for the 5G offering of smart stadium
Advantages of offering 5G connectivity through the B2B marketplace applications
One of the biggest advantages of enabling these offerings through marketplace is that you get to make your offering smarter by packaging other 5G use case services, inside your original connectivity offering. Additional use cases in the smart stadium example are smart seating arrangement, parking management, food and beverages ordering and so on.
There are two approaches to package these services within your offering, when modelling it in the product catalog:
- Including these smart applications from the third-party providers, you are only dealing with the required 5G connectivity
- Apart from providing the mere 5G connectivity, you also implement these applications in house and include them in the packaging
The marketplace solution can be leveraged for the first approach here, where you also get rid of the complexity of handling all those different domain applications on your own.
This requires the catalog federation so that different catalogs from different vendors can be managed and the offerings from different vendors can be combined to define the attractive packages.
Such value-added services in the packaging bundle, can generally be defined as the add-ons.
Diagram 2: Leveraging catalog federation to build the smart stadium offer
The diagram above, represents an example offering of smart stadium that is packages with different offerings from multiple vendors, ultimately form their respective product catalogs.
Modelling the actual network slices
5G offering will play all around the network slices, that essentially means you need different slices offerings based on the spending party budgets and also with some value-added services.
There are three main approaches to model the 5G network slices:
Offering pre-configured slices
As their name suggests, these slices are pre-configured i.e. they are of the fix sizes. All the quality-of-service parameters like uplink and downlink throughput, number of user equipments, Density of user equipment, velocity of user equipment etc. are fixed.
These pre-defined configurations can generally be predicted based on the stadium capacity and the expected audience for the event.
Following is an example of the network slice attributes that are based on the standard template.
|Slice attribute||Example value 1||Example value 2|
|Guaranteed downlink throughput per network slice||5Gbps||1 Gbps|
|Guaranteed downlink throughput per User Equipment||10 Mbps||2 Mbps|
|Packet delay budget||10 ms||100 ms|
|User data access||In the private network||Local traffic|
|Tunnelling mechanism||VPN tunnelling||Label based routing|
The standard template for the network slice configuration parameters can be accessed here.
The connectivity offering will also have the non-monetary rate card i.e. the default bandwidth assigned for the slice. Once the whole bandwidth is consumed, the additional consumption can be charged based on the non-monetary rate card.
While offering this approach, it’s better to consider the whole capacity of the stadium, in order not to impact the quality of service run time.
The disadvantage with this approach is the resource occupancy even when not having the relevant traffic to use them.
Offering on-demand slices
The on-demand slices come with the configuration parameters that can be chosen by the user. So, in this B2B use case, the user will have liberty to configure the expected number of user equipments, density, bandwidth etc.
This can be achieved through the attribute value override mechanism of the product catalog, where the CFS (Customer facing service specification) level attribute values can be configured or overridden at the product offer level.
The resources will still be occupied in this case when the expected number of audiences don’t show up on the game day.
Another disadvantage of this approach is that the user has to be familiar with lot of technical configurations, that might not be the case often.
This approach combines the pre-configured slices with the taste of the on-demand slices. Based on the expected number of audiences on the game day, a basic pre-configured slice can be defined that is the default part of the package.
Additionally, user is also opting for the scaling of the network slice, thus on the game day the additional slices will be automatically created and activated if the number of audiences is beyond the expectation. Similarly, if the footfall reduces, the dynamic slices can be de-activated on the fly.
This approach also helps in maintaining the quality of service.
This essentially needs the analytics to monitor the network and scale the slices as per the observations.
From the catalog modelling perspective, this can be achieved by defining the cardinality of the user slices, where user can define the maximum number of slices allowed to be created at the game time.
Diagram 3: Hybrid approach for network slice offer modelling
User slices Vs the device slices
Apart from the user slices that we discussed above, another network slices to be considered are the device slices. The devices like cameras, and some additional robots are also part of the smart stadium. They will need the connectivity to communicate with the other robots or even to upload the captured videos to the media servers.
The device slices have to be separate from the user slices, as their purpose is completely different and hence the quality-of-service configurations.
The device slices will not need scalability as opposed to the user slices, as their number is fixed. Thus, such slices need to be defined as default offerings with the pre-configured slices model, within the offering.
The connectivity considerations
In the above use case, the connectivity is also required from the cameras in the stadium to the edge server and from the edge server to the broadcaster media servers where they can be broadcasted to further users.
Such connectivity options can be with the VPN, private secure access, internet access required and so on. Such options can be configurable and chargeable based on the user’s choices.
Monetization aspect of the connectivity offering
The high performance 5G slices are the main attraction from the monetization perspective. After all, all the smart stadium infrastructure needs to be compensated and at the same time considering the profitability.
The major scope for the monetization comes with the hybrid approach of the slices definition. It involves the basic and dynamic slices that have this potential.
Over all the following basic aspects need to be considered to charge a network slice:
- The quality of service offered
- The size of the slice
- The duration of the slice
- Creation of the new slice
- Activation and deactivation of the slices
- Analytics involved for slice scalability
Various types of prices definitions are required to support these different charges.
These can be defined as:
- One-time charges
- Recurring charges per hour or per day based
- Attribute based conditional charges i.e. Different price for different value of the attribute, selected by the user
The TMF recommendations for the network slice monetization can be found here
Edge compute offerings
One of the most important benefits of 5G it the reduced network latency and that brings the edge computing into the picture. The edge computing offerings consist of the compute power and storage which can be bundled together with the connectivity package. The user can be given the choices to select the compute power and storage of his choice based on the broadcasting requirements and the customer budget.
This use case represents the sample example for the product offer modelling approach for the 5G use cases. However, this is not the one size fits all and different approaches might be required based on the different use cases.
Are you looking for the central product catalog to enlarge your 5G game? Do you want to define such complex product offers but still in an easy way?
We at STL offer the all new ‘Unified Product Catalog’ that brings all these capabilities to define such offerings. And yes, it is the catalog that arms you to be future ready, with 5G!