A WHITE PAPER ON COMPANIES THAT BRIDGE THE GAPS TO EFFECTIVE NETWORKING
Rigorous planning, architecture designing, and numerous pieces of equipment go into the development, establishment, and operation of telecommunication services. Planning includes figuring out the technical specifications, requirements, supportive and constraining factors, coverage, and execution blueprint. Designs are required for predicting the budget and execution cost, migration, cloud services, system blueprint, and management of the project. The equipment is the after-products of the initial two stages establishing the connection. Each stage is crucial and inescapable if a firms want to establish networking connectivity. Many firms outsource the latter two stages to focus on the core work of planning and execution. Hence the role of a system integrator is when the integration firm undertakes the tasks of architecture designing for the firm, enabling superior connectivity.
In the 5G networking industry, the operation of system integrators becomes crucial since the services are newly introduced and do not have any prior footing. These system integrators are responsible for cloud services, security, advanced integration, migration, design, build, deployment, and network testing. These services are the reason which delivers smooth network availability to the customers. Telecom companies partner with system integrators so to focus on core services while non-core activities are taken care of by a specialist. By the partners, the former can address broader needs and queries put up by customers, hence adding value to its product.
System Integration Service Demand Growth Driver
Rising Penetration of 5G Networking
One of the prime reasons which are expected to surge the demand for 5G system integrators’ services is the introduction of 5G networking and the rise in its penetration around the globe. System integration services are as crucial at the initial stages of networking services as during regular operation since it narrows the gap by providing the necessary support and infrastructure. The introduction and rising development of the 5G networking services are projected to create promising opportunities for system integrators. 5G networking is projected to take over the world by the 2030s, with dominant users relying on 5G networking. The rising penetration of 5G supporting devices, including smartphones, laptops, routers, tablets, smart home devices, and others, is projected to open new opportunities for the market. A report published by Ericsson, stating the prospects of 5G networking in the world, states that the number of 5G smartphone subscriptions will increase to 4,111 million by 2027, from 648 million in 2021. It is forecasted that shipment on 5G FWA CPE will surge from 6 million in 2022 to 47 million by 2026. The promising penetration of 5G networking services is expected to create demand for system integration services and drive market growth.
FIGURE: 5G Smartphone Subscription, in Millions, 2021 to 2027
Functions Performed by System Integrator
System Integrators offer consulting services to their partners, which help the latter to determine the cost and the required investment in the industry. Consulting services undertaken by the former may include budgeting, expansions and development opportunities, investment requirement, and cost-benefit analysis. The services can also extend to quality assurance, network architecture, and project planning, depending upon the contract between two or more parties. Historical data, ongoing trends, and advanced software are used by these integrators to forecast the prospects of the market.
Consulting services offered by system integrators are widely popular among telecom companies. The integrator firm undergoes a dynamic study to understand and project the market, stating the opportunities and constraints. Telecom companies who avail of these services get a brief prospect of the market, hence receiving a competitive edge over the market alongside the guidance to act.
5G consulting is quite crucial since networking services are new and have numerous challenges on their way. Consulting services become critical for developing a concrete plan dominated by 4G and 3G technology. Furthermore, 5G technology faces new challenges which require special care. Moreover, the limited availability of data and the necessity of estimated projects also create scope for consulting.
2. Design, Build and Deploy
The system integrator services also include the design, building, and deployment of required network design, providing the necessary architecture and engineering. A general 5G network involves numerous components, including the establishment of data centers, towers, cloud and LAN facilities, small cells, and others. These components are crucial in order to establishing disturbance-free networking. A system integrator builds these facilities for the potential network operators. The integrator creates a network environment that supports the lifecycle of 5G networking. It includes mapping and recognizing the area where the coverage will be provided, planning out the equipment and structure of the towers and cells, and other preparations needed.
Once a blueprint of the plan has been designed, the company executes it by bringing in the necessary materials and commencing construction. The production of the components takes place as per the blueprint while keeping in check the latest development in the industry. Numerous tests and quality checks are also undertaken during production to ensure the quality and timely delivery of the required product. Post-construction of necessary means, these components are planted at their places. When the blueprint has been deployed, other tests are conducted to establish synchronization between these components and ensure that operations are done smoothly. In case of any discrepancy, rectifications are made in the blueprint as well as in deployed components to ensure stability and smooth functioning.
5G networking design and deployment are either established through the construction new network or evolving around the existing one by changing components/ equipment. Efficient design and effective deployment are crucial factors in ensuring 5G networking. Infosys Limited, Mavenir, Radisys Corporation, Cisco Inc., and STL Tech offer 5G network design and deployment integration services, ensuring the establishment of an efficient network ecosystem.
3. Program Management and Maintenance
Program/ project management and maintenance functions of system integrators involve ensuring and looking after the untroubled functioning of network projects. Management involves deploying of necessary workforce and equipment to carry on the project while updating the technology and adhering to the needs and requirements from time to time.
Maintenance involves locating and correcting defects, loopholes, wiring issues, equipment which have been worn out, or incorrect placements which have the potential to disturb a smooth network and, in the worst-case scenario, cause disaster or hazard for the network ecosystem or workforce. Furthermore, maintenance functions also include the renovation and/ or replacement of components and/ or equipment in the ecosystem.
Telecom towers and small cells, for instance, are critical to establishing the required networking link. However, these towers and cells have a high cost of maintenance and operations. System integrators undertake the task of repairing and maintaining the towers and hence ensuring undisturbed operations.
Companies, in general, outsource this function, as it saves time and labor force while enabling focus on core functions. System Integrators undertake these operations and are well versed in the design, build, and deployment of such projects. Ventia delivers mission-critical management and maintenance services to its clients. The company has operated on numerous projects across Australia and New Zealand, delivering quality maintenance services.
4. Cloud Services
5G networking is projected to open new avenues for cloud networking, creating a promising prospect for the services offered by system integrators. Integrators such as Intel offer cloudification, which provides innovative and enhanced services which can effectively inculcate new networking services into the existing model. On the deployment of 5G networking, which is faster and has low latency than prevailing 4G networking, computer applications are required to be updated to handle the speed and frequency. HCL Tech also offers a Cloud-native Environment that helps in the seamless inculcation of 5G networking in cloud services. Wipro, TCS, Mavenir, IBM, and Infosys are other leading system integrators who offer notable services.
Network migration refers to the slow and steady transformation of existing networking into new and enhanced networking while providing both networks simultaneously. In order to switch towards 5G technology while continuing 4G technology, 5G radio and core nodes are attached on a standalone alongside the existing 4G nodes. This ensures 5G coverage without disrupting the 4G coverage. 5G technology has been slowly penetrated and will take a few years to gain firm control of the telecommunication market.
System Integrators facilitate slow and stable migration from 4G technology to 5G technology, enabling planned and proper coverage of 5G while simultaneously providing networking to those who are not ready to switch. These integrators provide the necessary infrastructure and equipment services, including the inculcation of 5G nodes in their existing project.
A slow, however steady shift from 4G to 5G networking is expected to create scope for migration and hence drive demand for migration services by network operators. Data from Ericsson shows that 4G LTE services will witness a fall in subscriptions, from 4,446 million in 2021 to 2,952 million in 2027. 5G networking services, on the other hand, will witness a rise in subscriptions, an increase to 4,111 million by 2027, from 648 million in 2021. Switching towards 5G technology in the European and North America region, along with China, Japan, and South Korea, along with the introduction and penetration of technology in South American and Asia Pacific regions, is anticipated to support the market, creating scope for migration.
FIGURE: 4G LTE and 5G Smartphone Subscription, in Millions, 2021 to 2027
Mavenir, Italtel S.p.A, Ericsson, STL Tech, Nokia, Ventia, and Radysis Corporation offer 5G migration services. These companies help in expanding the existing RAN and hence inculcate 5G networking. Ericsson provides Evolved Packet System (EPS) to execute a 5G System migration strategy for an efficient and smooth migration.
6. Advance Integration
Advance integration services include SMS Gateway Integration, IVR Integration, Telecom VoIP Integration, SMPP Messaging API Integration, SIP Integration, and Billing Application Integration. SMS Gateway Integration involves fitting an existing software to inculcate SMS API and integrate them on the website, mobile, etc. IVR Integration services enable smooth customer service. Advance Integration of 5G Integrative Voice Response (IVR) is projected to enhance customer experience and attract the market.
Telecommunication Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enables internet-based voice calls. 5G VoIP service is expected to provide uninterrupted communication and enhance productivity. System integrators also offer Session Initial Protocol (SIP), which is an end-to-end phone session, enabling improved connection along with measurable growth.
IBM is one of the leading companies that provide advanced integration services to its customers. The company offers numerous integration services in its package of advanced integration. This package is customizable and varies from customer to customer. Infosys, Mavenir, Radisys, Nokia, and Ciena also offer advanced integration services.
7. Security and Testing
5G testing and security refer to observing the established networking and locating defects and defaults, if any, which has the potential to hamper the market growth. 5G networking has been in an emerging stage where networking has just begun to operate. System integrators analyze and locate potential glitches, defects, and hindrances in the planned or established 5G infrastructure that can disrupt the connection. Testing becomes a crucial component for the 5G market since networking is yet to develop, and any loophole may drive away the potential market. Furthermore, the disturbing connection can cause considerable losses to individuals and enterprises, hindering successful market penetration.
5G security refers to establishing a secure path for data, avoiding any leaks or breaches. While transferring data at high speed, there are chances for data breaches, incomplete or inefficient data transfer, and other data transfer problems. System integrators ensure that such security threats are not raised against the networking, providing smooth data flow. 5G security services are crucial as 5G networking speed is quite high, which can generate the potential threat of data transfer discrepancy.
System integrators' functions play a vital role in the successful planning, establishment, and operation of the 5G networking ecosystem. These companies offer A to Z solutions that enable greater user connectivity. The following are leading system integrators and service providers operating in the market.
About the Author
Sakshi Bohra is a Market Research Analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence LLP. Sakshi has a strong background in qualitative research. Her strong suit is gathering and analyzing key market data to assist businesses in gaining or maintaining a competitive advantage. Visit www.knowledge-sourcing.com to read more of her articles and learn more about various global markets.