Are you prepared for 5G?

Posted February 16, 2021 by Jeremiah Morrow, Senior Industry Product Marketing Manager


One of the weirder shows I’ve binged recently was “Truth Seekers” on Amazon Prime. It’s a dark comedy series starring Nick Frost (of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” fame) about a supernatural conspiracy where the antagonist plans to sacrifice a bunch of brainwashed citizens to reach another dimension, or … something. Frost’s character is a technician for a cable company, and the evil plot is ultimately foiled when his boss (Simon Pegg) accelerates the rollout of their 8G wireless network, skipping over several “Gs” to ensure the survival of the human race.

5G certainly won’t transport anyone to a new dimension, but it does promise to be far more transformative than any network that’s come before it.

With support for exponentially more devices, upload and download speeds 10-100 times faster than 4G, and bandwidth 1000 times greater, more data will be flying across these networks than ever before.

Perhaps most importantly, 5G addresses two of the biggest challenges for Internet of Things (IoT) use cases and Telecom data analytics. The first is availability. 5G promises 99.999% uptime and much greater coverage. The second is latency – the physical distance between the device and the storage and processing layers. 5G will enable end-to-end latency as low as 1 millisecond.

All of that data enables a number of analytics use cases that broadly fit into three buckets:

Service Assurance

Operators will need to be able to guarantee high levels of service, availability and security. Network performance monitoring, fraud and DDoS detection and prevention, and network optimization will all be critical to delivering a reliable 5G service.

Customer Behavior

Customer behavior analytics have been around in telecommunications for years and will continue to play a major role in customer acquisition and retention. Identifying opportunities for upsell/cross-sell, personalizing content delivery, and predicting and preventing customer churn are all important use cases for growth-oriented operators.

IoT Solutions Partner

This is the most exciting new development for operators. The confluence of 5G adoption and IoT device proliferation will soon create an environment rife with opportunities for new analytics solutions and services. Telecommunications operators are well positioned to deliver some of the most innovative data-driven experiences, from augmented reality to autonomous vehicles and more.

Telco Infographic

By building these solutions, operators have the opportunity to move from a utility provider to a business partner, and increase customer retention and loyalty. However, they’ll need a specific set of capabilities to be successful:

Unified Analytics – 90% of new data in the 5G era will be unstructured and semi-structured data that lands in either object storage or an HDFS data lake. That data can enhance traditional BI/reporting workloads just as structured data can enrich machine learning models, as long as operators are equipped to store, process and analyze all of their data.

Freedom from underlying infrastructure – The future for most companies is multi-cloud and hybrid. For telecommunications operators who are constantly challenged with managing the operating costs and capital expenditures required to deliver services, the need to be flexible with infrastructure decisions is high, as is the need for complete control over data and their environment.

In-Database Machine Learning – Many ML models fail to make it into production for a variety of reasons, including cost, level of effort, and a shortage of skills. Doing ML in-database using familiar skills like SQL, Python, R, or a Jupyter notebook removes many of the barriers to Machine Learning for enterprise organizations.

Those capabilities should sound familiar to Vertica users, and it should come as no surprise that 7 out of the top 10 telecommunications operators in the world use Vertica for their critical analytics initiatives.

Over the next few months I’ll be going through these use cases more in-depth, as well as other trends in the telecommunications space. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about what our telecommunications customers are doing, hop on over to our customers page to read some of their stories.


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