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Setting 5G Test Strategies? It’s Time for a Fresh Start

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As we head into one of telecom’s most competitive eras ever, it may be time to rethink how to approach testing and automation.

The Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X were the hot gifts for the holidays this year. Believe me, I tried to buy one without having to pay a small fortune since the November release. For at least the next five years, these gaming platforms promise to deliver cutting edge, blazing fast, next-gen experiences. Oh, and they’ll also need to support innovations from previous generation consoles going back many years.

Now, imagine if I told you one of these companies, while in a hyper-competitive battle for consumer spend, decided against building a new platform and just bolted onto old legacy tech instead? Multiply the complexity times 1,000 and you’ve essentially got the conundrum facing mobile operators trying to plot the best path forward on 5G testing.

Our CEO Eric Updyke recently wrote on the value of the precious commodity we call time. He touched on the trend of more operators turning over 5G testing needs to the experts as stringent, next-generation requirements continue to compound.

In a nutshell, efficiency needs to go way up and costs need to go way down. We hear it in our conversations with customers all the time now. It’s in all the financial reports. And when it comes to the role testing will play in this critical endeavor, what’s truly required is rebuilding a strategy from scratch.

Rethinking testing from the ground up

5G, SD-WAN and cloud are the building blocks of telecom’s future, and they demand new test infrastructure, labs, experts processes and training. Most importantly – they demand a new mindset. Waterfall-style network releases that take place once or twice a year aren’t going to cut it anymore. Not in an environment where the cloud scalers can spin up new services anywhere, anytime.

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Truth is, the metaphorical carrier ships have gotten so big that they can’t quickly turn on a dime to meet new moments when the markets demand it. But they can position today for the agility they will need tomorrow. Processes, team structures, vendor workflows, and yes, the actual supporting technology – it all needs to be on the table for reconsideration. The payoff? What used to take six months will be able to happen in as little as six weeks or less – with a lot less effort.

Calling on a continuous approach

5G is a solution awaiting a bevy of proven, revenue-generating problems. Discovering which solutions will drive new business models means failing fast and iterating even faster. A move to continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) powered by advanced automation and DevOps capabilities are the path to this promise.

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Make no mistake – this isn’t your father’s testing services. Spirent has the technology, expertise, and resources to play as small or big a role as our customers need in their 5G ecosystem.

Recently, Spirent has been working with some of the largest wireless operators in the world, helping them navigate complex evolutions to CI/CD. Over the past few years, we have had to evolve ourselves to meet this need. There was a time when we would have sold hardware on a license basis and the rest was up to the customer. Now, we are at their service and by their side with a Test as a Service model that combines our CI/CD expertise and automation technology to rapidly progress customers on their individual journeys to agility. Make no mistake – this isn’t your father’s testing services. We have the technology, expertise, and resources to play as small or big a role as our customers need in their 5G ecosystem.

Wondering if a CI/CD-based Test as a Service model is for you? Consider these critical questions:

  • Do we have the expertise to rebuild our innovation pipeline with an agile, CI/CD approach

  • How long will it take us to develop test cases to validate new network functions and services?

  • Can we ensure a vendor-neutral, unbiased approach to validation?

  • Do we have the Capex/OpEx budget and time it will take to get all these elements in place?

If the answer is no to at least one of these questions, it may be time to rethink how you approach testing and automation as we head into one of telecom’s most competitive eras ever. The reward is unlocking new freedom, speed and possibilities for continuous 5G innovation from labs through to live networks.

We cover this in our latest eBook, Building the New Telecom Innovation Pipeline. Read more about a next-gen approach to telecom innovation and then let’s talk about how we can help you take the next step.

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Manuel Zepeda
Manuel Zepeda

グローバルセールス&サービス担当エグゼクティブ・バイス・プレジデント

Manuelは、Spirent Communicationsのグローバルセールス&サービス担当エグゼクティブ・バイス・プレジデントであり、グローバルな営業およびサービス部門の運営責任者です。通信サービス、ITサービス、ソフトウェア産業で合計25年の経験を持ち、事業の急成長、高効率性、利益率の向上、顧客維持などの面で目に見える多くの実績を持ちます。 Spirent入社前は、Amdocs and BusinessEdge(現在はEMC Consultingの一部)で、営業、出荷、パートナー提携において責任者を務めました。変化が速いデジタル産業で企業が成功する上で必要なテクノロジーや事業ニーズにおいて、思想的指導者として幅広く認知されており、サービスプロバイダーのトレンドや、通信、ITおよびデジタルトランスフォーメーション、営業管理、営業のプロの育成などで得られた経験を、定期的にシェアすることで知られています。 米国テキサス州のSouthern Methodist University、同州ダラスのUniversity of Texasに在籍しました。

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