The four-day European Regional Conference Of The International Telecommunications Society 2017 took place this week in Passau, Germany (30 July to 2 August 2017).

As you might expect, the ITS, an association of professionals in the information, communications, and technology sectors, has a lot to talk about. In fact, a website statement from its chair Stephen Schmidt, notes, “In the thirty years since the founding of ITS, communications has evolved from a discrete industrial sector to the critical infrastructure that underpins activities and transactions throughout economies and societies and, indeed, across the globe.”

He’s not joking. Thirty years ago neither the economic implications of network slicing nor the concept itself would have been conceived of, let alone be seriously considered as viable in the delivery of mobile services. By contrast, in this week’s conference, the findings of a paper called Cost Analysis of a 5G Network with multi-tenancy options delivered by Deutsche Telecom’s Juan Rendon Schneir, are likely to be received with enormous interest from a wide-ranging audience of operators, vendors, business representatives and others. And Real Wireless expertise and modelling tools are helping Juan Schneir to deliver those findings.

Like Real Wireless, Schneir is a participant in the 5G NORMA project, whose key objective is to develop a conceptually novel, adaptive and future-proof 5G mobile network architecture. So why is multi-tenancy – a concept that 5G NORMA has been studying – important?

One of the core features of the 5G NORMA architecture is the multi-tenancy option based on the network slicing approach. Put at its simplest, this means that different tenants, like industrial enterprise customers or mobile virtual network operators, could conceivably provide services through a shared network infrastructure layer hosted by one or more infrastructure providers.

The likely reality of multi-tenancy in 5G NORMA networks could take this sharing to another level in a way that could transform some economic aspects of 5G investments. But a real-life example is no closer than 5G itself. So how can the level of cost savings we could expect multi-tenant 5G networks to deliver be demonstrated?

Real Wireless has developed its cost and demand/coverage/capacity tool, CAPisce to simulate network and service demand in a dense urban area – London. This was done as part of our work within the 5G NORMA consortium around the techno-economic assessment of the proposed 5G NORMA network architecture. Hence its relevance to the ITS paper.

We are delighted that our capabilities have received an acknowledgment at such an important and influential gathering. But 5G networks – sliced or otherwise – don’t stand still, and neither will CAPisce, which itself has been evolved from its original development to support Ofcom work to modelling the costs of future 4G networks with virtualised flexible architectures like 5G NORMA.

The expert and independent knowledge within Real Wireless is enhanced by the modelling tools we have developed over many years. This allows us to provide answers to complex questions posed by investors, regulators, mobile operators and those interested in using wireless to benefit their business.

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