The Unlocking B2B2X value for Smart Spaces - Phase III Catalyst creates an industry-wide B2B2X smart spaces framework that supports transition to a unified, multitenant edge marketplace
A simplified smart spaces marketplace to accelerate delivery of edge solutions
Smart spaces – physical environments equipped with various edge computing technologies and devices – are among the most exciting concepts to have emerged in the 5G era. By enabling the collection and processing of large amounts of data in real time, venues such as sports arenas, offices and public areascan support highly advanced digital services and the introduction of engaging, transformative experiences to everyday life.
But their implementation remains challenging, and moving beyond proof-of-concept means making it as easy as possible for all parts of the ecosystem to integrate and release their products to market. While much of the technical infrastructure and operational capabilities are already established, the industry does not yet have a means to easily integrate technology to form an overall solution. Productizing these capabilities and monetizing them is therefore a strategic imperative that must be resolved.
This is why the Unlocking B2B2X value for Smart Spaces - Phase III Catalyst has been established. Its central objective is the creation of an industry-wide B2B2X smart spaces framework that supports transition to a unified, multitenant marketplace. The framework provides a key link for the collaboration between CSPs, technology partners and enterprises seeking end-to-end solutions. This, in effect, means companies of all types can easily integrate their specific technological between CSPs and relevant partners with ease. This step-up in accessibility is made possible, in part, by sharing RAN – which means customers do not have to go through the additional step of choosing a CSP, but instead deal with a primary CSP supported by any and all available network operators.
In practice, the Catalyst has conceived of a platform to help productize capabilities - converting networks, edges and other relevant technologies into commercially viable, multi-party solutions. The aim is for this platform to act as cornerstone of a marketplace composed not of abstruse and isolated technologies, but of solution-based product portfolios and zero-touch, automated selling and orchestration processes - crucial for enhanced cost-efficiency and scalability. In creating this framework, the project team used four TM Forum Open APIs: TMF620 - Product Catalog Management, TMF622 - Product Ordering Management, TMF640 - Activation and Configuration, and TMF641 - Service Ordering Management.
Application and wider value
The Catalyst is showing all the signs of being capable of scale and supporting the aims of driving ROI, expanding the partner ecosystem and generating demand. The primary focus of the Catalyst was applications within 500m and 5km of space – and so its initial deployment in a tennis arena has served as a pivotal starting point. The limited geography and diverse array of companies operating within such spaces has provided an ideal testing ground for smart retail, edge security and MEC AR applications. So far, the marketplace solution not only reduces time-to-market by 50% but also contributes to sustainability by curbing the deployment of multiple CSPs in a single event — a direct environmental impact. The Catalyst’s pilot included zero-touch partnering, selling and order management, and monetization, helping to orchestrate partnerships, manage orders efficiently, and calculate charges and revenue shares seamlessly.
As Head of B2B IT Architect at Telefonica Jose Luis García Amores explains: “unlocking B2B2X value for 5G smart spaces project merges two key concepts: the extension of CSPs services for all potential attendees of an event, regardless the primary CSP of each attendee, and an advanced network service offering. 5G NS, MEC and additional network services are available to third parties that can build applications over them, providing improved services and value to the B2B segment and end users. Through RAN-sharing, commercial relationships are simplified the reach and capability of networks are increased. Environmental impact is reduced, and CSP services become universally accessible, benefiting industries, society, and the environment alike. The potential applications, such as augmented reality (AR) and intelligent shops, demonstrate the transformative power of B2B2X models based on CSP services, paving the way for a future of enhanced services and energy efficiency.”