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Standardized APIs for easy adoption of private 5G networks

The Private Optimized Connectivity Catalyst is using TM Forum Open APIs to develop a standardized self-serve network selection process to help enterprise utilize dedicated connectivity according to their particular needs.

Ryan Andrew
06 Sep 2023
Standardized APIs for easy adoption of private 5G networks

Standardized APIs for easy adoption of private 5G networks

Commercial context

Private 5G networks are proving an excellent choice for enterprise that needs reliable, high-throughput connectivity that can be managed in-house. Commercial environments such as offices, stadiums, museums, factories and shopping malls can now make use of these setups to deploy sophisticated connected services en-masse which can be uniquely configured for their particular applications. The diversity of new applications often requires specific, tailored connectivity parameters, wholly different to the one-size-fits-all approach which businesses are accustomed to when picking and deploying connectivity. Improving this connectivity selection process is a key challenge for the industry and an opportunity to accelerate the adoption of private 5G networks.

The solution

This the motivation behind the Private Optimized Connectivity Catalyst – which is tasked with developing a standardized, streamlined, self-serve, on-demand network selection process to make it easier for enterprise to pick and deploy private 5G networks as they need them. The project group’s solution has been to identify network APIs that customers really need and demonstrate how they can be standardized across the industry. Doing so will improve the experience of purchasing network services and increase the total addressable market through the introduction of value-added products. All of this will ultimately generate new lines of business for CSPs, hyperscalers and application producers.

To make this possible, the Catalyst uses the TM Forum’s service management network-as-a-service (NaaS) API suite to create a new NaaS API TMF 759 (Private Optimized Binding). As an example among many others, this API allows the user to instruct the 5G network exposure function (NEF) to enable a private, optimized 5G connection from network to an application on the cloud. The API then makes it possible for an organization requiring higher bandwidth to switch from a public 5G network to a private 5G connection when needed. By using TMF639 (Resource Inventory Management) in concert, CSPs are able to form an inventory of network resources and services required for each application and recommend the most suitable network for deployment. So far, the API is being successfully applied to mission critical enterprise applications like video security, which are dependent on reliable, efficient connectivity and integrate with other services.

Applications and wider value

According to Catherine Lefèvre, AVP – Digital Services Integration at AT&T, “the Private Optimized Connectivity Catalyst will impact the wider industry and society by supporting multiple use cases which require on-demand, private and highly reliable broadband. For example, this capability will enable more direct and reliable healthcare services through patient medical devices and the healthcare application used by the healthcare service provider. Other real-time applications such as smart video surveillance allow first responders to receive many different types of surveillance video feeds to support sectors such as transport, weather, urban management and civil defense.”

Private Optimized Connectivity carves a route to supplying high network security and protects data through traffic. The solution created by the project group is the beginning of an industry standard that CSPs and hyperscalers can use to package and sell high-speed, private, and lower latency dedicated network resources on-demand. The solution also unveils new monetization models such as B2B2X, pay-per-use, dynamic pricing, and more. With this new standard for ordering private 5G networks, the industry is a step closer to seamless, transparent, real-time and standardized ordering processes that will underpin a prosperous, innovative ecosystem.