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5G Impact on OSS/BSS
Business Line and Capabilities awareness

Ashutosh Shukla
20 Oct 2022

BSS (Business Support Systems) mainly cater to processes of product management, order management, customer services provisioning, revenue management, and customer management. Digital BSS, however, can support 5G monetization, enabling BSS to support hybrid networks and ensuring heterogeneity across these journeys. Going forward, as CSPs move toward 5G and digital BSS, evolving solutions will contain the following key components and functionality:

  • A flexible and centralized catalog that simplifies product management and drives fulfillment, charging, and assurance.
  • An online charging system (OCS) that enables real-time convergent charging, policy control, decoupling, and fast service creation.
  • A convergent billing solution that combines ease of use, out-of-the box features, and a high level of configurability.

Challenges CSPs should consider when evaluating whether their existing monetization systems are prepared for 5G future-ready OSS/BSS

  • Flexibility to support innovative slice-based offers
  • Scalability for extreme volumes
  • Low latency, high throughput charging
  • Regulatory and security concerns
  • Adapting to 3GPP 5G standards
  • Cloud native OSS/BSS for flexible deployment
  • Standardized APIs among different interacting parties.

Benefits of 5G-ready OSS/BSS

  • Vendor-independent
  • Preserves existing BSS investments
  • Shields charging systems from 5G volumes
  • Proven scalability
  • NFV and cloud-ready
  • Deployment flexibility to facilitate network
  • Slicing and microservices
  • Flexibility to evolve at 5G speed

5G applications and services are defined by different standardization bodies and industry alliances (namely 3GPP, ETSI, ITU, IEEE, NGMN, and 5G-PPP), while the OSS/BSS upgrades needed for 5G applications and services are being investigated by industry alliances like TM Forum. These industry alliances and standardization bodies are, therefore, becoming the key drivers for achieving the digitalization of existing business processes in different industry verticals with 5G applications and services. Standardized APIs from OSS/BSS, virtualization, and cloud vendors will be needed to enable the smooth integration of different interacting parties. This will help in providing the automated and standardized provisioning of network and connectivity needed for 5G applications and services.

TM Forum has drawn up a blueprint for intelligent operations for the 5G era called the Open Digital Framework (ODF), which comprises its Open Digital Architecture (ODA), together with tools, models, and data that guide the transformation to that ODA. ODA comprises an architecture framework, common language, design principles, and specifications for standardized, interoperable software components and Open APIs. It replaces traditional OSS and BSS with a new approach to building software for the telecoms industry, opening a market for standardized, cloud-native software components, and enabling CSPs to invest in IT for new and differentiated services instead of maintenance and integration.

As 5G use cases encompass multi-vendor, multi-technology, and hybrid network solutions, there will be a need to integrate with legacy and third-party systems so that the new OSS/BSS architecture can work on the principle of common data/information models, designing ODA to support openness, interoperability, and a collaborative approach.

The ODA team has laid out a core layered approach to a future architecture which removes the separation of OSS and BSS functionality (see below). Although OSS and BSS may remain in separate operational domains, they are designed as part of a single architecture.

Core elements of ODA:

Governance: ODA governance describes the activities applied throughout the project lifecycle that ensure all under-construction solutions adhere to ODA principles.

Business: Business architecture represents the suite of building blocks that provide context for how an organization delivers value to its stakeholders.

Information system: Information systems architecture provides the systems and data view within ODA. It contains the functional architecture, the functional framework, and the information framework.

Implementation: This defines the Open APIs and reusable components needed to evolve BSS and OSS systems into agile, cloud-native solutions.

Deployment & runtime: The deployment & runtime area of ODA provides guidance on how to turn a well-documented enterprise architecture into a real-world solution.


Replacing legacy systems to make them compatible with 5G use cases is too expensive, time-consuming, and risky. Implementing ODA and its new components, on the other hand, is a way to save time, transform business agility, enable simpler IT solutions that are easier and cheaper to deploy, re-use software applications, integrate and upgrade, monetize IT and network capabilities, and establish a standardized software model and market that benefits all parties (service providers, suppliers, and systems integrators).



Ashutosh Shukla

Managing Consultant Sales- BSS/OSS Solutioning Team
A seasoned professional with 14+ years of experience in Telecom, IT & Enterprise Domain, having the experience to provide BSS/OSS Consultancy, Solutions, Customer Engagement and Business Development.